Downtown Office Location Encourages Use of Sustainable Modes of Transportation

 

By: Alexandre Nolet, Senior Associate, Transportation Safety 

(TORONTO) – Over the last decade, there has been a push in North America towards the use of sustainable modes of transportation. To combat increasing urban congestion and respond to mounting concerns regarding air quality and climate change, many companies are now promoting and providing incentives for people to leave their personal vehicles at home in favour of public transit and/or non-motorized modes of transportation. Of course, access to public transportation and the practicality of cycling or walking to work are both highly dependent upon the location of a business and where employees live. 30 Forensic Engineering (30 FE) constitutes an interesting case study given the proximity of our office to the busiest transportation hub in the country—Union Station. Union Station connects numerous methods of travel, including subway, commuter rail, commuter bus, passenger rail and bicycle, and serves more than a quarter-million people every day. With our office being in probably the most accessible area of the country, you would expect the 30 FE community to have different commute travel patterns than what is observed in other areas of the GTA. To test this theory, and gauge the level of ‘sustainable commuting’ currently going on within our corporate community, we conducted an employee transportation survey. The survey was completed by fifty-two employees, and given that there are approximately 90 employees at 30 FE, the survey results are a representative sample of the travel behaviors of our community.

Commuting Time
The commute of 30 FE staff takes on average 42.3 minutes and ranges from a few minutes (less than 5 minutes) to almost two hours. While a substantial proportion of our staff lives within five kilometres of the office, there are people who are willing to travel extraordinary distances to get to our office, from places such as Kitchener, Guelph, Caledon, and Hamilton (Figure 1). Notably, the survey data reveals a strong a relationship between age and commuting time. Figure 2 illustrates the average travel time to work of our staff by age group, which was divided in the following two groups: less than 35 years and more than 35 years. This data reveals the distinct travel behaviours of the two groups.

Where 30 FE employees live

 

With more than three quarters of employees under 35 years of age having a commute of less than 45 minutes, the ‘young’ demographic in our office appears to attach more importance to short commute times and lively neighborhoods than larger properties in car dependant communities. One might say that these results are not surprising and that as millennials (the demographic cohort with birth years from early 1980s to early 2000s) get older and start having kids, they will leave t

The above graph depicts how the two groups have distinct travel behaviours. 30FE millennials overwhelmingly live in the city – is this a generational trend?

he city for more affordable housing in the suburbs (if such a thing still exists). This might be true, but still, these results do raise some interesting questions: Why are millennials resisting the traditional pull of suburbia? Is the shift of millennials to the city a generational trend or is it just a matter of time before this group moves to the suburbs? If millennials do prefer the lifestyle that cities offer over low density and car dependent neighborhoods, will they be able to afford living in the city in the future? Although these questions are too complex to be answered through our survey results, they are intriguing given the state of the GTA real estate market and rising rents in
Toronto proper.

 

Mode of Transportation
To understand how we compare to the rest of the GTA in terms of the mode of transportation used to travel to work, we used the GTA averages as a baseline. A comparison of transportation mode choice between the 30 FE staff and GTA workers is provided in Figure 3. Only a minority of employees (12%) travel to our office by car. Considering that 74% of GTA workers travel to work by car, while more than 60% of our staff commutes using transit, including TTC and GO, it is safe to say that our proximity to Union Station plays a key role in how our staff travels to the office.

30 FE modes of transportation

Although only 12% of the 30 FE employees use their vehicles to travel to work, it is interesting to observe that 66% of the people who drive to work live within 15 km of the office. Finally, 20% of our employees use active modes of transportation, such as walking or cycling, to get to work, a percentage significantly higher than the GTA average of 8%.

Conclusion
Our transportation survey confirmed that the level of accessibility facilitated by our University and Wellington location allows our employees to take advantage of sustainable modes of transportation, such as public transit and active modes of transit, in numbers far greater than what is typical amongst GTA workers. Our survey also revealed that our location appears to allow us to engage millennial workers through catering to an apparent preference for short commute times and life in Canada’s largest city.

 

30 Forensic Engineering Proudly Announces Retitled Transportation Safety Group

(TORONTO) — 30 Forensic Engineering, Canada’s leading and fully-independent multi-disciplinary forensics firm, is pleased to announce that its Road Safety Group has officially been renamed to Transportation Safety Group.

After nine successful years as the Road Safety Group, we have recently transitioned our name to the Transportation Safety Group, which is a better representation of the group’s expanded areas of practice.

Russell Brownlee, Principal, Transportation Safety Group, says “we provide in-depth expertise in transportation facility design, operations and maintenance related to vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles and rail. With a comprehensive understanding of industry practice and safety requirements, both provincially and nationally, our team is equipped to assist in reducing risk, uncover contributory factors in a loss, and improving the level of safety of road authorities’ transportation networks. In addition to undertaking investigations for litigants and defendants, we also provide preliminary risk assessments, safety audits and in-service safety reviews for transportation authorities.”

