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Transportation data, analytics, and modelling

We base our planning and engineering decisions on specific transportation data.

The Region of Peel collects transportation data through surveys, studies, and traffic counters and devices.

The data is then categorized by different modes of transportation, such as personal vehicle, truck, transit, bicycle, or pedestrian travel.

We analyze this data to help us make future planning and engineering decisions for Peel Region. We present the data results through reports, graphs, bulletins, transportation modelling scenarios, and other analytical data metrics.

Why traffic data matters

We collect transportation data to better understand how traffic moves in and through Peel Region and why people travel the way they do.

Our transportation database lets us:

If you have a question or want to learn more about transportation data in Peel, email Sabbir Saiyed, Manager, Transportation System Planning.

Cordon Count Program

The Cordon Count Program collects data on how vehicles and people travel in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) based on trip origin and destination, direction of travel, and vehicle type and occupancy.

Peel Region completes full counts every 5 years in partnership with other GTA Regional municipalities and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. The most recent full count occured in 2016, with a partial count in 2014. The next full count was initially planned for 2021, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been rescheduled for 2022.

We rely on this data to plan Peel's transportation system and to estimate future trends for passenger, vehicle, truck, and transit trends in Peel.

Cordon Count data:

  • Provides the auto occupancy information we need to support High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) and carpooling initiatives.
  • Tells us how many people are using transit and how many are using vehicles.
  • Helps us monitor growth and impacts on road and transit facilities in various new developments.
  • Tells us how many and which types of commercial vehicles use Peel's roads.
  • Validates the forecast of the Region of Peel Travel Demand Forecasting Model.
  • Is used as input for the Capital Roads Program and phasing of development in the Region.
Data collection

Cordon Count data is collected at counting stations. These stations are located at major crossings, rail lines, and building entrances throughout Peel.

Traffic data is recorded every 15 minutes over a 15-hour period, Mondays to Thursdays, from May to June.

Data types

Cordon Count traffic data includes:

  • The total number of vehicles by modes of travel.
  • The total number of vehicles during different times of the day (such as rush hour).
  • How many people are in the vehicles (such as carpooling).
  • How many vehicles cross screen-lines or boundaries or both.
  • How many people are using transit.
  • The "Modal Split": the number of trips or percentage of travelers who use a certain type of transportation.
Results
Additional Cordon Count reports

COVID-19-influenced Households’ Interrupted Travel Schedules (COVHITS) Survey

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on people’s daily travel habits.

As we return to a new normal, we need to monitor and assess the short- and long-term impacts resulting from mandated measures.

The COVID-19-influenced Households’ Interrupted Travel Schedules (COVHITS) Survey collected data on travel pattern changes resulting from COVID-19 restrictions and has helped us better understand these lifestyle changes.

The COVHITS Survey took place online using a random sample of residents in the City of Toronto and the Regional Municipalities of Halton, Peel and York.

Phase 1 of the COVHITS Survey was conducted in fall 2020 and Phase 2 is planned for fall 2021.

Results

Commercial Vehicle Survey

The Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO) developed the Commercial Vehicle Survey (CVS and has been conducting the survey since 1999.

MTO approached the Region to participate in the 2012-2014 MTO-Peel CVS. Peel is one of the major commercial vehicle hubs in Ontario, and this would serve as a joint data collection project between the Province of Ontario and the Region of Peel.

The data collected from this survey is being used to provide inputs for Peel’s first commercial vehicle model.

We will use the insights from this survey to inform the Region’s planning studies (including the Long Range Transportation Plan) and to develop goods movement supportive policies and potential metrics for the Term of Council Priorities on goods movement.

Specifically, this dataset can inform goods movement studies on infrastructure prioritization, feasibility of freight village, and system optimization.

Reports

Transportation Tomorrow Survey

The Transportation Tomorrow Survey (TTS) collects information on the demographics (such as age and gender) and travel patterns of people living in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area.

Transportation Tomorrow Survey data:

  • Aims to find out how, when, and where trips were made on weekdays.
  • Helps us determine our long-range planning.
  • Serves as major source of the Travel Demand Forecasting model.
  • Prompts changes to current policies or the development of new policies.
  • Tells us which transportation facilities and programs need to be improved.

