Urban transportation

This web page is intended to help you find information for the urban transportation industry.   If you need help, please contact Nina SmartLiaison Librarian, at 778.782.5043 (Tuesdays and Thursdays) (Monday to Thursday ), or nsmart@sfu.ca. Additionally, help is available at Ask a librarian.

Note: Several industry resources use North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), so refer to:
NAICS 48 - 49 Transportation and Warehousing or the United Nations 
International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) "H", starting p. 194
For resources using Standard industrial Classification for Transportation industries see Division E   

Canadian transportation resources

To find Canadian industries start with a keyword search such as: transport Canada

IBISWorld Insutry Reports  
Path for sample search: click on Industry Research > Canada (NAICS) > Transportation and Warehousing In Canada (starting with 48)

DMTI Spatial  (part of the Abacus Dataverse)
GIS data products, such as national rail network and transit lines

See also: Finding data & statistics / GIS & maps for assistance with microdata files,  quantitative survey research data, geospatial data and maps

Statistics Canada 

Transportation Key indicators
Main Statistics Canada subject page covering air, railway, road and water data and analysis (sample keywords: passenger bus; urban transit)

Transportation releases in The Daily
example: Urban Public Transit (March 2022)

Passenger bus and urban transit statistics 
Table: 23-10-0251-01 (formerly CANSIM 408-0013)

Transportation Data and Information Hub 
"easy access to a comprehensive, timely and accessible source of multimodal transportation data"

Government sites

Canada Transportation Act

Transportation and Warehousing (NAICS 48-49) 
Canadian Industry Statistics

Transport Canada
including  Annual reports

Transportation 2040 Plan
City of Vancouver

ICBC Statistics  
regional statistics on crashes, auto crime and vehicle and driver populations

Organizations and associations

Air Transport Association of Canada  (ATAC)
"safe, reliable, efficient and affordable air transportation of people and goods"

BC Ferries
including   Annual reports, Business Plans and more

Canadian Transportation Research Forum
"promote the development of research in transportation and related fields" including their conference

Canadian Transportation Agency  (CTA)
"help ensure that the national transportation system runs efficiently and smoothly in the interests of all Canadians"

Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA)
federation of provincial trucking associations

Railway Association of Canada (RAC)
trade association

Transportation Association of Canada 
(TAC) "THE source for roadway-related technical documents, best practices, and national guidelines" including their conference

Transportation Resources 
section of Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Limit to Transportation or Public Transit

University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute (UTTRI)
research on "roads, transit, freight and active transport modes (walk and bike) across a range of perspectives"

Victoria Transport Policy Institute 
"independent research organization dedicated to developing innovative and practical solutions to transportation problems" (Victoria, B.C.)
Sample report: Well Measured: Developing Indicators for Comprehensive and Sustainable Transport Planning

Vision Zero Canada "campaigns for the elimination of traffic violence for all road users including drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists"

American transportation resources

Encyclopedia of American Industries [online]
Select Volume 2, select Transportation, then look under NAICS 485

Plunkett's Transportation, Supply Chain & Logistics Industry Almanac 2021  [online]
American industry trends and statistics e.g. Self-driving cars, Bicycle sharing programs

Use NAICS, or click on US Industry Reports > Transportation and Warehousing

American organizations

Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT)
"A Better Journey for Everyone"

Eno Center for Transportation 
Professional development programs, policy forums, and publications

Transportation Research Board
"innovative, research-based solutions to improve transportation"including their conference (Annual Meeting)

Transportation Research Forum
"exchange of information and ideas related to both passenger and freight transportation" including their conference (Annual Forum)

Transportation and logistics  
Industry Overview  from PriceWaterhouseCoopers (mostly American)

International transportation resources

Encyclopedia of Global Industries  [20172011 and 2007 editions] 
Sample industry: "Rail Transportation"

Handbook on transport and urban planning in the developed world [online]

Routledge handbook of transportation [online]
for transportation planners and engineers

IBISWorld Industry Reports
Sample reports:  "Rail Transportation in Canada" and "Rail Transportation in the US"

Mergent Industry Reports via Factiva 
Largely autormotive coverage of the area of transport 

Statista Search: Industries and categories (bottom of pages) / Transportation and Logistics, or keyword e.g. car-sharing New! Publication Finder under section "Expert Tools" is a way to find grey literature (e.g. reports and policy papers)

World Factbook CIA
U.S. government profiles of countries and territories around the world. Information on geography, people, government, transportation, economy, communications, etc. 

Organizations and conferences

IRJ International Railway Journal
"managers, engineers and manufacturers of the world's railroads, commuter rail, metro, light rail and tram systems"

Institute of Transportation Engineers "association of transportation professionals who work to improve mobility and safety for all transportation system users"
Technical Resources topics include Complete Streets (active transportation) and Transportation and Health

International Transport Forum (OECD) "think tank for transport policy...covers all transport modes"

Institute for Transportation and Development Policy "Accelerate the growth of sustainable transport and urban development around the world"

Land Transport 
WTO sector services

Passenger Transport OECD Data - other data includes passenger car registrations and road accidents

Railfuture (UK) "Campaigning for better rail services for passengers and freight"

Transport Research (RAND Europe) Sample project: Driving in the Future in Developing Countries

Transport Research & Innovation Portal (TRIP) "in-depth information on large programmes and specific projects across Europe and at national level"

UIC The Worldwide Railway Organisation "Promote rail transport at world level with the objective of optimally meeting current and future challenges of mobility and sustainable development"

Conference: Urban and Maritime Transport 2021 27th International Conference on Urban and Maritime Transport and the Environment.  
Other notable conferences:  Global Public Transport Summit (CUTA);  Canadian Transportation Research Forum; Transportation Research Board annual meeting; and Transportation Association of Canada.

