Vancouver, British Columbia serves as one of North America's major sea and air gateways for Asia trade, as well as for rail and highway freight shipments across the US/Canada border. As a result, the economy of Greater Vancouver and indeed all of Western Canada is highly dependent on the continued performance of the regional transportation system. Recognizing this relationship, the Greater Vancouver Gateway Council (GVGC) was established as a business organization working in cooperation with government agencies to help ensure the continued performance of Greater Vancouver's multi-modal gateway facilities and the Major Commercial Transportation System (MCTS) infrastructure that supports it.
The study focused on analyzing the regional economic development consequences of investment (vs. failure to invest) in road and rail system improvements needed to address rising traffic congestion and the insufficiency of existing infrastructure to sustain future growth of gateway transportation systems.
The analysis process centered on four elements: (a) a detailed EMME/2 traffic simulation model, (b) railroad facility supply/demand forecasting, (c) a four province set of input-output economic models, and (d) analysis and foreasting of infrastructure scenarios on production, imports, exports, and their cost sensitivity. These comprised the inputs and elements of a prototype transportation economic development impact system known as TREDIS. In 2008, the Vancouver Gateway Council commissioned an update study using the newest version of TREDIS together with updated transportation model forecasts by Translink, the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority.