Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO)
WSP (formerly MMM Group)
November 2013 – August 2015
For the Pan Am Games, the MTO needed a tool to test and optimize the network capacity – the aim was to provide quick and unobstructed travel between the sports venues for the Games athletes, workforce and spectators, whilst minimizing disruption to local road networks.
The MTO wanted to test the scenarios and management plans that they had developed prior to the Games. For example, to guarantee a satisfactory level of service for the HOV lanes and traveling athletes if a major incident occurred.
MTO wanted a large-area model of Toronto to evaluate a priority lane network for the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.
Aimsun supported the Pan Am/ParaPan Am Transportation Team, who were responsible for developing the Toronto model.
At the time of the Games, the Toronto Area model was one of the largest networks ever developed with a vehicle-based mesoscopic simulation model.
This project started from the Land Information Ontario GIS layer, with centroids imported from the regional model known as the Greater Golden Horseshoe Model.
The network was converted to a mesoscopic model for the Greater Toronto Area and included all the major freeways, many of which were converted to hybrid models, with microscopic pockets for the planned Pan Am Games HOV lanes.
The modeling team calibrated the regional model prior to subarea extraction to determine the flows in and out of the smaller, city-wide study area. One technique utilized in this process was a time-dependent OD estimation procedure with departure time adjustment.
Pre-Games analysis of the MTO’s strategies and a clear understanding of the impact of HOV2 versus HOV3 plans allowed the agency to have the correct configuration set for day 1 of the Games.
The agency continued to use the model in operations mode throughout the Games to adjust traffic management strategies on a daily basis, making traffic management more efficient as the Games went on. The Games Transportation Plan was widely perceived as a complete success.
Aimsun Next’s flexible version control allowed multiple teams to work on the project, which was critical in meeting the tight schedule.
The robustness of the Aimsun mesoscopic tool and the quality of the model not only yielded valuable pre-Games results but also meant that the model could continue to be used and improved in daily operations mode during the Games.
The MTM is one of the most complex large-scale simulation models in existence – an analytical tool that permits the consistent assessment of the network-wide cumulative impact of current and future traffic management projects.