How to move you? Officials from 17 cities to discuss urban transport networks


Cities attending the conference.

The City of Toronto and the University of Toronto will host a conference on the theme Big Transportation Data from June 12 to 15 to highlight opportunities for municipalities to make practical use of new forms of urban transportation data to better understand, measure, operate and plan their transportation networks.

The conference will bring together municipal transportation officials, technical staff, academics and private-sector industry leaders to discuss all aspects of the world of big data. The meeting will enable city officials to educate industry leaders about their specific needs, give industry leaders a chance to illustrate state-of-the-art technologies, allow cities to share experiences and best practices, and lead to plans for improved data collection, use and future analysis, the City said.

“Bringing together transportation experts from across North America and leaders in the area of big data will provide a forum to look at emerging technology and determine how this data can be used to help people move more efficiently in our cities,” said Mayor John Tory. “This work can serve as a foundation for improving commutes for all Torontonians, whether you travel by transit, bike or car.”

“Learning about how we can better use travel data – for all modes – is a huge step forward,” said Councillor Jaye Robinson (Ward 25 Don Valley West), Chair of the City’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee. “It is imperative that we invest in the power of big data to improve travel conditions for our residents.”

Among the highlights of the conference:
• a roundtable discussion with city representatives talking about their use of big data
• an industry panel discussion, including a question and answer session between cities and industry
• information sessions about the future of roads, parking, transit, cycling and pedestrian data
• discussion of privacy implications of big data
• case studies dealing with data-driven policy and program evaluation, and
• a series of discussions around the implementation challenges for big data initiatives within city government.

“As most large city transportation departments are experiencing challenges in operationalizing big data, this conference will provide an excellent opportunity to share our wants and needs with private industry, for companies to educate cities on where the industry is going, for cities to share experiences and lessons, and for public sector practitioners to build networks,” said Stephen Buckley, Toronto’s General Manager of Transportation Services.

“The world of big data represents a chance for municipalities to take a readily available resource – data – and turn it into an actionable commodity that can be used to assist travellers in their efforts to move around effectively,” said Eric Miller, Director of the University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute.

Representatives of many municipalities will attend the event. In addition to Toronto, participating cities include Austin, Calgary, Chicago, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Vancouver, Washington and Winnipeg. – CINEWS

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