Journal article databases

Start with:  TRID Transportation research
For subject terms see:  TRT - Transportation Research Thesaurus

Applied Science and Technology Index  
Sample terms: Urban transportation; Urban transit systems; Public transit

Human geography, urban planning

Geodok "Geographically related literature."
Note: As Geodok does not link to SFU journal holding use this database in conjunction with SFU Citation Finder

Sample terms : Urban Transportation Economics; Transportation Planning

Environment Complete
Sample terms: Sustainable transportation; Public transit

News and business articles

Business Source Complete
Industry articles and reports.
Start your reports search by clicking on Industry Profiles on the right side of the Business Source Complete screen (and keyword: transportation) or go straight to MarketLine Industry Profiles,  where you can limit by railroads AND Europe, or transportation AND Canada, for example

CBCA Complete
Full text index on Canadian topics, including newspaper articles, business and industry publications, with a Canadian focus

International fulltext resource covering news, company and industry information (e.g. Transportation and then by Region such as Europe). 
Can search by individual title (e.g. Railway Age)

See also:  News resources: Finding newspaper articles and newspapers


You can also browse individual journals, such as:


The geography of urban transportation [print]
covers "passenger and freight dynamics in the American metropolis; the urban transportation planning process, including the use of GIS; and questions related to public transit, land use, energy, equity, environmental impacts, and more"

Handbook of research methods and applications in transport economics and policy (online
"covering issues such as estimating cost functions, modelling of demand, dealing with externalities, examining industry ownership and structure, pricing and investment decisions and measuring economic impacts"

Urban access for the 21st century: finance and governance models for transport infrastructure (online)
"sets out a road map for the provision of urban access for all"

See also: Transportation titles in Urban Studies Background information

Historical titles

A history of transportation in Canada.
Volume I, Continental strategy to 1867 online
and Volume II, National economy, 1867-1936 online

Lines of country: an atlas of railway and waterway history in Canada [print]

The story of Canadian roads [online and print]

Sample  SFU Library Catalogue Subject headings:

Sustainable transportation resources


Sustainable transportation planning: tools for creating vibrant, healthy, and resilient communities online

An introduction to sustainable transportation : policy, planning and implementation online

Transport Revolutions Moving People and Freight without Oil online

Organizations and websites


Active transportation promotion and education (City of Vancouver)

Complete Streets for Canada 
The Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT)  designing safe streets

CUTA (Canadian Urban Transit Association) 
"Canada’s Voice for Public Transit and Integrated Mobility" Many reports limited to CUTA members only

CHATR (Cities, Health and Active Transportation Research)

Plans and Projects Translink

American and international

Public transit

American Public Transport Association (APTA)
Useful research and  technical technical resources and publications such as the Public Transportation Fact Book including Canadian summary from CUTA

Center for Transit Oriented Development CTOD (US)
"practices, policy reform, research, analysis, and investment tools to support TOD implementation"

Human Transit blog
"developments in public transit in the developed world, especially in North America"

Mobilizing Sustainable Transport for Development 
United Nations 2016

National Center for Transit Research (US - archived 2020)
"to make public transportation and all other travel choices, safe, effective, efficient, desirable, and secure"

Planning and design for sustainable urban mobility: Global report on human settlements
2013 UN Habitat

Public Transport Research Group (Australia)
"Research on public transport systems, users, planning and policy"

The Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index 2022
"Ranks 100 of the world’s cities based on 51 metrics, across 26 indicator themes, arrayed under the three pillars of sustainability: planet, people, and profit."

All-Time List of Canadian Transit Systems 
by David A. Wyatt.  Searches include by Mode or Locality

TransitCenter (US)  
"We put transit in the center of cities" includes publications and a blog

Transport Politic (US)
Includes Transport Databook for US, and other information

Walking and biking

Biking and Walking in the United States 
(US) 2018 benchmarking project with data on walking and cycling trends 

Bicycle and Pedestrian Program
Publications from the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation

"sharing awesome routes with cyclists around the world" (sign up for full access)

"crowdsource tool for global mapping of cycling safety"

HUB Cycling  "removing barriers to cycling in Metro Vancouver" includes maps and research

National Cycle Network
(UK) Key statistics and academic research, including results of Cycling City and Towns programme

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
(pedbikinfo, US)  includes state-by-state information

Pedestrians First: Tools for a Walkable City
Institution for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP)

REACT lab 
(UBC Research on Active Transportation)

Walk Score
blog to find the walkability of neighbourhoods and cities in US and Canada

Further resources

Metro Vancouver  including:
 Transportation & Land Use Co-ordination
 Resources For Transportation & Land Use Co-ordination
Regional Planning Data
In addition, its Harry Lash Library, serving municipal staff and the public, has useful online materials

Canadian Surface Transportation Research Database (Transportation Association of Canada)
See also the TAC Library Catalogue

Centre for Transportation Studies (UBC)
including research and projects

Note: Many of the resources on this page were gleaned from  Mark Bodnar's business guide Industry Surveys, and thanks as well to MUrb alumnus Alex Thumm for other suggestions.