Transportation Association of Canada

The Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) is a non-profit association of government and industry which acts as a neutral forum for discussion of transportation issues and concerns and is a centre for technical excellence in surface transportation infrastructures. TAC is a national, multi-modal, multi-jurisdictional organization whose mandate is to promote the provision of safe, efficient, effective and environmentally sustainable transportation services in support of Canada's economic and social goals.

It was founded in 1914 as the Canadian Good Roads Association (CGRA), and later incorporated by Act of Parliament. The association has had a strong influence on highway development and technology. One example is the TRANS-CANADA HIGHWAY, the culmination of many years of campaigning. In 1970 the name was changed to Roads and Transportation Association because of its increasing involvement in other transportation modes. The association's members include the federal, all provincial and many municipal governments, carriers and suppliers of transportation goods and services, planners, builders and the academic community. 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 3 years later published a manual of standard signs, signals and pavement markings. In 1963 it published a Manual of Geometric Design Standards for Canadian Roads and Streets.

The association's functions are to create a forum for policy review; encourage innovation; act as the transportation community's information network; and influence the resolution of transportation issues. Ongoing research and development projects focus on 5 principal goals: to enhance the Research and Development Council's program of information dissemination and technology transfer; to provide a forward view of transportation research and development issues and priorities to TAC and the Canadian transportation community; to facilitate the coordination of Canadian research programs; to support international participation and coordination in transport research and development and technology transfer; and to support the development of research project proposals that address identified national strategic priorities.

Projects in 1998 included production of a bridge fatigue screening, monitoring and retrofitting manual, a 36-month project with a budget of US $400 000; producing optimal acceptance procedures for statistical construction specifications, an 18-month project with a budget of US $200 000; and the completion and evaluation of results from high-performance concrete bridge projects, a 20-month project with a budget of US $300 000.

TAC offers several post-graduate scholarships each year. For the academic year 1999-2000, TAC gave 5 scholarships: the $4000 DELCAN Scholarship; the $5000 EBA Engineering Scholarship in the field of earth sciences engineering; the $3250 Federal, Provincial and Territorial Government Scholarship; the $4000 Lea Consultants Scholarship; and the $3500 Stantec Scholarship.