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Mobility Network presents ‘The Way Forward: Considering access, ethics and practice of data in mobility policies’

Data plays a significant role in mobility policies and planning, especially in forecasting, policy evaluations, and assessments. Planners, administrators, and academics acknowledge the importance of accurate data for efficient mobility policies. The surge in the collection and use of data over the last decade raises questions over its access, ethics, and practice.

How are governments working toward effective, ethical data collection and access?


Alberto Leon-Garcia, a professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, is recognized as an innovator in networking research and education. His research is focused on application platforms, including smart infrastructure. His team is developing a data management platform for gathering, distributing, storing, and mining information about the state of the transportation system that can be used by public and private application providers to deliver intelligent transportation and transit services. From 1999 to 2002, Prof. Leon-Garcia was founder and CTO of AcceLight Networks where he led the development an all-optical fabric multi-terabit, multiservice core switch. He holds several patents and has published research extensively in the areas of switch architecture and traffic management.

Gaurav Mittal is a UTM Mobility Network Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Management & Innovation, University of Toronto Mississauga. His academic interests include urban governance, public transport, political economy, and southern theory. His current research focuses on regulation of micromobility interventions and political economy of low-carbon transitions in informal transport.

Jue Wang is an assistant professor in Geography, Geomatics and Environment at UTM.  Jue’s research interests include human mobility, health geography, and  environmental health, GIScience, big data, and spatial analysis. His recent research has included exploration of methodological issues in environmental health studies and the development of a unified analytical framework for individual exposure assessment.


Bree McEwan is an Associate Professor in the Institute for Communication, Culture, and Information Technology at the University of Toronto Mississauga with a graduate appointment in the Department of Sociology. She is also an Associate Director of the Data Sciences Institute and leads the UTM thematic programming on "Responsible Data Science."

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Free. All are welcome.

If any specific accommodations are needed, please contact Requests should be made as early as possible.

About The Way Forward

event graphic with series title, tag line Diverse Perspectives. Pivotal Mobility Conversations, logo and wordmark


Explore the many ways mobility affects our lives at The Way Forward, a panel discussion series. Join the conversation!

All sessions take place online on Tuesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and are free. Registration is required.

An introductory overview will be followed by short presentations, a moderated panel discussion, and audience Q & A. This event will be recorded and shared.

Interested in more The Way Forward sessions?

See the complete Spring 2023 schedule for The Way Forward.

The Centre for Automated and Transformative Transportation Systems (CATTS) team at the University of Toronto invites you to their 6th annual symposium on July 6, 2023.

graphic image of highway featuring transformative transportation modes, Toronto skyline with CN Tower

CATTS was established in 2017 with the purpose of quantifying and guiding the transformation of transportation systems in the era of rapid innovations in vehicular technologies and in provisioning of transportation as a service. CATTS is the first research centre of its kind in Canada to address the large-scale impacts of disruptive transportation technologies and services on our cities. It is a multi-disciplinary multi-sector collaboration that gathers academia, industry, technology experts, and the government. The centre’s mission is to guide societal transformation into a positive and sustainable direction, avoid the emergence of counterproductive travel trends, and emboldens Ontario cities as leaders in North America and the world.

Join us to learn about CATTS progress in its 6th year of research, and more.

The event will be hosted virtually and is free, but registration is required.


9:00 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks, Professor Amer Shalaby

9:10-10:30 a.m.  Session I - moderated by Dr. Toka S. Mostafa

Traffic Management and Control by Professor Baher Abdulhai

  • Using AI-Based RM to Address Long Heavily Congested Freeways: A Case study on the QEW (Omar ElSamadisy)
  • Headway Control for Autonomous Driving: A Case Study on the QEW (Lina Elmorshedy)
  • Adaptive Traffic Signal Control: State-of-the-Art E-MARLIN Transformer (Xiaoyu Wang)
  • SECRM: A safe, Efficient and Comfortable Automated Driving Model with RL (Tianyu Shi)

Public Transportation by Professor Amer Shalaby

  • Advanced TSP (Wenxun Hu)
  • Smart route management strategies (Kareem Othman)
  • SPUR: Developing a Modular, Data-Driven Mesoscopic Simulation Platform to Analyze Stochastic Railway Networks (Peter Lai)
  • Applications of generative AI to transit route management (Jiahao Wang)

10:30-11:00 a.m. Break

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Session II - moderated by Dr. Toka S. Mostafa

