CUTA hosts events including workshops, practicums and symposiums on focused topics – often in partnership with transit systems, other associations and stakeholder groups. Events whose topics align with one or more of the Trending Topics featured on CUTA’s Centre of Excellence are featured on this page.
Keep up to date with new events being added to the calendar.
Managing the Transition to Scheduling and Operating Electric Buses
More and more transit agencies are looking to add battery-electric buses to their fleets. Ultimately, the goal is to operate only with electric buses. Achieving this goal can make public transit more attractive and enhance the quality of life in our cities.
Electric buses bring special constraints and considerations for planning, scheduling and operations. How long and how far can they operate between charges? How long does charging take? Where can it be done? What is the impact on fleet size? These questions must be addressed to offer service that meets customers' expectations of reliability and efficiency. It requires changes to transit agencies' traditional approach to managing depots and resources.
Houari Cheikhi of GIRO, the maker of the HASTUS optimization software for public transit, will present strategies for transitioning to all-electric fleets. He will provide insights into planning considerations and propose scheduling and operations solutions.
Advance Bus Detection Strategy Using Peer-to-Peer Signal Communication: A Pilot Study to Improve Bus Travel Time
Various technologies are available for bus early detection and each comes with own limitations. Loops and cameras are conventional but expensive solutions if detection needs to be provided further away from signalized intersection. Centralized Transit Signal Priority (TSP) is an accurate and feasible solution that can detect a bus far away from an intersection and is able to communicate the bus arrival to the downstream signal controller. The City of Calgary is in the process of deploying this Centralized TSP system, but timelines of the implementation is unknown at this time. A temporary solution for this is to provide advanced bus detection based on the bus travel time and peer-to-peer signal communication. The objective of this study is to test this advanced bus detection technology in a small section of Transitway as a pilot project. The Transitway is a new facility that provides a dedicated right-of-way for Calgary Transit (CT) vehicles which has eliminated the queue related delays. However, bus travel time is not reliable enough due to several reasons. For this pilot study a peer-to-peer signal controller communication was established where the upstream intersection can place a call to the downstream intersection once a bus leaves the intersections. The call is essentially based on bus detection at the upstream intersection and the estimated travel time. This advanced bus detection strategy has been evaluated based on field observations and data from signal controllers. It is expected that the advance detection pilot study based on peer-to-peer signal communication will reduce bus signal delay and improve travel time with no additional infrastructure cost. The findings from this study can potentially be applied to the upcoming new Transitway upon successful pilot.
The ABC's of Service Dogs
Most people would agree that the impact of guide dogs and service dogs in the lives of persons with visible and invisible disabilities, life-altering injuries, and chronic illness is profound.
However, barrier-free urban transit can get complicated due to a wide range of variables. No one organization, business, regulator, or group can resolve challenges facing urban transit and the accessibility and accommodation of guide and service dog teams, but it is possible by working together for mutual success.
As a result, this presentation will shed light on proposed solutions and the dynamics of the guide and service dog industry marketplace and how competition and branding plays a significant role within the transportation sector.
An introduction to the proposed Unleashing Potential Initiative will be the backdrop making room for a discussion to explore not only the advantages of working together, but how CUTA and its Members can influence pawsitive change, while helping CFAS to better understand challenges through the lens of urban transit.
What You Can Expect
By attending this presentation CUTA and its members will be invited to enter into a brief dialogue during the question period. The presentation will explore potential ways in which we may connect, communicate, collaborate, cultivate, and celebrate the benefits of barrier-free accessibility of guide dog and service dog teams as we venture into the ABC's of Service Dogs in Canada.
In summation, this engaging segment will introduce the proposed Unleashing Potential Action Plan a Plan where everyone matters.
Edmonton's Transit Strategy and Bus Network Redesign
Understanding the needs and expectations of transit customers is a key challenge for every transit agency. After 20 years of piecemeal growth Edmonton's transit network needed a comprehensive review. We started with a Transit Strategy that included the largest and most comprehensive public engagement program in Edmonton's history. A three phased approach was used to gather ideas, prioritize needs, and address trade-offs. We reached out to both transit users and non-transit users in a variety of ways including public workshops, surveys, and talking to customers in person, on the bus, at festivals, and other public venues.
The engagement led to a new set of principles for transit network design which was approved by City Council in 2017. This strategy includes a new hierarchy of routes to simplify the network, and high frequency service on major corridors even at the expense of longer walking distances. The engagement also revealed that while some preferences were common to all Edmontonians, particular differences in preferences emerged between residents in inner and outer neighbourhoods.
The principles of the Transit Strategy were then applied to redesign the bus network. An interactive map with rough schedules was created so Edmontonians could see how the proposed network would work. ETS staff and consultants talked with thousands of Edmontonians at public workshops met with bus operators at every transit garage, reviewed comments received from the online survey, email, phone calls and social media. This feedback was used to validate design principles and identify missing connections, resulting in substantial changes in the second draft of the network. In addition, several communities were found to be poorly suited for traditional fixed-route transit, leading to additional workshops where residents helped planners evaluate solutions using alternate modes of transit.
Intelligent Transit Infrastructure - Communication Networks
As our homes, cars, phones all become more intelligent so should the transportation infrastructures we rely on to move people between their homes, offices or other destinations. This presentation will focus on how our transit communications systems can provide real time data and information across their wireless networks creating an intelligent transit infrastructure. One of the most critical piece of information an infrastructure should provide is the location of their vehicles and people. Regardless of whether the we are talking about underground subway cars, work trains, streetcars, LRT, buses, adopted transportation vehicles, work trucks or simply employees walking around, a transit authority should be able to make decisions based on where and what resources are available to them. Indoor location systems when no GPS is available, Geo-Fencing alarms, and the ability of dynamically creating new communications groups based on this information, in either day to day operations or emergency events, are all part of what we will be demonstrating. Other items include real-time telemetry information from vehicles (doors open/closed, ticketing, passenger counts, etc), from infrastructure monitoring devices (fans, pumps, beacons, etc) and Passenger or Driver Information Systems. Finally we must consider that all of this information going back and forth should be considered as part of a critical infrastructure and as such transit organization should consider the use of private networks and the latest cyber security tools to maintain the safety and integrity of their data.