TORONTO – Mayor Rob Ford and city staff officially opened Toronto’s upgraded transportation operations centre Wednesday morning.
The facility, which is located on Don Mills Road south of Eglinton Avenue, monitors traffic flow with camera feeds, reports major road incidents, plans expressway closures and maintenance, as well as dispatching emergency calls from 311 related requests.
New additions include an updated video wall which can monitor more than 200 cameras at one time.
A staff report released last year points to a number of upgrades including new tracking software, additional intersection cameras and extended active traffic management hours.
“We are moving quickly on traffic signal coordination,” Ford said. “Operators in the room can monitor traffic in real time on roads.”
A report on proposals was released in October of last year and cites several measures needed to ease traffic congestion in the city.
The five-year plan includes among other things, implementing and upgrading monitoring networks, better road construction coordination, improved curbside management strategies and transit signal installations, all at a cost of close to $58 million.
The report states that estimates from 2006 for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area suggests congestion costs commuters $3.3 billion yearly as a result of delays and vehicle operating costs.
It also costs the local economy an additional $2.7 billion from lost economic output and adds over 81 hours of commuter delays for a typical driver annually.