The Challenge


Each day, 184,000 Greater Toronto and Hamilton (GTHA)-area students feel the challenges of getting around the city. The Keele, Mississauga and Scarborough campuses of York and University of Toronto have been expanding as fast as the burgeoning residential communities that surround them. At the same time, the central locations of OCAD U, Ryerson, and the University of Toronto’s St. George campus have been drawing ever more students from the far reaches of the GTHA. The decentering of population and higher education has created a new geography that has presented unmet challenges to transportation equity in the region. But the current infrastructure – whether you’re traveling by car, bike or public transit – are not always sufficient. Transportation policies and data are not currently responsive to the unique needs of students.

Part of the reason is that we need better data, and a better conversation. That’s where StudentMoveTO comes in. Transportation experts at the four universities have worked together to create an online survey that, for the first time, will yield systematic insights into post-secondary student travel behavior, patterns and needs across the GTHA.

Current travel surveys in the GTHA do not effectively capture student travel patterns, meaning that student transportation needs are not always effectively considered in the decisions that guide transportation policy. Given this challenge, the four universities in the Toronto region are working together to help improve transportation outcomes for the region, particularly when it comes to the student experience.

The survey is the first of its kind and will help decision makers take students’ experiences into account when planning for transportation.

As the project moves through its many phases, StudentMoveTO is asking students to share their experiences – #transitideas or #transitwoes – with getting around town.