Light-Rail Transit Planning and Operations for Transportation Professionals

Online /
August 24-25, 28-30, 2023 /
Course Code: 14-0803-ONL23

The confirmation of this course depends on early registration; Register early to avoid the postponement or cancellation of a course.
  • Overview
  • Syllabus
  • Instructor


Please note, This instructor-led course has specific dates and times:
This course is held online over 5 days on the following schedule (All times in Eastern Time Zone):

Daily schedule: 10 am to 12:00 pm (1 hour lunch) 1 pm -3:20 pm Eastern Time

After participating in this course, you will be able to:

  • Use in master planning and policy formation your insight into LRT system development.
  • Apply transit planning and conceptual design considerations by using relevant industry guidelines, manuals, relevant software basics and recommended documents.
  • Apply your knowledge of environmental and planning approvals processes for transit projects
  • Use your familiarity with the land use planning framework, including Smart Growth and transit-oriented-development
  • Be familiar with new innovative mobility systems, mobility-as-a-service and technologies while keeping LRT/transit as a core mobility service

Most transit professional skill development programs prepare individuals with updated analytical planning and engineering design skills for the job market in transit planning and policy development within the private and public sectors. This course focuses on developing light-rail projects that come from the recommendations of transportation master plans, multimodal and innovative mobile applications for LRT system planning, LRT operational planning, and essential elements of transit planning and operations.

Transit planning-oriented topics include Smart Growth Planning/ Multimodal Development Principles, Innovative technologies and the role of new mobility modes, including Transportation Demand Management (TDM) measures, Transit, Environmental Assessment approvals, Public Involvement, urban design perspectives, designing Community Visioning Workshops, Ontario Planning Act and the Provincial Growth Plan (2017) and Policy Statement (2014), Official Plan and Zoning requirements for LRT, Land Use Character Typologies, transit manuals/guidelines and Mobility Hub planning considerations.

Course Outline:

  • Land-Use and transit planning basics
  • International trends in the evolution of light rail transit
  • Multimodal and innovative mobility access to LRT systems
  • LRT fundamentals and basic systems
  • Comparison of LRT with other modes
  • LRT system planning, station/-right-of-way design and related activities
  • General planning considerations for LRT operations
  • The effects of rapid transit on patronage and activities
  • LRT vehicle and overall operational considerations
  • Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) and operations
  • Fundamentals of transit cost and funding
  • Project experience

Who Should Attend
Business Development and Sales Analyst • Intelligent Transport System (ITS) Analyst • General Planning Data Analyst • Railroad, Traffic and Transportation Engineers • Administration and Management Coordinators • Signal Designer/ Technologists • Simulation Specialists• Schedulers, Route Designers/ Analysts • Environment Analysts • Operation Specialists and Technologists • Modeling Analysts, Planners, Policy Makers / Analysts• Safety Specialists • GIS/GPS Applications Analysts • Financial and Economic Analysts • System Surveyors • Construction Inspectors.

Course Prerequisite
Many transportation professionals are enrolled in urban planning or engineering programs. However, due to the diverse nature of the transit profession, many transit professionals have a background in science, environmental studies, geography, computers, and a number of other fields. They must work with technicians, planning analysts, system design, route maintenance and scheduling, computer programmers, sign makers and installers, transit system installations and construction inspectors. With your background in any of the listed roles, you will add new LRT related planning and analytical techniques to your repertoire as a transit professional.

More Information

Time: 10:00 AM - 3:20 PM Eastern Time

Please note: You can check other time zones here.


Welcome, Introduction, Seminar Preview, Learning Outcomes


  • Role of transit in urban areas, Smart Growth and Transit-Oriented-Development (TOD)
  • Innovative mobility systems and technologies and Transportation Demand Management (TDM)
  • Identification of transit demand, problems and opportunities
  • Fundamental policies and strategies on Light-Rail Transit (LRT)
  • Provincial and regional legislation: Planning Act, Provincial Policy Statement, Metrolinx
  • Fundamental of LRT system components, performance and operational analysis, ridership, forecasting, mode assessment and integration
  • Related technical documents/manuals/guidelines

LRT Fundamentals and Basic Systems

International Trends in the Evolution of Light Rail Transit

  • Impact of increasing auto ownership on transit
  • Urban transportation policies
  • European policies of minimum transit investment
  • European policies for parallel highway-transit improvement
  • Consistent East-Asian policies on LRT system planning and operation
  • Early form of LRT in North America
  • Recent rail transit trends in North America: LRT, rapid transit, heavy rail, micro-transit, guided transit
  • Transit improvement opportunities and policy development
  • Development of modern LRT systems in Europe, East Asia and North America
  • Mobility-as-a-service, new mobility ecosystem, new planning approach

Representative Light Rail Systems

  • Diversity in LRT systems
  • Alternative LRT technologies
  • Broad screening criteria and technology selection methods, selection of representative systems
  • Network coverage and service coverage criteria
  • Corridor comparison techniques and evaluation criteria
  • Importance of other feeder transit and active transportation systems
  • Selection of connecting technologies and evaluation criteria
  • LRT supportive demand management and role of new mobility and technologies
  • Climate change, air pollution and the LRT system
  • A major new LRT boom and planning trends

Comparison of LRT with Other Modes

  • Comparison of various LRT systems
  • Comparison with other modes: Environmental impacts and mitigation, social impacts and mitigation, traffic operation perspective, cost comparison, safety comparison, noise comparison
  • Service standard comparison: transit service coverage, transit stop spacing, vehicle loading standard, service headway, design capacity
  • Social desirability and regional-wide economic benefits of new LRT systems 