The TTS is conducted every 5 years. Peel Region has been participating in TTS surveys since 1986, along with the Ministry of Transportation Ontario, GO Transit, the Toronto Transit Commission, and 18 municipalities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

Data collection

The survey process starts with a letter being mailed to randomly selected households.

This letter tells residents that a professional interviewer will call to ask a few questions about their travel choices and preferences.

Survey data is collected through the online survey or over the phone from household members 12 years of age and older.

Results
Additional Transportation Tomorrow Survey information

To learn more about the Transportation Tomorrow Survey, refer to the University of Toronto’s Data Management Group or the Region of Peel Data Portal.

Travel Time Study

The Peel Travel Time Study is a survey conducted by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO).

Travel time studies collect samples of travel time, speed, and delay on provincial highways, expressways, HOV lanes, and selected main roads in the GTA and surrounding areas.

A travel time study:

  • Allows us to compare current traffic conditions to past conditions.
  • Shows us which roadways and areas are the most congested.
  • Shows us road improvement needs such as traffic signals timing adjustments.

The Region of Peel has participated in the Travel Time Study every 2 years since 2006.

Data collection

All survey data is collected:

  • Using GPS (Global Positioning System)-equipped passenger vehicles travelling at average traffic flow speed.
  • Between 6:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. (a.m. peak); 12 noon - 2:00 p.m. (mid-day); and 3:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. (p.m. peak).
Results

2018 Travel Time Study Bulletin

Travel Demand Forecasting Models are a class of transportation models that are used to predict future travel patterns. They are a key aspect to answering “what if” questions in a simulated environment.

The information gathered from a Travel Demand Forecasting Model helps municipalities decide future network improvements, services, policies, and programs.

The Region of Peel Travel Forecasting Model

Transportation Planning developed the Region’s first Travel Demand Forecasting Model in 1978 and has been updated numerous times since then.

It falls under the ‘four-step’ modelling framework, which includes trip generation, mode choice, trip distribution, and trip assignment.

We’ve used this model in many Regional transportation initiatives, including:

  • The Regional Long Range Transportation Plan
  • The Regional Road Widening Program & Road Capital Plan
  • The Regional Growth Management Program
  • The Regional Environmental Assessment Studies
  • The Regional Official Plan Schedules and Figures
  • The Regional Development Charges Background Study
  • Planning of goods movement and sustainable transportation
  • Traffic Impact Studies

We are developing a new Travel Demand Forecasting Model. This model will be more sensitive to human behaviour and more reflective of complex transportation conditions.

Model goal

The goal of the new model is to provide Regional staff with a robust analytical toolkit. This toolkit will better support Regional objectives such as increasing a mode shift towards sustainable modes of transportation, optimizing the existing transportation capacity, and planning for goods movement.

To achieve this, the new model will be using key advancements in the transportation modelling field by integrating Activity Based Modelling on the demand side and Dynamic Traffic Assignment on the supply side.

More information will be made available regarding the new model once it has been developed.

Automatic Traffic Recorders (ATR)

Automatic Traffic Recorders collect data on how many vehicles use a particular roadway over a 24-hour period.

ATR counts also provide information on the type and speed of vehicles. Data is collected by using rubber tubing that is stretched across a roadway and connects to a counting device. There are approximately 232 ATR stations in Peel Region.

Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)

Annual Average Daily Traffic is a calculation of the total number of vehicles that pass by a certain location on an average weekday of the year. AADT measurements are based on the data collected using Automatic Traffic Recorders.

Turning Movement Counts (TMC)

A Turning Movement Count (TMC), counts the movement of vehicles and pedestrians at an intersection. The count is done manually during morning, mid-day, and afternoon peak hours.

This data is summarized to show when the intersection is the busiest, indicating its peak hours of use.

More traffic data information

For more information on Automatic Traffic Recorders, Annual Average Daily Traffic and Turning Movement Counts in Peel, email Peel's Traffic Operations Group.