Steer Davies Gleave

Steer, United Kingdom

Steer Davies Gleave

Steer, United Kingdom
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News Article | June 8, 2017

A first for Canada and one of its most expensive infrastructure projects, a $15-billion high-speed-rail line in Ontario could get a boost from the government’s proposed public-works financing bank. If approved by parliament before its summer recess, the $25-billion Canada Infrastructure Bank will decide how to help finance the project, says a spokeswoman for the infrastructure ministry. The planned 206-mile high-speed-rail system would connect Toronto with the cities in the province's southern tier in two phases, ending in Windsor, which borders the U.S. near Detroit. It also would be the first high-speed-rail line in Canada, which has lagged behind the U.K. and Germany in the development of fast trains. John Gamble, president and chief executive of the Canadian Association of Consulting Engineering Companies (ACEC), believes the Ontario high-speed-rail line fits the proposed bank's mission, which is to entice pension funds and other private investors to pump money into major infrastructure projects that might not otherwise get built. The project is also the type of economy-boosting infrastructure for which ACEC has advocated. "It fulfills that definition of hard, economic infrastructure," Gamble said. But Terrence Corcoran, a columnist for Canada's Financial Post, was critical of the plan. Citing transportation consultant Steer Davies Gleave's 2016 report for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Corcoran said the report's projections "make it clear that all versions of the rail scheme are guaranteed to be net-cash drains. Even after the big losses are fudged and massaged and manipulated by adding in so-called social and economic benefits, there is no financial or economic case for sinking billions into high-speed rail across [southern] Ontario." However, private investors are not likely to have to bear on their own all the financial risks involved with building a multibillion-dollar high-speed rail line. The Trudeau government has been quietly reassuring private investors that the new infrastructure bank will ensure a financial return on risky projects if revenues falls short of projections, The Canadian Press has reported, citing documents released under the country’s Access to Information Act. Still, the revelation has given additional political ammunition as well to opponents of the bank proposal in Parliament, who have accused the government of trying to shield private investors at the expense of taxpayers. The high-speed-rail line would cover the 206 miles between Toronto and Windsor at 150 miles per hour, stopping along the way at Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, London and Chatham, with a connection to Pearson International Airport. There has also been talk of eventually hooking up Canada’s high-speed rail system with that of the U.S. in a link that would go through Detroit, though that would likely be years off, according to the Detroit Free Press. In a first step, Ontario Premiere Kathleen Wynne has announced an $11-million environmental assessment of the project, with a request for proposals for preliminary design work expected to go out in the fall. Other early stage studies will likely look at parking, infrastructure, travel demand, and current and future land requirements, according to a spokesman for the transportation ministry. Other studies may include environmental and land use constraints, parking strategies and infrastructure, current and future land requirements, travel demand forecasting, and environmental impacts, according to Bob Nichols, a spokesman for Ontario’s transportation ministry. Also under consideration is a “governance body” that would oversee the $15 billion high-speed rail project, Nichols wrote in an email. The proposed high-speed-rail line would be one of the largest public-private infrastructure endeavors ever undertaken in Canada, with most P3 projects typically in the $260-million to $300-million range, Gamble said. "In terms of the order of magnitude, this is a major undertaking," he said. Infrastructure ministry officials said they also may look at financing a proposed Edmonton-to-Calgary high-speed-rail line in western Canada. Typically, pension funds would prefer to put money into infrastructure that has been built and has a proven track record of spinning off revenue. Jim Leech, former chief executive of one of Canada's largest public pension funds and now a special adviser to the proposed infrastructure bank, acknowledged the challenge but insisted it can be met. "That is the whole rationale for the bank—to bridge the gap by redistributing the risk and reward to make a greenfield project interesting for an institution," he wrote in an email. As debate continues over the proposed infrastructure bank, some critics arguing the federal government can borrow at lower rates now than the private sector can. Still, given that the Trudeau government now controls parliament, the main question is not whether the proposed bank will pass but, rather, what concessions will be made. Industry officials hope the bank has the independence to pick which projects to fund, rather than having Ottawa select them. While the federal government will pick the bank's leader, Gamble says he or she should have the ability to operate the bank without micromanagement or interference. "It would be a disincentive for investors if the cabinet is picking projects," he said. "At some point, the government is going to have to take its hands off the steering wheel."