Transportation Planning: Mobility as a Service (MaaS) by Professor Eric Miller

  • Understanding the Dynamics of Vehicle for Hire Services in the Greater Toronto Area: A Comprehensive Study of Demand and Supply Patterns (Nael Alsaleh)
  • Exploring Key Stakeholder Perceptions of Zero Occupant Vehicles (ZOVs)’s Impacts on Urban Areas (Lisa Losada Rojas)

Overview of AV and related MaaS Research by the Travel Demand Modelling Group (TDMG), Khandker Nurul Habib

  • Modelling travel time perceptions towards autonomous vehicles in the GTHA (Felita Ong)
  • Tracking Travel Demand Using Google Location History (Kaili Wang and Melvyn Li)

Transportation and Air Quality by Professor Marianne Hatzopoulou

  • Implications of freight electrification scenarios for GHG emissions, air quality, health, and environmental justice (Sara Torbatian)
  • Equity in the distribution of truck emissions in Toronto: Evidence from the past decade (Jad Zalzal)

Freight Modelling and Logistics by Professor Matthew Roorda

  • Simulation of the performance of a person-following robot in crowded pedestrian environments (Farah Ghazzawy)

Computer Vision

  • Computer Vision - Status update on North York Traffic Testbed (Kartikeya Bhargava)

12:30-1:30 p.m. Break

1:30-2:30 p.m. Guest Speakers' Session moderated by Dr. Toka S. Mostafa

1:30-2:00 p.m. "Insights on the Jacksonville Transportation Authority's Ultimate Urban Circulator Program," by Bernard Schmidt, Jacksonville Transportation Authority  

2:00-2:30 p.m. "Combatting Escalating Congestion: What ITS and AI can do, cannot do, and what to expect," by Professor Baher Abdulhai

2:30-2:45 p.m. Closing remarks


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logo and wordmark of CATTS The Centre for Automated and Transformative Transportation Systems

Applications are now closed

Mobility Network is proud to host its 2023 summer school on the theme “Measure what matters: Urban mobility in an era of climate emergency.”

The summer school will take place June 20 and 21, 2023, at the University of Toronto’s St. George campus.

About the summer school

The purpose of Mobility Network Summer School 2023 is to develop a roadmap for evaluating government investment in transportation infrastructure.

Working in teams, students will design a performance measurement framework to quantify the economic, climate, and societal impacts of transportation infrastructure investments and methods to quantify the measures they choose to include in their framework. Then, they will apply their measurement framework to a case study of a previous or planned transportation investment, for which funding may or may not be confirmed, to determine if the investment should proceed. Teams will draft policy briefs (200-300 words) that articulate in lay terms why their assigned project is a good or bad investment.

A set of short lectures will present methods to measure travel demand, economic impact, GHG emissions, and social impacts, among others.

A reading list of background materials will be provided in advance of summer school.


  • Professor Marianne Hatzopoulou, Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto
  • Professor Daniel Posen, Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto
  • Professor Laura Minet, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Victoria
  • Dr. Junshi Xu, Research Associate, Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto

Syllabus and reading list

Download the Mobility Network Summer School 2023 syllabus.


There is no cost to attend, but space is limited. Applicants must:

  • be graduate students or postdoctoral fellows at a Canadian university;
  • commit to attend the summer school from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on June 20, 2023, and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on June 21, 2023;
  • submit an application;
  • if accepted, bring their own laptops.


Day 1: Tuesday, June 20, 2023

12:00 p.m.       Lunch and registration
12:45                Introduction: Prof. Marianne Hatzopoulou
1:15                  Brief presentations on case studies : Dr. Junshi Xu
2:00                  Guest speakers (30 min. each): Prof. Marianne Hatzopoulou, Prof. Daniel Posen, Prof. Laura Minet
3:30                  Breakout groups around each case study. Groups go over case studies together; Identify roles and prepare a plan for the development of the performance measures and quantification approaches.
5:00                  Groups report on chosen case study and proposed plan
5:30                  End of Day 1 program
6:00                  Welcome reception (optional) to 8:00 p.m.

Day 2: Wednesday, June 21, 2023

8:30 a.m.         Breakfast available
9:00                  Break-out groups identify a list of indicators that they believe are important, that can be measured, and which are relevant to their case study
10:45                Break-out groups develop methods for quantifying each indicator and identifying data needs
12:30 p.m.       Lunch
1:30                  Break-out groups estimate/guess the potential outcomes of the case study in terms of their indicator framework
3:00                  Break-out groups prepare a 200-word policy brief (a short summary of how their work can enhance the evaluation of the case study) and final presentations
3:30                  Groups report on work
4:30                  Completion of Summer School feedback survey
4:45                  End of Day 2

Applications are now closed

Mobility Network 2023 Summer School is fully subscribed, and applications are closed. We regret that capacity is limited.

