Thank you to the sponsor of the 2020 Awards
To move large volumes of passengers, transit providers consistently turn to AECOM. For more than 100 years we have provided engineering services on multi-year, multi-million dollar projects on behalf of major transit agencies and, more recently, for private organizations. For nearly 20 years, we have been ranked #1 in Transportation by Engineering News-Record’s Top 500 Design Firms survey and have maintained top rankings in Mass Transit and Rail. We work with our clients from conceptual planning through operation to develop comprehensive transit and intercity rail solutions that meet their critical requirements. Our work spans all modes of public transport including subways, city buses, bus rapid transit (BRT), light rail transit (LRT), commuter rail, trolleybuses and trams. Safety, sustainability, constructability and long-term operation and maintenance are top of mind on all of our assignments. We offer a fully integrated, interdisciplinary team of global transit, railroad, tunnel, bridge and systems engineers, transit infrastructure architects, urban designers, and environmental, social, financial and construction professionals whose talent and expertise come together to transform concepts into fully functioning and cost-effective transit systems.
+ Edmonton Transit Service
Edmonton Electric Bus Garage
Edmonton Transit Service's (ETS) single purchase of 40 electric buses made Canadian history. The new Kathleen Andrews Transit Garage (KATG), with its specialized infrastructure, will be the main hub for the electric fleet. The innovative and environmentally sustainable features of this 50,000-square-metre garage, with 35 maintenance bays and 28 charging stations, make it one of North America's leading transit facilities. Designed to LEED Silver standards, it has a reinforced roof to support the future installation of solar panels, LED lighting throughout, an underground parkade, and a 1.5 million litre cistern with recycled rainwater to wash buses. ETS is the first transit agency in North America to have overhead chargers inside its transit facilities. The deployment of electric buses and the LEED Silver KATG are significant milestones in the city's efforts to operate a cleaner fleet, reduce operating costs, and modernize service with cutting-edge vehicle technology and infrastructure.
TransLink introduced real-time bus predictions in 2012. Wide adoption of smartphones led to exponential growth in usage, which in turn led to more complaints the predictions were inaccurate. In 2018 it launched a project to improve the accuracy of these predictions. The project started with a concept to test machine learning and the promising results led to a pilot on 13 routes carefully selected to stress test how robust our model was under a wide range of conditions. The pilot results exceeded expectations and in 2019 we successfully scaled the solution to our entire bus network of more than 250 routes. The primary objective was to improve our transit rider experience. Our bus departure estimates improved by 74%. The average customer spent 50% less time waiting at the stop and the number of customers waiting longer than five minutes went from 18 to 4%.
+ Société de transport de Laval (STL)
Bus Capacity App
The pandemic has made physical distancing on public transit a concern for passengers. In response, STL created an online tool that tells someone how crowded a bus is estimated to be, from the beginning to the end of a given trip—a Canadian first! For many years, all STL vehicles have been equipped with GPS and passenger counters, along with algorithms that determine the number of passengers on board at each stop, on each route, at each scheduled bus time, every day. Using this data, the tool calculates an average based on previous days’ ridership for the same trip at the same time. The user then receives personalized information for their trip, along with estimates for buses leaving at different times, allowing for more informed decision-making based on their comfort level. Available at www.stl.laval.qc.ca/passengers via computer or smartphone.
+ Société de transport de l'Outaouais (STO)
Vehicle Certification Electronics
The Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) is subject to the Highway Safety Code and must ensure that all its vehicles are fit to drive. Through an innovative approach and working with external partners, the STO outfitted its buses with on-board systems to ensure compliance with regulatory management. The system prevents buses from operating if their mechanical inspection is overdue or if it’s been too long since the last inspection. In such cases, the driver is directly alerted in the driver’s cab and the vehicle cannot be driven. The initiative aligns with CUTA’s strategic theme of harnessing technology and innovation through implementing proprietary processes for new vehicle technologies..
+ York Region Transit
YRT Travel Training Centre
Increasingly, seniors have concerns about transit’s accessibility and security, which leads to higher expectations for personalized travel planning and dynamic real-time information. Travellers rely on transit to get them where they need to go, on-time, easily and seamlessly; they also want a system that instills confidence while allowing for spontaneity and independence. In 2010, the York Region Transit (YRT) developed its travel training program for travellers of all ages and abilities who need additional knowledge and skills to use conventional YRT services independently. It was also developed to transfer paratransit riders onto conventional services who, with a bit of help, can fully use the entire accessible system. Its overall goal is to improve access to work, school and social programs within communities; provide enhanced access to health and wellness opportunities; and encourage travellers who may be hesitant to use transit to try fixed-route services over specialized, where possible. The program can include a short-term, individualized course of instruction, or group training to students, seniors or new Canadians, and focuses on the benefits of taking public transit, and the tips and tools needed to travel safely.
Transport 2050 Planning
TransLink is developing Transport 2050, a new regional transportation strategy for the next 30 years. To inform the strategy, it launched its largest-ever public engagement, focusing on "going beyond the transit bubble." Phase one engagement ran for several months last year with three objectives. To strengthen public confidence in TransLink; build awareness of and participation in Transport 2050; and build support for the strategy and future investments. To do this, TransLink launched an integrated multi-channel communications, marketing, and engagement campaign across the 23 municipalities that comprise Metro Vancouver. Execution included digital and social media, media, advertising, events and engagements, and partnerships. This project embodies Transit Vision 2040 through its inclusive and participatory approach; an emphasis on technology and climate change; and by tackling complex planning questions. For more information, please visit www.transport2050.ca.
