Optimization of TransLink Asset Renewal Programs Across Transit Asset Portfolios

Challenge: Develop Risk-Based Asset Renewal Programs

The South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority (“TransLink”) is Metro Vancouver’s regional transportation authority. Under its Capital-M program, TransLink is modernizing systems and processes supporting asset lifecycle management, risk assessment, and investment planning. TransLink required the development of optimal risk-based long-range capital programs for a range of asset classes including asphalt and concrete pavement, facilities, stations, escalators, elevators, hoists, revenue and non-revenue vehicles, among others. Translink required a unique solution that can support data-driven asset lifecycle modeling, instead of a simplistic age-based approach. The solution also needed to support detailed analysis of the relationship between funding levels and performance and risk measures of the asset portfolio, and the ability to optimize project selections to ensure that scare funding resources are invested on the right project at the right time.

“The Asset Renewal Programs are meant to be long‐term, forward‐looking capital programs to justify the asset reinvestment required to maintain a state of good repair for our assets. The process for developing these programs was based on readily available data and information to support the identification of the optimal lifecycle for the assets and the development of a capital investment program for on‐going capital planning. IDS brought insightful data analysis and recommendations with their asset lifecycle modelling techniques and reliability metrics, specifically with regards to the pavement asset class. The IDS team displayed an innate ability to communicate the technical aspects of the assets, based on their understanding of the asset needs and challenges while also being able to bring a big picture perspective on asset management implications. The IDS team clearly established and identified the deliverables for our project, including being very clear and transparent about maintaining the project on time and on budget. At TransLink we have greatly valued the advice and direction from IDS to be well‐informed and supportive of our Asset Renewal Programs.”

Llewellyn Fonseca, TransLink

Solution: Asset Optimizer

In collaboration between AECOM Canada Ltd and IDS, Asset OptimizerTM GIS-centered cloud-based software was used to support the development of deterioration models and optimized risk-based capital programs for several TransLink asset classes. Assets data were directly imported from ArcGIS and Excel, and organized in a multi-level hierarchy. Asset OptimizerTM was then used to perform in-depth data analysis and develop data-driven deterioration and risk models for each of the asset classes. Costs and benefits models for various asset intervention actions (e.g., repair, rehabilitation, and replacement) were also developed, along with constraints governing these interventions.

Multiple budget and performance target scenarios were defined and used to generate optimal annual project lists that maximize assets performance, minimize the risk, and minimize lifecycle costs. The scenario results helped to accurately determine funding needs to meet target system-level performance or risk levels, and also to assess the impact of various investment levels on the system performance and risk metrics. This analysis made it possible to quantify the relationship between funding levels and assets condition and risk metrics, and to develop optimized and defensible 20-year asset management plans.

Developing 20-Year Risk-Based Capital Plans for Port of Vancouver Infrastructure Assets


Client: Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Project: Development of Optimal 20-Year Risk-Based Asset Management Plans

IDS Asset Optimizer software was used to enable the Vancouver Port Authority to develop optimized risk-based 20-year capital plans for the Port’s critical infrastructure assets, including pavement, dock structures, and shoreline protection assets.

About the Port of Vancouver

Located in the southwest coast of British Columbia, the port consists of 16,000 hectares of water, more than 1,000 hectares of land, and about 350 kilometres of shorelines. The port manages 14 different asset classes.


The Port of Vancouver is Canada’s largest port, and the third largest in North America in terms of annual tonnes of cargo. The Port manages a significant and diverse portfolio of infrastructure assets including roads, overpasses, dock structures, shoreline protection, utilities, buildings, among others. Since 2009, the Port has been taking several initiatives to implement a strategic and systematic asset management program to ensure sustainability of the Port’s asset portfolio. To ensure efficient implementation of asset management best practices, in line with ISO 55000 standards, the Port needed to adopt an innovative decision support tool that can support the prioritization and optimal programming of capital projects across various infrastructure asset classes.


IDS Asset OptimizerTM GIS-centered cloud-based software was used to perform in-depth data analysis and develop deterioration and risk models for the Port’s pavement, docks, and shoreline protection assets. Optimal 20-year asset rehabilitation and replacement plans were developed under a number of scenarios to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of various funding levels on asset performance and risk, and also to evaluate budget requirements to achieve desired performance and risk targets. For each planning scenario, the software generated optimal annual project lists that defined which asset to rehabilitate or replace and which rehabilitation or replacement method to use, subject to defined constraints on condition, risk, and budget.

Detailed trade-off analysis of various scenarios helped to quantify relationships between funding levels and system-wide condition and risk metrics. Analysis of various scenarios also helped to explicitly define performance objectives and constraints and accurately assess funding needs and consequences of various funding levels. These results would ultimately support the development of objective and optimized long-range asset management programs, and enable the justification of planning decisions using quantitative measures and consistent procedures that are aligned with the Port’s policies and objectives.