SNC – Lavalin (Canada Line)

Performance Monitoring System

Canada Line Rapid Transit Project
Vancouver, BC Canada

Business Goal

The Canada Line is an 18-km fully automated and grade-separated rail transit system in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and is the first Public-Private Partnership (P3) of its kind in North America. The public sector client awarded a 35-year design-build-finance-operate-maintain (DBFOM) contract to InTransitBC, the concessionaire that includes SNC-Lavalin. Subcontracts were awarded by the concessionaire to design and build the system, and to operate it for 30 years.

The Canada Line began revenue service by August 17, 2009, three and a half months ahead of schedule.

The need for a dedicated system to calculate operating payments and to allow the operator to monitor system performance was identified early in the project. Operating payments are based on several inputs related to system availability and quality. These inputs are often interdependent and cover all aspects of operations. The Performance Monitoring System automatically processes more than 30,000 records per day through a complex set of algorithms to calculate system performance and payments.

After reviewing all RFP proposals, SNC-Lavalin has awarded a fixed-price contract to Alianz Development Inc. to design and implement the Performance Monitoring System for Canada Line Rapid Transit Project in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Core Architecture

The Performance Monitoring System for Canada Line Rapid Transit Project has been built based on the Transit Insight product suite — Alianz’s enterprise platform that addresses core operational needs, enables a performance-driven business model, and provides decision support for rapid transit operators. The Performance Monitoring System has been integrated with Thales’s SelTrac® Automatic Train Control (ATC) system and the J.D. Edwards EnterpriseOne® Asset Management System (AMS). These systems provide data to the Performance Monitoring System for measuring operational performance and payments, as shown in Figure 1.

The Performance Monitoring System controls the business logic for automated calculations of asset (station, vehicle) availability, arrival credits/deductions, service plans, inflation impacts, and other parameters that drive key performance indicators of the services operator.

The Performance Monitoring System also manages Performance Payment Regimes (PPR) — algorithms for calculating the concessionaire’s final payment invoices based on operational performance.
System Performance Payment Availability Performance Payment Quality Performance Payment Vehicle Availabillity Thales SelTrac® Station Availability JD Edwards EnterpriseOne® Vehicle Quality JD Edwards EnterpriseOne® Station Availability JD Edwards EnterpriseOne®

Figure 1 – Data Sources


Solution Feature Set

The Performance Monitoring System provides the following major features for measuring, managing, and forecasting performance, as well as for revealing operational problems and bottlenecks:

– An aggregated, auditable view on service performance from availability and quality dimensions
– The ability to drill down from the aggregate view into the detailed results for each operational event. This allows end users to explore all details of why, when, and where problems occurred that decreased operational performance
– Service plans and adjusted service-plans management and assignments for accommodating special and emergency events into performance calculation
– Simple management of algorithms (formulas) for calculating a final invoice based on key performance indicators by the end user
– Comprehensive “what-if” analyses for understanding potential impacts on the final invoice caused by changes to system settings (inflation, special events, etc.), performance data (vehicle adjustment records, station summary records, etc.) or/and payment calculation formulas
– Secured, auditable Performance Monitoring System activities and data management, i.e., all system, configuration, PPR management, AMS, and ATC data acquisition are secured, require authorized access, are traceable and, if necessary, require approval workflow that Performance Monitoring System implements
– Key settings, which are configurable by end-users, including system settings, inflation, AMS measurement settings, business rules, user permissions, and other settings
– A complete reporting solution with a comprehensive set of pre-defined reports (Arrival Credit, Quality Arrival Credit, Dwell Failure, Full Segment Failure, Frequency Failure, Travel Time Failure, First Trip Failure, Last Trip Failure, and Interval Failure) and the ability to create and define custom reports by Performance Monitoring System end-users

Technical Platform

The Performance Monitoring System is a web-based solution. It is built on the latest Microsoft Enterprise Servers stack — MS Office SharePoint Server, MS SQL Server Database, and Integration and Reporting Services. It is a scalable solution. It is designed in a service-oriented way to be able to package business services and to simplify management of custom business rules for future deployments.

Implementation Status

The Performance Monitoring System has been delivered on time and on budget with a full-feature set implemented and no open defects. It was used as a primary managerial tool for detecting system deficiencies and validating correspondent fixes during the project life cycle. Because of this, the Performance Monitoring System has played a key role in the successful, on-budget delivery of the Canada Line project three and a half months ahead of schedule.

Return on Investment (ROI)

The Performance Monitoring System is 360-degree business decision support instrument. An aggregated view on enterprise core operations and service quality, together with the Performance Monitoring System’s “what-if” functionality, allowed the management of Canada Line operators to decrease the total number of trains from 16 to 14 without jeopardizing service availability. The annual cost of operating and maintaining two trains has been estimated as twice as large as the total cost of the system implementation. This is only one small example of how the Performance Monitoring System, as a core managerial component, improved the bottom line of the transit operator. The estimated annual ROI of the Performance Monitoring System exceeds 100%.

Business Risk Management Tool for Public-Private Partnership (P3) Transit Projects

Transit and infrastructure projects require significant, long-term funding. Often, there is a serious budget deficit in government funding of such projects. For example, William W. Millar, President of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), estimates a USD $64B (35%) deficit in the funding of USA transit and infrastructure projects in 20091.

A Public-Private Partnership (P3) enterprise for implementing transportation projects is the only instrument that can resolve the issue of a lack of government funding. P3s have been established for the development and operation of a range of high-profile transit projects in Europe, the Middle East and Asia2.

If a private party in the P3 business model is responsible for operating transit, then a project revenue model could be based on transit fare or service availability. Note that the second option — the operator being paid based on service availability — eliminates a range of business risks, such as competition from alternative transit providers, demographic changes, or economic downturns. In other words, in this model, service payment doesn’t depend on forces that the operator can’t control.

The Performance Monitoring System becomes a core component for a P3 project when the private party is responsible for the operation and/or maintenance of public transit. Notice that such a model is especially popular for Light Rail Transit (LRT) projects.

The Canada Line Rapid Transit Vancouver project is the first major LRT Public-Private Partnership (P3) enterprise in North America, where operating payment is driven by service availability.
Alianz Development Inc. has developed the Performance Monitoring System for the Canada Line Rapid Transit in an adaptable way, to help enable a performance-driven P3 operating model for other LRT projects that can deliver in a quick, robust, and cost-efficient manner.


1. Statement by William W. Millar, President of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), on the Release of the National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission Report: “Paying Our Way: A New Framework for Transportation Finance”, February 2009
2. Partnership in Transit, FTA/NCPPP, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Philadelphia, 2008



Date : January 2008

Client : SNC – Lavalin

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