Halvorsen A.,Steer Davies Gleave | Koutsopoulos H.N.,Northeastern University | Lau S.,MTR Corporation Ltd | Au T.,MTR Corporation Ltd | Zhao J.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Transportation Research Record | Year: 2016

Increases in ridership are outpacing capacity expansions in several transit systems. By shifting their focus to demand management, agencies can instead influence how customers use the system and get more out of their present capacity. This paper uses Hong Kong's Mass Transit Railway (MTR) system as a case study to explore the effects of crowding reduction strategies and how to use fare data to support these measures. The MTR system introduced a discount in September 2014 to encourage users to travel before the peak and reduce onboard crowding. To understand the impacts of this intervention, first, existing congestion patterns were reviewed and a clustering analysis was used to reveal typical travel patterns among users. Then, changes to users' departure times were studied at three levels to evaluate the promotion's effects. Patterns of all users were measured across both the whole system and for specific rail segments. The travel patterns of the user groups, who have more homogeneous usage characteristics, were also evaluated and revealed groups who had differing responses to the promotion. The incentive was found to have affected morning travel, particularly at the beginning of the peak hour period and among users with commuter-like behavior. Aggregate and group-specific elasticities were developed to inform future promotions and the results were also used to suggest other potential incentive designs. © 2016, National Research Council. All rights reserved.

Nagorsky B.,Metrolinx | Sabag K.,Dillon Consulting | Emerson D.,Parsons Brinckerhoff | Hewitt S.,Steer Davies Gleave
Transportation Research Record | Year: 2016

Governments face critical decisions on how to spend taxpayers' money and must weigh priorities and come to these decisions in a transparent and defensible way. A prioritization tool can play a critical role in informing spending decisions, ensuring that decisions are made in the interest of the public good, and bolstering public confidence in elected officials and the democratic process. Ideally, a prioritization tool not only evaluates potential projects against a desired set of policy objectives but also prioritizes potential projects into an implementation plan through the integration of pragmatic considerations. Metrolinx, an Ontario, Canada, provincial agency tasked with transportation planning for the greater Toronto and Hamilton area, developed a prioritization framework to make recommendations on capital investment in sustainable transportation. This paper summarizes the current prioritization framework, outlines its limitations, and goes on to explore potential remedies to those limitations as well as inherent challenges. Specifically, the paper discusses incorporating broader considerations, including multimodal integration and active transportation, congestion, network effects, and project interdependencies, and bridging the gap between project evaluation and real-world prioritization. The paper presents best-practice research for each broader consideration and posits that these broader considerations can be used to transform evaluation outputs into prioritized implementation plans. © 2016, National Research Council. All rights reserved.

Clark M.,Steer Davies Gleave | Gifford K.,Carplus Trust | Anable J.,University of Aberdeen | Le Vine S.,Imperial College London
Transportation | Year: 2015

Carsharing organizations (known as car clubs in Britain) are today evolving in new ways. One noteworthy development is the growth of the business-to-business (B2B) market, which is motivated in part by operators’ desire to smooth the temporal profile of overall carsharing demand and thereby increase aggregate fleet-utilization rates. In contrast to the widely-studied business-to-consumer (B2C) market, however, comparatively little is known about the B2B segment. This study fills this gap by drawing on a national survey of both Britain’s B2B carsharing members (n = 682) and employers’ corporate travel administrators that oversee an organization’s B2B carsharing membership (n = 127). Analytical methods included both descriptive statistics and multivariate regression techniques. We find that two-thirds (68 %) of B2B members use carsharing for their usual business travel, and that half (51 %) of them previously used their own car for such travel. Approximately one in seven (15 %) respondents indicated that their carsharing membership through their employer has changed their travel habits by allowing them to commute to work less often by private car, as they do not require their own personal car for work-related travel during their workday. It appears that car use for (non-commuting) business purposes may increase, however. This paper concludes with a discussion of open questions that are suggested to motivate the future research agenda. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Alemazkoor N.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Burris M.W.,Texas A&M University | Danda S.R.,Steer Davies Gleave
Transportation Research Record | Year: 2015

The value of travel time savings is often the largest benefit from transportation projects and has been studied extensively. Recently, additional attention has been paid to the fact that travelers also benefit from reliable travel times. The value of reliability (VOR) has usually been estimated through stated-preference data or survey-based revealed preference data. In this research, empirical data were used to estimate VOR. One concern about estimating VOR from empirical data was the lack of a definitive measurement for reliability. Should it be the standard deviation (SD) of travel time, the 95th percentile, or another measure? Data from Katy Freeway in Texas, where travelers chose between tolled but generally more-reliable lanes and free but generally less-reliable lanes, were used in an attempt to find the best measurement of reliability that could lead to the best explanation of travelers' lane choice. Multinomial logit models were used to estimate travelers' lane choice on the basis of trip attributes, including travel time, many measures of travel time reliability, and tolls. Models including only travel time and tolls yielded reasonable results and values of time ($2.78/h, $9.09/h, and $10.52/h for off-peak, shoulder, and peak periods, respectively). However, adding reliability to the models caused many of them to have counterintuitive results, and concluding which measure was the best was impossible. In addition, the results of this research suggested that reliability might not be an influential factor in the lane choice decision on managed lanes, at least when travelers had reasonable knowledge of their potential travel time.

