Why improve transit asset management?

Transit asset management (TAM) is a business model that prioritizes funding based on condition and performance to achieve and maintain a state of good repair (SGR) for the nation’s public transportation assets. It is a strategic and systematic process through which an organization procures, operates, maintains, rehabilitates, and replaces transit assets to manage their performance, risks, and costs over their lifecycle to provide safe, cost-effective, and reliable service to current and future customers. Asset management addresses the following two concepts:

  1. Lifecycle Management – The core of asset management is understanding and minimizing the total cost of ownership of an asset while still maximizing its performance. Transit asset management integrates activities across departments and offices in a transit agency to optimize resource allocation by providing quality information and well-defined business objectives to support decision making within and between classes of assets.
  2. Customer Level of Service – Asset management can affect level of service by improving on-time performances and by reducing missed trips, slow orders, and service and station shut downs. Asset management provides accountability and can be used to communicate system performance and condition to customers.

The SGR backlog continues to grow, which impacts safety and affects the ability of transit systems to serve their customers. In July 2016, FTA published a Final Rule for Transit Asset Management. The rule requires FTA grantees to develop asset management plans for their public transportation assets, including vehicles, facilities, equipment, and other infrastructure, and submit performance targets to the National Transit Database. By following the TAM framework, agencies can monitor and manage public transportation assets, improve safety, increase reliability and performance, and establish performance measures in order to keep their systems operating smoothly and efficiently. More information on the FTA TAM Final Rule can be found on the TAM Rulemaking resource page.

APTA promotes asset management and a safe, efficient, and reliable transportation system through the following activities:

  • Advocacy

    APTA’s advocacy efforts are focused on erasing the infrastructure deficit, rebuilding, and expanding our public transportation systems to best meet the needs of today’s commuting public and future demands, and enhancing our nation’s economic competitiveness. In fact, one of the top three priorities from the APTA Recommendations on Surface Transportation Law is to enact a long-term surface transportation authorization act funded by dedicated, sustainable revenues that address the pending shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund and provide $145 billion over six years to bring public transit systems to a state of good repair and meet growing community demands for increased mobility choices.
  • Committees

    The APTA Transit Performance Management Subcommittee is concerned with all of the elements of performance management including the benefits that come from identification of strategic goals, development of performance measures, establishment of targets, prioritization of resources, evaluation of results and communication with stakeholders. Asset management is one of the best examples of the application of broad performance management principles and subsequently, how agencies are working towards achieving a “state of good repair” will be a key focus of the subcommittee. The subcommittee’s mission is to advance the application of performance-based management to guide and prioritize transportation investments, improve the effectiveness of asset and operations management decisions, and clarify communications about the agency results. Subcommittee membership is open to all APTA members.

Resources

Federal Transit Administration

The FTA has an incredible wealth of resources of their TAM webpage including background information, requirements and deadlines, technical assistance, and examples of best practices. APTA encourages transit professionals to visit the FTA TAM webpage for materials such as official FTA guidance, resources from webinars and roundtables, and external stakeholder information to assist agencies in asset inventory creation, resource management, and target setting.


APTA Recommended Practices


Transit Asset Management Plans (TAMPs) Examples

Agency State Tier Mode
ALAMEDA-CONTRA COSTA TRANSIT DISTRICT (AC Transit) CA 1 Bus
Luzerne County Transportation Authority (LCTA) PA 2 Bus
Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) OH 2 Bus
Kansas DOT Group Plan KS Group Bus
Florida DOT Group Plan FL Group Bus
Asheville Redifines Transit (ART) NC 2 Bus
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) TX 1 Multimodal
RTD-Denver CO 1 Multimodal
City of Montebello Bus Lines CA 2 Bus
Connecticut Department of Transportation CT 1 Multimodal
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