Understanding and Assessing Impacts
TransLink’s executives initially discussed addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation following the development of a sustainability policy in 2008. However, climate-related key performance indicators at TransLink were not tied to outcomes, and so climate change didn’t garner complete organizational support. To advance the issue, TransLink’s executive management introduced a set of changes to enhance TransLink’s ability to address sustainability by incorporating it into every aspect of the business. Executive management worked to engage everyone in the organization in addressing sustainability and climate change. As a transportation provider, TransLink sees climate change directly impacting service delivery and infrastructure maintenance and development.
Climate change is expected to bring sea level rise and intense rain; both can affect TransLink’s infrastructure. Managing climate change risks is key to its service delivery, especially because of climate change’s impacts on infrastructure such as stations and rail lines. Using data from the City of Vancouver’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, TransLink determined that their biggest risk is flooding. Sea level rise could potentially impact TransLink’s assets in a number of ways: flooding of assets that are now within “expanded” floodplains; reduced clearage under bridges; and impaired operation of the SeaBus (ferry) terminal. Increased precipitation could also cause temporary flooding of TransLink’s assets that cannot manage the increased rainfall, such as bus loops, tunnels, and transit stations. In addition, warmer temperatures, including increasing heat waves, may affect customers’ health and comfort. TransLink’s fleet is not universally air-conditioned.
For additional climate information, look at the Resources section of this example (below).