Notification of results

Notifications confirming acceptance were be emailed to applicants on a rolling basis.

Emerging Mobility Scholars Conference 2023

We recommend that summer school participants also register to attend the Emerging Mobility Scholars Conference which directly follows Summer School on June 22-23 at the University of Toronto. Get the details and register (free). Abstract submissions close March 10.


Mobility Network Summer School 2023 is co-sponsored by Positive Zero Transport Futures, Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto.


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Positive Zero Transport Futures and Mobility Network will host the Emerging Mobility Scholars Conference June 22-23, 2023 at the University of Toronto.

We invite graduate students and postdoctoral fellows across Canadian institutions to join us in person at the University of Toronto to exchange ideas and showcase your research relative to mobility and climate change.

The conference theme is:

Cause or Solution? Urban mobility in an era of climate emergency

Due to socioeconomic shifts and the need to achieve deep cuts in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Canada will experience an unprecedented transformation in urban infrastructures, policy responses, and new technologies.

Nowhere is this truer than in the transportation sector, which is one of Canada’s largest GHG emitters and has historically been relatively impervious to change due to its extreme dependency on fossil fuels.

This transformation in our mobility systems needs not only to mitigate climate change but also enable community benefits in an equitable manner. It is crucial that efforts to decarbonize our urban areas be informed by the co-benefits of GHG reduction.

Conference topics

  • Co-benefits of decarbonization
  • Land use and transportation planning
  • Technological response to climate change
  • Equity and environmental justice
  • Transportation and health
  • Urban resilience planning
  • Planning and politics of climate change
  • Air pollution in a changing climate
  • Climate extremes: Data and modelling

Call for Abstracts

  • Abstracts to be 300 words or less.
  • All abstracts must be submitted by March 10, 2023.
  • Submit your abstract through the submission web portal or this QR code:

QR code for abstract submission for Emerging Mobility Scholars Conference

Important dates


Registration is now closed.


Interested in sponsoring this conference? Please see sponsorship details on the Positive Zero website.

Conference Organizers


  • Marianne Hatzopoulou, Director, Positive Zero Transport Futures, University of Toronto
  • Eric Miller, Director, Mobility Network, University of Toronto

Organizing Committee

  • Shayamila Gamage, Program Director, Positive Zero Transport Futures Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto
  • Junshi Xu, Program Director, Positive Zero Transport Futures Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto
  • Judy Farvolden, Managing Director, Mobility Network, University of Toronto
  • Pat Doherty, Events & Communications Coordinator, Mobility Network, University of Toronto
  • Khadija Butt, Educational Specialist, Mobility Network, University of Toronto
  • Marc Saleh, PhD student, University of Toronto
  • Shoma Yamanouchi, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto
  • Miranda Doris, PhD student, University of Toronto
  • Jiaoyang Li, PhD student, University of Toronto
  • Cynthia Dion, Research Administrator, McGill University
  • Saba Sabet, PhD student, Toronto Metropolitan University
  • Kimia Kamal, PhD student, Toronto Metropolitan University
  • Elahe Sherafat, PhD student, Toronto Metropolitan University
  • Megha Bisht, PhD student, University of Montreal
  • Julien Vachon, PhD student, University of Montreal

Faculty Advisory Committee

  • Scott Weichenthal, McGill University
  • Greg Evans, University of Toronto
  • Meghan Winters, Simon Fraser University
  • Jeffrey Brook, University of Toronto
  • Bilal Farooq, Toronto Metropolitan University
  • Shoshanna Saxe, University of Toronto
  • Audrey Smargiassi, University of Montreal
  • Amir Hakami, Carleton University
  • Patrick Hayes, University of Montreal
  • Laura Minet, University of Victoria
  • Daniel Posen, University of Toronto


Please see the full conference details as available on Positive Zero's website, or contact with any questions.

We continue to “prepare for growth” but now in the face of disruption. Disruptions may be temporary (e.g., COVID-19) or permanent (e.g., climate crisis, autonomous cars). The policy response to COVID-19 demonstrated that our governments are capable of swift action. For public safety, they temporarily increased cycling infrastructure, introduced roadside patio restaurants and bars, and legislated off-peak deliveries to grocery stores. Many of these emergency innovations are being made permanent. What are the challenges and opportunities associated with planning for change, as well as responding to disruption? How can we safely enable more experimentation that may lead to further beneficial innovation in our cities?

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