Recommended Practice

Capital Asset Inventory and Condition Assessment


This document outlines the initial steps needed to create and/or improve asset management within a transit agency, regardless of transit agency size. It outlines how to manage capital assets from procurement to disposal (i.e., over the life cycle).

Document History
Document Number Version Publication Date Publication Related Information
APTA SGR-TAM-RP-003-13 Original 09/6/2013 Published Current


asset inventory, condition assessment, transit asset management, state of good repair, performance management, MAP-21


A managed capital asset life cycle can provide critical data for analyzing costs of operating a transit service that, in turn, highlights the benefits and considerable cost savings to be had in standardizing assets. The asset management program forms the basis for long-term financial planning (a projection of future expenditures) that reconciles both the objectives of operations and maintenance and capital budgeting, thus collectively contributing to the extension of the useful (economic) life of assets. Investment in capital assets must be systematic and data-driven. Collecting regular condition and performance data to better focus scarce resources on coaxing greater reliability from aging assets is central to being good stewards of public funds. Asset management contributes to shaping not only organizational strategies; it becomes a critical input in shaping regional and urban planning, understanding what sustainability goals can be met, and planning for the future health of the transit system. This document is organized into the following sections:
  • Defining and organizing capital assets
  • Developing an asset inventory
  • Assessing the condition of assets

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