The Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) is a non-profit association that provides a neutral forum for discussing technical issues related to road and highway infrastructure and urban transportation. It brings together governments, private companies, academic institutions and other organizations in Canada. The non-partisan association’s mission is “to work together to share ideas, build knowledge, promote best practices, foster leadership, and encourage bold transportation solutions.”
Ucal-Henri Dandurand, founder of the Transportation Association of Canada. (Courtesy Transportation Association of Canada)
The Transportation Association of Canada was founded in 1914 as the Dominion Good Roads Association and became the Canadian Good Roads Association (CGRA) in 1917. It was later incorporated by Act of Parliament. The CGRA organized Canada’s first national conference (1955) on road safety, from which came the Canada Safety Council. In 1956, it established the Council on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and three years later published a manual of standard signs, signals and pavement markings. In 1963, it published the Manual of Geometric Design Standards for Canadian Roads and Streets. These references have appeared in several subsequent editions and are now in print under the titles, respectively, Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Canada and Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads.
The association has had a strong influence on highway development and technology. For example, it campaigned for many years for the construction of the Trans-Canada Highway (which was built between 1950 and 1962).
In 1970, the CGRA changed its name to Roads and Transportation Association because of its increasing involvement in other transportation modes. It adopted its current name in 1990.
Role and Activities
(Courtesy Transportation Association of Canada)
Members of TAC include governments at all levels, private companies, academic institutions and other organizations.
The association’s functions are to create a forum for discussing technical solutions (rather than policy-related ones), encourage innovation, act as the transportation community’s information network and help resolve transportation issues. Ongoing research and development (R & D) projects focus on five principal goals:
- to enhance the dissemination of knowledge and information through several volunteer councils and committees;
- to provide TAC and the Canadian transportation community with insights on emerging transportation issues and priorities;
- to help coordinate Canadian research programs;
- to support international participation and coordination in transport R & D and technology transfer; and
- to help develop research project proposals that address identified national strategic priorities.
Recent projects include the development of best-practices guidelines for pothole repairs in Canada, for evaluating soil and material stabilization products, and for ensuring compliance with the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 in infrastructure management. Other research projects focus on areas such as bicycle infrastructure in Canada and the health implications of transportation.
The Transportation Association of Canada established the TAC Foundation in 2003 to foster education and professional development in the transportation field. The foundation supports post-secondary education in transportation-related disciplines, funds activities that familiarize students with careers in the field, and connects professionals and students with innovative technologies and disciplines.