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12 was noted is interesting because this review shows no clear responses were evenly divided between "percent of fleet industry-wide correlation between age of equipment and available for revenue service" and "number of annual revenue maintenance productivity. However, the provisions of labor service breakdowns." The latter response was also the pri- agreements, expanded benefits and time-off rules in labor con- mary indicator against which agencies could compare them- tracts, high manpower turnover rates, and new laws like the selves. As noted earlier, there is no standard definition of what federal FMLA were all noted by at least one agency or constitutes a chargeable revenue service breakdown. In two another as a significant productivity issue. systems, the director of system maintenance (or equivalent position) and the manager of vehicle maintenance defined the term differently. Training A number of maintenance managers reported that collective Issues with Vehicle Design bargaining agreements may sometimes affect their ability to advance good workers and/or provide cross-training. These There is little standardization among the various LRVs pro- agreements also can make it more difficult to manage vaca- cured by transit systems. As such, there are often initial tion, sick, and unscheduled time off. To encourage better atten- vehicle design issues and/or long-term problems in obtain- dance maintenance managers often give financial bonuses for ing spare parts. However, one-half the survey responders good attendance over a given period of time. Other incen- believed that their new vehicle's design issues were ade- tives mentioned included "earned" days off for good atten- quately corrected under warrantee provisions. Correspond- dance, counting unused sick days toward pension, and ad hoc ingly, one-half believed that the corrections could have gone awards for performance including attendance. Agencies also further. At least one system set up its own internal vehicle provide monetary incentives for meeting or exceeding stan- engineering group to correct their vehicle's design issues. dards such as fleet availability and on-time performance. On-the-job training is the primary means of training new Spare Parts workers, and 3 of the 11 agencies use such training exclu- sively. Other maintenance organizations train employees only All responding agencies reported serious delays in receiving for the jobs they perform and fewer still cross-train employees spare parts, especially from foreign suppliers. All but one (if allowed) and/or train for advancement. Tight budgets were noted that lower maintenance costs could be achieved if more noted by a number of agencies as a constraint to training. LRV parts were common. This is a big problem for LRV maintenance. To help manage the problem, just over one-half of survey respondents stated that they worked with other prop- Overtime erties to procure common parts, exchange common parts, and/or exchange information about common parts. (Some Every agency polled found it more cost-effective to allow maintenance managers indicated that there is evidence that overtime than to hire new staff. The reason appears to be the some standardization is occurring among certain manufac- high cost of added benefits, etc. However, there are draw- turers in recognition of this problem.) backs to overtime, especially if there is a significant amount of it. Some managers noted that overtime is less productive than regular time because younger workers tend to work more Work Standards overtime than older, more experienced workers. Less experi- enced workers also learn more working with older workers, Forty percent of respondents had developed work standards but there is less opportunity for that during overtime work. for tasks associated with preventive maintenance. Of those that had, 75% indicated that their standards were being ade- It is worth noting that there are almost no part-time main- quately monitored. There is a reluctance within the industry tenance employees in the industry. Of the 1,867.5 vehicle to set standards for repair work; no property had developed maintenance full-time equivalents (FTEs) reported in the such work standards. Although some repairs (e.g., body work) 2003 NTD, 3 were part-time. Of the 1,520.5 nonvehicle main- depend on the extent of damage, many repairs would seem to tenance employees reported, 1 was part-time. Combined, of lend themselves to an expected length of repair (e.g., window the 3,388 LRT maintenance employees, 4 were part-time: replacement). As to whether more effort was being expended one-tenth of one percent. The use of part-time employees is on preventive LRV maintenance or repair of broken subsys- clearly not seen as a way to increase productivity. tems or parts, most systems indicated that they have a good balance between the two. VEHICLE-RELATED ISSUES LRV Maintenance Outsourcing Issues related to rail vehicle maintenance was a third sec- tion of the questionnaire. When asked what was considered Most LRV repair is being done in-house. Outsourcing is the single main indicator of good vehicle maintenance the reserved primarily for specialty repairs. The repair function