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Ontario Tech University on board for largest-ever study on student transportation

StudentMoveTO is a three-year research program to support more than 600,000 GTHA student commuters

Public transit bus loop at Ontario Tech University's north Oshawa location.
Public transit bus loop at Ontario Tech University's north Oshawa location.

University and college students in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) account for more than 600,000 daily commuters on an already crowded transportation system. At this scale, time spent on both transit and the road limits students’ ability to engage in activities inside and outside of the classroom.

To account for and understand students’ transportation needs, Ontario Tech University and nine other GTHA post-secondary institutions are embarking on Canada’s largest and first-of-its-kind study on student transportation.

Announced on September 24, StudentMoveTO is a three-year research and partnership program that will generate insights, debates and actions to improve transportation experiences and quality of life for post-secondary students in the GTHA.

Students at participating post-secondary institutions will receive an email in October that includes a link to the online study where they can identify their transportation experiences and needs. 


“We are all in this together in the GTHA when it comes to fully understanding the student travel experience. StudentMoveTO will have meaningful impact because it will provide the proof needed to improve existing policies on regional transportation. We need to uncover pragmatic solutions to nudge commuters toward better and more convenient options. Everything needs to be on the table: ideas such as parking availability, linked transit cards or ride-sharing opportunities that provide the flexibility, safety and cost savings needed to make them sustainable. Who knows, maybe even getting students and faculty in the same car or bus?”
-Dan Hoornweg, PhD, Associate Professor and Richard Marceau Chair, Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science, Ontario Tech University

Key facts

  • One in every 11 GTHA residents is a post-secondary student.
  • A quarter of all GO bus commuters are students.
  • One third of all post-secondary students spend two hours or more travelling to and from their campuses every day. This affects their participation in academic and social activities.
  • Ontario Tech University has the highest commuter rates of post-secondary institutions in the GTHA.

Source: StudentMoveTO and Ontario Tech University

StudentMoveTO academic partners include:

  • Ontario Tech University
  • Centennial College
  • Durham College
  • OCAD University
  • McMaster University
  • Mohawk College
  • Ryerson University
  • Sheridan College
  • University of Toronto
  • York University

Professional and community partners:

  • Metrolinx
  • City of Toronto
  • Toronto Centre for Active Transportation
  • Maximum City

About StudentMoveTO

StudentMoveTO is a collaborative partnership that will generate insights, debates, and actions to improve transportation experiences of post-secondary students in the GTHA. A Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grant supports the project, along with ten partner colleges and universities, and four partner government and community organizations. The goal is to better understand the answer to the question of #howdoyoumove?


Media contact
Bryan Oliver
Communications and Marketing
Ontario Tech University
905.721.8668 ext. 6709