Finally, We See the Hope of Improving Public Transport Systems
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In the past few years, the residents in the Washington DC area have seen the declining public transportation services, particularly our metro rail systems. We all know it’s because of lack of repair and maintenance on the buses and trains. Well, I am glad that the Federal Transit Administration has finally made a decision to improve our public transportation system by addressing the root cause in service failures: lack of life cycle management of transportation assets.
In a 2010 study released by the Federal Transit Administration, the current condition of the Nation’s Transit Infrastructure is described as:
“Up to one-third of heavy rail and motor bus assets have either exceeded or are close to the end of their useful lives… The highest reinvestment needs are projected to be in the following areas (listed in decreasing order): heavy rail and motor bus vehicles; heavy rail stations, systems and guideway components; and bus maintenance facilities…Based on projections developed using TERM, $10.7 billion is needed to bring all transit modes nationally to a SGR (State of Good Repair).”
FTA’s goal is to maintain transit infrastructure and equipment in a state of good repair (SGR). In order to do that, it needs to track all transit asset inventory, monitor asset conditions, perform preventive maintenance, record maintenance and repair work, analyze the performance of these assets to optimize budget planning.
FTA issued a Final Rule on July 26. 2016: 49 CFR Parts 625 and 630. This rule is to establish minimum Federal requirements for transit asset management that will apply to all recipients and subrecipients of chapter 53 funds that own, operate, or manage public transportation capital assets. This final rule requires public transportation providers to develop and implement out transit asset management (TAM) plans. TAM plans must include an asset inventory, condition assessments of inventoried assets, and a prioritized list of investments to improve the state of good repair of their capital assets.
This is a great decision for our nation’s public transit system, a decision that we will benefit from in the decades to come.