Transport policy evaluation in metropolitan areas: The role of modelling in decision-making

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

economics - appraisal/evaluation, land use - planning, mode - subway/metro, ridership - demand, ridership - modelling


strategic transport planning, policy appraisal, interview-based survey, travel demand modelling


The adoption of Integrated Urban Models (IUMs) is increasingly being recognized as a tool to support transport policy appraisals in metropolitan areas. In Canada, the ILUTE (Integrated Land Use Transportation Environment) project is an IUM framework currently under development. While model development is undertaken by academics, the implementation of ILUTE is meant to occur within planning organizations thus rendering the success of model application dependent on available resources for modelling and planners’ attitudes towards the role of models. In an attempt to render the ILUTE modelling framework more “policy-sensitive”, a survey was conducted with planners and policy-makers pertaining to the three levels of government (municipal, provincial, and federal) in Canada. The survey collects information with respect to the current evaluation process of transport policy and its associated pitfalls as well as the desired state of policy appraisal and the need for more formal evaluation tools. Results show the presence of numerous challenges working against the proper development, adoption, and refining of models. The most notable of which include a general disbelief in the usefulness of models for decision-making, lack of resources for large-scale modelling exercises, and poor institutional integration among government departments. While local and national planning goals reflect the recent challenges of promoting environmental preservation, reducing social inequities, and improving the quality of life, modelling tools that can assess the impacts of proposed policies on these goals have lagged behind.


Permission to publish abstract given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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