Marketing and Communications
+ Société de transport de Montréal (STM)
Heart of Solidarity Campaign
Montreal was deeply affected by the unprecedented Covid-19 crisis and the 11,000 STM employees had to react quickly to keep our services and operations running. To counter the fear of catching the virus, they needed to find fast solutions to unforeseen problems, all while balancing working from home with family. The objectives of the Heart of Solidarity campaign were to recognize and appreciate our employees' work as well as rally our customers and public opinion to recognize the importance of our employees. In so doing, we helped put transit at the centre of communities as outlined in CUTA's Transit Vision 2040 by forging a chain of solidarity between employees, customers and other essential service workers. It appeared mainly in our internal media, on signage in the métro and on our buses, in newspaper ads and on social media.
Marketing and Communications
+ MiWay - City of Mississauga
MiWay Student Ambassador
The MiWay Student Ambassador Program provides an opportunity for high school students to educate their school community about the benefits of taking MiWay, earn volunteer hours, and build leadership, communication and collaboration skills. This program is consistent with CUTA's strategic theme of putting transit at the centre of communities. To mark the program’s tenth year, MiWay redeveloped it to incorporate more opportunities keep teams engaged through prizes. For 2019-2020, the program included new program activities that support digital and social media engagement, such as the MiWay Video Challenge, Snapshot Photo Contest and the Recommend an Ambassador Challenge. It also included a new points system and an online leaderboard at www.miway.ca/ambassador to encourage friendly competition. And it included incentives for current Student Ambassadors to recommend a friend or fellow student to represent their school next year, supporting program continuity as well as virtual program meetings in response to Covid-19 restrictions.
Marketing and Communications
+ Halifax Ferry Team
Halifax Transit Ferry Division
On October 9, 2019 while one of Halifax Transit’s ferries was making a routine crossing of Halifax Harbour, a passenger threw himself off the upper deck. And as soon as the crew was alerted, they immediately went into “man overboard” procedures. There were other passengers, as well as the girlfriend of the person who jumped onboard, forcing the crew to manage crowd control as well as hysteria while still attempting a rescue. This was made more difficult by the person in the water not wanting to be rescued. But at great personal risk, Eduard Tavityan, a member of the crew, entered the water and guided the individual onto the recovery apparatus. He was treated for shock and hypothermia and transported to shore where emergency services took over.
+ Sarah Tseng
Sarah has been a champion of advancing Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (IDE) practices. This initiative began when she led n informal group of colleagues that met in their spare time to discuss IDE issues at TransLink in 2017 . The group that Sarah initiated achieved 'quick wins' early on such as a nursing room for new mothers in the office, changes to company childcare policies, and TransLink's biggest ever participation in Vancouver's Pride parade, glittery pink bus included. From its grassroots start, it’s developed into a 2021 corporate priority with the hiring of an equity and diversity officer this summer and an enterprise-wide taskforce to further the IDE agenda. All of this was in addition to Sarah's regular work delivering the 10-year investment and funding plan.
+ Bernie Drouillard
Bernie Drouillard, local historian and community advocate for preserving public transit in Windsor, made an astounding discovery over a decade ago that would lead to the restoration and display of an important part of the city’s history for generations to come. This streetcar is one of three known streetcars that remain out of 20 that operated in Windsor in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Through Bernie's connections, the streetcar was sold to the city in 2017 under a plan by Mayor Drew Dilkens to purchase, restore and develop a space to display in a publicly accessible area. Bernie went above and beyond and inspired many to work together to restore a vital piece of transit history.
+ Robin East
Canadian Human Rights Commission
Robin East is a Saskatoon resident who has been an active transit advocate for 35 years. In 1985, he began working with Heritage Canada to introduce audible pedestrian signals in Saskatoon. Three crosswalk signals were installed at the intersection across from City Hall. Following his work with Heritage Canada, Robin co-founded the Visually Impaired Person Actions Council and chapter of the Alliance for Equity of Blind Canadians (AEBC). Through these grassroots organizations, he collaborated with faculty at the University of Saskatchewan, city administration, and transportation and transit management to discuss strategies on how to make Saskatoon a barrier-free city. Robin is completely blind but has always advocated for all persons, not only those with a visual disabilities, and has been active across Saskatchewan His motto is to leave no one behind and to work across all disability groups for a mobility system that can easily be used by all.
Edward J. Dowling Distinguished Service
+ Dennis Childs
County of Simcoe LINX Transit
Dennis Childs began his transit career with the Toronto Transit Commission in 1981 as an operator, eventually working on every kind of vehicle: bus, streetcar, and subway. His inquisitive nature and restless itch towards self-improvement opened his next door as an inspector (1985 - 1992). Over those years, Dennis developed a strong foundation in service delivery. His next calling found him in an Instructor role (1992 -1997) and then ascending to superintendent (manager) of training (1997-2012). After leaving the TTC, Dennis continued on his steadfast growth path, bringing his expertise in facilitation and developing training systems as the safety and training manager for Durham Region Transit (2012-2014) and MVT Canadian Bus Inc. (2015-2017). Since 2018, Dennis has led the development of a new culture, focused on continual improvement and inclusion, as transit manager of the Simcoe County LINX, a new up and coming service in the County of Simcoe.
Edward J. Dowling Distinguished Service
+ Wes Woods
Wes has been fully immersed in the transit industry for more than 40 years. Few people have as deep a lifetime relationship with public transportation than Wes. He’s not only held several positions within the industry but has also actively participated in all that is transit. Wes began his career with Sudbury Transit in 1976 as a bus operator and over 25 years in Sudbury, he held several positions such as inspector, operations supervisor and transit manager. He was also an active participant in many transit committees and associations such as union executive, social club, health and safety, OPTA, CUTA and many more. Wes then took his extensive transit knowledge to the business sector where he worked for Dupont Trolley industries (2001-2005), Crestline Coach (2005-2018), and since 2018, Consat Canada.
William G. Ross Lifetime Achievement