General Planning

LRT System Planning, Station/-Right-of-Way Design and Related Activities

Considerations for LRT Operations

  • Environmental Assessment - Ontario's Transit Project Assessment Process Regulation 231/08
  • Policy and planning considerations, public consultation and community visioning
  • Updates on new mobility systems and multimodal station access planning
  • Elements of LRT planning, basic urban design and aesthetic issues
  • Evaluation of existing, background and future conditions and alternative solutions, study area
  • Overall transit demand forecasting and route selection, trip generation process
  • Transit networks: path choice models, trip distribution and assignment, network design
  • Basic capacity considerations
  • Evaluation of hard and soft infrastructure improvements, access control, integration of other modes
  • Related technical documents /manuals/ guidelines: Transit Capacity Manual

The Effects of Rapid Transit on Patronage and Activities

  • The effects on public transport patronage, LRT activities: shopping, employment
  • Transit-oriented development and land use
  • Social equity for underserved and low-income populations
  • LRT as a feeder system for the regional and interregional rail system
  • Importance of dedicated system to relieve congestion, increase active transportation uses
  • Supporting sustainable growth and fiscal responsibility
  • Benefits of LRT and sustainable suburban and neighbourhood development
  • LRT system impacts on local tourism and business development model

Right-Of-Way and Stations

  • Types of LRT Rights-of-Way, New Bomility system: EcoMobility, Mobility and station placemaking
  • Vehicle profile considerations and network location options
  • Light rail transit stations: layers of the station, basic elements, multimodal options, new technologies
  • Station dwells: dwell constituents, doorway flow times, analyzing flow times
  • Passenger loading levels: standards, space requirements, vehicle capacity, length, loading diversity
  • Station limitation: multimodal mobility park, ticketing line-ups, transfer and platform issues, other congestion, safety and security, desirable access, other stations constraints
  • Dwell time: fare collections, platform height, wheelchair effects, advanced traveller information systems
  • Intermodal and multimodal transfer facility

LRT Vehicle and Overall Operational Considerations

Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs)

  • Classification of LRT vehicles and current vehicle developments
  • Design principles and compression requirements, vehicle subsystems
  • Canadian LRV, Bombardier, and other LRVs
  • Vehicle standardization
  • Guidelines; Source: International VDV standards, TCPR Synthesis 25

Light Rail Operations

  • General operations
  • The framework of operational, frequency and ridership planning, scheduling, and route service design strategies
  • Operations monitoring and control: service reliability and monitoring, operations control strategies
  • LRT capacity determination: design versus achievable capacity, Line capacity, train/car capacity, level-of-service concept, selecting the weakest link, other capacity issues, single track, signalled sections, on-street operations, private ROW with grade crossing, train length and station limitations, wheelchair accessibility
  • Network performance indicators
  • Selected LRT environmental impacts, real-time applications, safety benefits, and other traffic issues
  • Traffic environment and public image

Cost Considerations

  • Fundamentals of LRT capital costs and ranges of unit costs
  • Impact of operating and rights-of-way variations on capital costs
  • Economic analysis and long-term benefits, capital costs, basic financial model,
  • Benefit-costs analysis, evaluation and congestion relief (Basics TransDEC and TREDIS Analysis)
  • Rate-of-return: Conventional vs. Stern’s climate change approach
  • Health, safety, energy, environmental and air pollution benefits

Project Experience: Industrial Project Practice

  • This project will provide students with hands-on experience in transit project planning and conceptual design principles. A student who takes this project experience is required to submit an on-the-spot- project summary. If the student completes the project successfully, he/she will be qualified to achieve the course certification paper.

Project Experience: Consulting with the Public and the Use of “Visioning” Workshops for Transit Projects

Project Course Contents: Student Will Perform Relevant Exercises with the Class Instructor's Assistance

  • Data needs and process understanding by students,
  • Project formulation,
  • Project analysis approach,
  • Methodology of project analysis and techniques,
  • Standard manual/ guideline and best practice evaluations
  • Verification of analysis results, exhibit preparations
  • Evolution of developed solution or designed sample
  • Project report writing and result presentation

Questions and Answers and Feedback to Participants on Achievement of Learning Outcomes


Dewan Karim, M.A.Sc., MITE, P.Eng., PTOE

Educated at the University of Tokyo, Japan, Dewan spent more than sixteen years of his career in mobility master planning, smart innovation in urban innovation, shared mobility and transit planning projects in both Japan and Canada. Recently, he developed a new innovative mobility ecosystem master planning concept combining new mobility systems, innovative technologies, equitable use of public space, sustainable safety, and evidence based scientific approach for rebuilding cities for people. The project concept and innovative applications was awarded by MIT Media Lab conference as “best planning system” and ITE Project of year in 2015. Subsequently, he published a chapter of “Disrupting Mobility”, published by Springer University of California, Berkeley and currently writing a book titled “Our Mobility DNA” with Taylor and Francis and teaching professional course to summarize innovative mobility concepts and outcome of urban master planning projects. He is a registered member as a Professional Engineer in Ontario, British Columbia, Nova scotia and certified as a Professional Traffic Operation Engineer.

The Engineering Institute of Canada

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Course Rating
4.3 out of 5

Overall rating of this course by its previous attendees!

Fee & Credits

$1995 + taxes

  • 2.1 Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
  • 21 Professional Development Hours (PDHs)
  • ECAA Annual Professional Development Points

Group Training
This course can be customized and delivered to your group of staff at your facility, saving time and money.
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