Henao J.J.P.,National University of Colombia | Castro V.F.,Steer Davies Gleave | Calderon C.A.G.,University of Antioquia
DYNA (Colombia) | Year: 2011

This paper presents a brief description of the evolution of "Pico y Placa" (vehicular restriction) in Medellin, a measure to restrict the vehicular circulation during peak hours. An analysis is exposed based on previous studies before its implementation (2004). This article also provides a comparison within the results of subsequent studies (2005 to 2008) with and without restriction. In addition, presents and analyzes its limitations in the long term and the impact on emissions; finally, a set of recommendations are presented to improve and evaluate the vehicular restriction in the future.

Ison S.,Loughborough University | Frost M.,Loughborough University | Watson R.,Steer Davies Gleave
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Transport | Year: 2012

Over recent years the UK railway industry has seen unprecedented growth in the number of passengers and the amount of freight carried. Expansion in network capacity, however, has not kept pace with this growth. This has led to significant overcrowding and little or no capacity left to run more trains within existing stock or track provision. The UK government however has stated that as part of achieving 'best value' it wants to further increase rail traffic, and has recently set out a strategy to optimise this. This paper reviews the issues associated with the growth in passengers, the demand placed on the network and the policy developed to accommodate and manage it. It identifies the capacity constraints and options identified for capacity enhancement. The paper concludes that while privatisation has made coherent decision-making difficult there is significant experience to be gained in the development of policy and route utilisation strategies.

Vilain P.B.,Steer Davies Gleave | Cox J.,Port Authority of New York and New Jersey | Mantero V.,Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Transportation Research Record | Year: 2012

Transit is closely associated with public-sector involvement, including capital costs and significant subsidies of operating costs. The rationale for this involvement is justified on several grounds, including the presence of economies of scale in provision of transit service and the presence of external benefits associated with transit. In a recent study Parry and Small demonstrated that these two effects provide justification for existing subsidy levels for transit service in several cities. In the world of public transit, passenger ferry service in the New York City region is unusual: with the exception of the subsidized and publicly run Staten Island Ferry, the regional ferry system is run primarily with operating costs covered by farebox revenues. Can the arguments for public subsidies for transit extend to this system of private passenger ferries? Would economies of scale and external benefits justify an expanded and subsidized ferry system in the New York City region? These issues are explored by defining the public interest in the context of the system, discussing whether this public interest would justify a structural change in the way passenger ferries are funded in the region, and providing a timely case study, the East River Ferry service started in June 2011. This subsidized service, a ridership success, has capitalized on growing densities along the East River between Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, New York.

Hollander Y.,Steer Davies Gleave
Transportation Research Record | Year: 2010

Traditional techniques for estimating travel demand models cannot always identify a model if the quality of the input data is poor. These techniques do not allow modelers to easily predefine types of travel behaviors that they or their clients believe cannot be true. Models estimated with the best academic practice also may occasionally fail important validation tests. These factors often lead practitioners to determine model parameters through an inefficient trial-and-error process. A multi-objective model estimation procedure is presented that overrules solutions that cannot meet either statistical or political criteria. This procedure is not intended to criticize the traditional modeling approach, but it illustrates that a more pragmatic approach is available and works efficiently. This conclusion is illustrated in the estimation of a demand model for Dublin, Ireland.

Miller P.,Steer Davies Gleave | de Barros A.G.,University of Calgary | Kattan L.,University of Calgary | Wirasinghe S.C.,University of Calgary
KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering | Year: 2016

Public transportation is often framed as a key component of building sustainable cities. Conversely, the social, economic, and environmental impacts of transport are framed as critical issues that can challenge the sustainability of cities and regions. This paper presents a critical literature review of the relationship between public transportation and sustainability. First the paper offers a review of key sustainable transportation concepts and how public transport contributes to sustainability goals. Second, the paper reviews past studies that analyse sustainable transportation in order to develop recommendations for planning, engineering, and researching sustainable public transport. Finally, the paper concludes by offering suggestions for future research into the sustainability performance of public transit. © 2016, Korean Society of Civil Engineers and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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