All members of the Transportation Safety Group are exclusively dedicated to road safety, and through active involvement in numerous transportation associations, committees and conferences throughout North America, keep apprised of industry best practice. Each year, the group teaches a two-day seminar on intersection safety to transportation practitioners in Ontario through the Ontario Traffic Council.  This year, the team continues to foster road safety and risk management in Canada through expanded one-day workshops dedicated to pedestrian and bicycle safety.

For more information regarding our Transportation Safety Group, please contact:

Russell Brownlee
Principal
rbrownlee@30fe.com

Alexandre Nolet
Senior Associate
anolet@30fe.com

Shahram Almasi
Associate
salmasi@30fe.com

30 Forensic Engineering Strengthens Road Safety Group with the Appointment of Shahram Almasi

(TORONTO) — 30 Forensic Engineering, Canada’s leading and fully-independent multi-disciplinary forensics firm, is pleased to announce the appointment of Shahram Almasi, B. Eng., M.A.Sc., E.I.T. as Associate within the Road Safety group.

Shahram brings his expertise and passion in the area of Road Safety to the firm, primarily working on roadway design, operational safety reviews, road side safety, quantitative safety assessments, and transportation planning.

He obtained his Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Ryerson University specializing in the road safety aspects of transportation engineering. Shahram has participated in research projects with the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) developing Crash Modification Factors where he used advanced statistical concepts and analysis in order to quantify the safety effects of passing lanes and rumble strips on rural Ontario Highways. His research is being used in practice by the MTO. He has also worked as a teaching assistant at Ryerson University in the areas of Highway Design and Traffic Operations/Management courses.

“30‘s Road Safety group was searching for a robust associate to assist in a wide-range of road user safety and forensic investigation matters. Shahram impressed us with a unique combination of technical knowledge, moxy and humility, and we hire him on the spot,” stated Russell Brownlee, P. Eng., Principal, Road Safety.

30 Forensic Engineering (30fe.com), based in Toronto, has been serving the insurance and legal industries for 15 years and is one of Canada’s largest and most respected multi-disciplinary forensic firms. Our core team of 60+ professional investigators is enhanced through relationships with some of the top scientists, standard-makers and specialized consultants in North America. We provide world-class engineering and consulting expertise in: Civil/Structural, Geotechnical and Mining, Construction Claims, Personal Injury and Collision Reconstruction, Electrical and Renewable Energy, Environmental Health and Safety, Remediation, Materials Failure/HVAC, and Fire and Explosion investigations.

For further information, please contact:

Paul Aquino, Director, Marketing
Direct: 647-738-5326
paquino@30fe.com

For confidential inquiries on becoming a member of the 30 Forensic Engineering team, please contact:

Jamie Burns, Director, Human Resources & Talent Acquisition
Direct: 647-738-5472
jburns@30fe.com

30 Forensic Engineering retained to complete rail crossing safety reviews for Ontario municipalities

Typical at-grade railway crossing with flashing lights, bell, and gates.

30 is proud to announce its Road Safety Team has been retained to complete rail crossing safety reviews for the municipalities of Mississauga, Region of Durham, Belleville, Woodstock, Cambridge and Waterloo.

In June 2015, the Canadian government enacted new regulations regarding level rail crossings under the Railway Safety Act in response to a steady increase in rail incidents since 2011. Previous to the new regulations, the applicable guide standards provided guidance but were not mandatory. As a result, compliance rates were only 30-50% at public crossings.

The Road Safety Team at 30 is helping municipalities across Ontario to become compliant, with an eye to budget. The Team has developed a methodology allowing for a high quality program with little involvement from the municipality–saving them time and money.

To learn more, reach out to Russell Brownlee, Principal of our Road Safety Group and Rail Safety Group.

30’s Alex Nolet to Present at the Railway Symposium organized by the “Association Quebecoise des Transports” on Thursday, November 17th in Montreal

Alexandre Nolet, Senior Associate of 30 Forensic Engineering’s Road Safety Group, is scheduled to present at the rail-sector issues and challenges symposium organized by the Association Quebecoise des Transports (AQTR) in Montreal, QC on November 17th.

Alex will be presenting on safety at railway crossings. The symposium, which will be conducted in French, will bring together some of the industry’s top rail professionals. Alex will be joined by:

  • Mr. Guillaume Foeillet, International Business Manager of SNCF (France)
  • Mrs. Cynthia Lulham, Director, Initiative FCM FCAC on Neighbourhood Issues
  • Mr. Claude Perras, Chief Business Solutions, Via Rail Canada

The symposium is expected to cover a wide range of issues the transportation and rail infrastructure industry is facing today including the impacts of the new at-grade railway crossing regulations, and the evolution of Automatic Train Protection (ATP) devices on national rail networks being pioneered in France.

To learn more about 30 Forensic Engineering’s rail offering, click here.

30 Forensic Engineering (30fe.com), based in Toronto, is one of Canada’s largest and most respected forensic firms. Our core team of professional investigators is enhanced through relationships with some of the top scientists, standard-makers and specialized consultants in North America.

