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Planning for Extreme Weather and Climate Change: Advancing Resiliency and Adaptation Across Metrolinx


In the 2015-2020 Five Year Strategy, Metrolinx stated its commitment to establish a Corporate Climate Adaptation Plan covering facilities, practices and protocols by 2018. The urgency for its development was partly driven by a record precipitation and flood event that occurred on July 8th, 2013, when an intense storm caused extensive flooding to key transportation assets and services in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. This event, and other stresses caused by a changing climate, has raised questions about the vulnerability of the regional transit system, and the need for the development and implementation of a resiliency and adaptation plan. While Metrolinx currently manages about $11 Billion in assets, the need to consider vulnerability and risk to future climate is further heightened in consideration of an additional $16 Billion – $50 Billion in transit investment that is expected over the next 10-20 years through the implementation of the Regional Transportation Plan, the expansion of the Regional Express Rail, and the construction of new Rapid Transit lines for light rail and buses. Understanding and effectively planning for increased vulnerability and risk to extreme weather and climate change is thus essential in terms of Metrolinx being able to manage existing and future infrastructure assets in a manner that ensures that the regional transit system is both sustainable and resilient.
This paper outlines progress to date at Metrolinx to develop a resiliency and adaptation program that will lead to the establishment of a Corporate Climate Adaptation Plan. The key steps that were undertaken in year 1 are covered, that includes the creation of an internal resiliency working group, a benchmarking report comparing Metrolinx to best practices, and the application of the Public Infrastructure Engineering Vulnerability Committee (PIEVC) Protocol to a selection of key critical assets, including rail corridors, stations, and maintenance facilities. In year 2 potential lessons learned from the PIEVC study are being used to inform the pathway forward that includes identifying high risk assets and developing climate adaptation management plans, and identifying opportunities where mainstreaming resiliency to extreme weather and climate change can be effectively applied across the organization in its practices and protocols.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Impacts of Climate Change on Transportation Planning Session
Chiotti, Q.
Transportation planning