An integrated modelling approach for LRT projects - A case study of Edmonton's Valley Line LRT

Author(s): A. Christo, A. Abdelnaby, S. McMillian
Presented at the Canadian Institute of Transportation Engineers conference (CITE 2018)


Various Light Rail Transit (LRT) projects are currently being constructed or planned in several jurisdictions across Canada. With many projects now in the planning stages, agencies are defining how LRT operations are governed, modelled, and evaluated. Different jurisdictions, agencies, and consultants tackle operations differently which can affect the final outputs from a technical perspective. Typically, each LRT line varies in design and operation— from street running with basic Transit Signal Priority to lines with gated operation—requiring modeling unique situations. There are innovations in modelling processes resulting in better outcomes in the planning stage by garnering more confidence in outputs such as the LRT and traffic operational models. The significance of improving outputs reliability, such as LRT run time, traffic Measures of Effectiveness (MOEs) including those for active modes, is that they set the expectation for opening day operations. Depending on the project’s funding and procurement method, the outputs can become part of Project Agreements (PAs) which govern penalties and relief events for operations during the concession period. Jurisdictions, agencies, and practitioners may develop guidelines, tools, and processes to control the quality of traffic forecasts and micro-simulation models. This would help achieve consistency between different models, such as LRT models and traffic models.