 

30 Welcomes Shahram Almasi to the Road Safety Group!

30 is excited to welcome the newest member of the growing Road Safety Group, Shahram Almasi.

Shahram is a graduate from Ryerson University where he completed his bachelors and masters in Civil Engineering specializing in transportation and road safety. While completing his program, he spent time as a teaching assistant focusing on transportation courses such as Highway Design, and Traffic Operations and Management. Additionally, his thesis was focused on developing crash modification factors related to passing lanes and dual rumble strips; needless to say he is a perfect fit for the Road Safety Group.

Outside of work and school enjoys spending time with his family and friends, and is focuses heavily on health, wellness and weight lifting. External to urban life in TO, he enjoys the outdoors, camping, fishing, and snowboarding.

To learn more about 30’s Road Safety Group, please reach out to Russell Brownlee at rbrownlee@30fe.com.

30 Forensic Engineering (30fe.com), based in Toronto, is one of Canada’s largest and most respected forensic firms. Our core team of professional investigators is enhanced through relationships with some of the top scientists, standard-makers and specialized consultants in North America.

 

Alex Nolet Appointed to the CARSP Board of Directors!

Giffin Koerth is excited to announce Alex Nolet’s recent appointment to the CARSP (Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals) Board of Directors!

Since Alex joined Giffin Koerth last January, he has been instrumental in pursuing and providing the required expertise for a number external consulting contracts and teaming arrangements. Alex is actively involved in a number of industry technical committees/areas. He is a member of the Insitute of Transporation Engineers (ITE) and is currently the chair of the CITE Accessibility Committee.

Giffin Koerth’s Road Safety Principal Russell Brownlee To Speak In Kelowna, BC on Rail Safety

Russell Brownlee, Giffin Koerth’s Road Safety Principal, has been invited to speak on a panel at the CITE 2016 conference in Kelowna, BC on Tuesday, June 7th. Russell will be speaking about new grade rail crossings from the perspective of municipalities. The new regulations and timelines may leave many municipalities across the country in a state of non-compliance in November 2016. The Rail Safety Group at Giffin Koerth has been working tirelessly to ensure municipalities across the country are aware of the new regulations, and have been assisting them with compliance and safety reviews.

Russell will be joined by other transportation professionals presenting in this session on ‘policy to implementation’ :

  • Raheem Dilgir, TranSafe
  • Jennifer Locke, MOTI
  • Neil Arason, RoadSafeBC

To learn more about Giffin Koerth’s Rail Safety Group, click here or call Russell at 416-368-1700.

Alexandre Nolet to Present at the 2016 Association Québécoise des Transports (AQTR) Conference

Alexandre Nolet, Giffin Koerth’s Road Safety & Rail Safety Senior Associate, will be presenting at the 2016 Association Québécoise des Transports (AQTR) conference on Tuesday, April 12.

Alex will discuss the implications of the new Rail Grade Crossing Regulations of Transport Canada.

To learn more about Giffin Koerth’s Rail Safety service, click here. To contact Alex Nolet, please call 416-368-1700.

Alexandre Nolet, B.Sc., M.Eng., P.Eng., has over seven years of experience in the transportation consulting industry where his focus has been on road safety, collision analysis, traffic operations, and risk management. At Giffin Koerth, Alexandre provides expert opinions in relation to transportation facility design, operations, and maintenance. Alexandre has been involved in several in-service road safety reviews and road safety audits for various road jurisdictions throughout Ontario and Quebec. Alexandre has gained a strong knowledge of quantitative collision analysis methods to assess the level of risk and the likelihood of collisions occurring on a road network. He has developed mathematical models (safety performance functions) to predict the average number of collisions per year at a location as a function of exposure (traffic volume) and roadway/intersection characteristics (e.g., number of lanes, road environment, traffic control, and presence of a median), and conducted network screening analyses for multiple road authorities in Ontario and Quebec. Within the industry, Alexandre has published papers and presented at several large national and international conferences. He is a member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), the Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals (CARSP) and the Association Québécoise des Transports (AQTR).

Russell Brownlee and Alexandre Nolet Published in Municipal World Magazine

Giffin Koerth’s Road Safety Principal, Russell Brownlee, and Road Safety Engineer, Alex Nolet, have been published in the March 2016 issue of Municipal World Magazine.

“Canada’s New Grade Rail Crossings” covers the changing regulatory framework of Canada’s rail grade crossings and how it impacts municipalities.

The article provides critical details concerning the nature of the new regulations and an overview of the steps necessary to ensure that the grade crossings under individual municipal jurisdictions comply with the recently-adopted Grade Crossings Regulations. By the end of November 2016, road authorities will be required to provide a large amount of critical data related to their grade crossings to the railway companies.

To learn more about Giffin Koerth’s Rail Safety service, click here. To contact Russell Brownlee or Alex Nolet , please call 416-368-1700.