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TRANSIT TCRP SYNTHESIS 61 COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM Sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration Maintenance Staffing Levels for Light Rail Transit A Synthesis of Transit Practice

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TCRP OVERSIGHT AND PROJECT TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 2005 (Membership as of August 2005) SELECTION COMMITTEE (as of August 2005) OFFICERS CHAIR Chair: John R. Njord, Executive Director, Utah DOT DAVID A. LEE Vice Chair: Michael D. Meyer, Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Connecticut Transit Georgia Institute of Technology Executive Director: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board MEMBERS ANN AUGUST MEMBERS Santee Wateree RTA LINDA J. BOHLINGER MICHAEL W. BEHRENS, Executive Director, Texas DOT HNTB Corp. ALLEN D. BIEHLER, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT ROBERT I. BROWNSTEIN LARRY L. BROWN, SR., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, Inc. DEBORAH H. BUTLER, Vice Pres., Customer Service, Norfolk Southern Corporation and Subsidiaries, PETER CANNITO Atlanta, GA Metropolitan Transit Authority--Metro North ANNE P. CANBY, President, Surface Transportation Policy Project, Washington, DC Railroad JOHN L. CRAIG, Director, Nebraska Department of Roads GREGORY COOK DOUGLAS G. DUNCAN, President and CEO, FedEx Freight, Memphis, TN Ann Arbor Transportation Authority NICHOLAS J. GARBER, Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville JENNIFER L. DORN ANGELA GITTENS, Consultant, Miami, FL FTA GENEVIEVE GIULIANO, Director, Metrans Transportation Center, and Professor, School of Policy, NATHANIEL P. FORD Metropolitan Atlanta RTA Planning, and Development, USC, Los Angeles RONALD L. FREELAND BERNARD S. GROSECLOSE, JR., President and CEO, South Carolina State Ports Authority Parsons Transportation Group SUSAN HANSON, Landry University Professor of Geography, Graduate School of Geography, Clark University FRED M. GILLIAM JAMES R. HERTWIG, President, CSX Intermodal, Jacksonville, FL Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority GLORIA J. JEFF, Director, Michigan DOT KIM R. GREEN ADIB K. KANAFANI, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley GFI GENFARE HERBERT S. LEVINSON, Principal, Herbert S. Levinson Transportation Consultant, New Haven, CT JILL A. HOUGH SUE MCNEIL, Director and Professor, Urban Transportation Center, University of Illinois, Chicago North Dakota State University MICHAEL MORRIS, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments JOHN INGLISH CAROL A. MURRAY, Commissioner, New Hampshire DOT Utah Transit Authority MICHAEL S. TOWNES, President and CEO, Hampton Roads Transit, Hampton, VA JEANNE W. KRIEG C. MICHAEL WALTON, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas, Austin Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority LINDA S. WATSON, Executive Director, LYNX--Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority CELIA G. KUPERSMITH Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District EX OFFICIO MEMBERS PAUL J. LARROUSSE MARION C. BLAKEY, Federal Aviation Administrator, U.S.DOT National Transit Institute JOSEPH H. BOARDMAN, Federal Railroad Administrator, U.S.DOT CLARENCE W. MARSELLA REBECCA M. BREWSTER, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA Denver Regional Transportation District GEORGE BUGLIARELLO, Chancellor, Polytechnic University, and Foreign Secretary, National Academy FAYE L. M. MOORE of Engineering Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation THOMAS H. COLLINS (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard Authority MICHAEL H. MULHERN JENNIFER L. DORN, Federal Transit Administrator, U.S.DOT Jacobs Civil Inc. JAMES J. EBERHARDT, Chief Scientist, Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies, STEPHANIE L. PINSON U.S. Department of Energy Gilbert Tweed Associates, Inc. EDWARD R. HAMBERGER, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads ROBERT H. PRINCE, JR. JOHN C. HORSLEY, Exec. Dir., American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials DMJM+Harris EDWARD JOHNSON, Director, Applied Science Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration JEFFREY M. ROSENBERG ASHOK G. KAVEESHWAR, Administrator, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S.DOT Amalgamated Transit Union RICK KOWALEWSKI, Deputy Director, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S.DOT MICHAEL SCANLON BRIGHAM McCOWN, Deputy Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S.DOT San Mateo County Transit District WILLIAM W. MILLAR, President, American Public Transportation Association BEVERLY A. SCOTT MARY E. PETERS, Federal Highway Administrator, U.S.DOT Sacramento Regional Transit District SUZANNE RUDZINSKI, Director, Transportation and Regional Programs, U.S. EPA PAUL P. SKOUTELAS JEFFREY W. RUNGE, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT Port Authority of Allegheny County ANNETTE M. SANDBERG, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT EX OFFICIO MEMBERS WILLIAM G. SCHUBERT, Maritime Administrator, U.S.DOT WILLIAM W. MILLAR JEFFREY N. SHANE, Under Secretary for Policy, U.S.DOT APTA CARL A. STROCK (Maj. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps ROBERT E. SKINNER, JR. of Engineers TRB JOHN C. HORSLEY TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM AASHTO J. RICHARD CAPKA Transportation Research Board Executive Committee Subcommittee for TCRP FHWA JOHN R. NJORD, Utah DOT (Chair) JENNIFER L. DORN, Federal Transit Administration, U.S.DOT TDC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MICHAEL D. MEYER, Georgia Institute of Technology LOUIS SANDERS APTA WILLIAM W. MILLAR, American Public Transportation Association ROBERT E. SKINNER, JR., Transportation Research Board SECRETARY MICHAEL S. TOWNES, Hampton Roads Transit, Hampton, VA ROBERT J. REILLY C. MICHAEL WALTON, University of Texas, Austin TRB LINDA S. WATSON, LYNX--Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority

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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP SYNTHESIS 61 Maintenance Staffing Levels for Light Rail Transit A Synthesis of Transit Practice CONSULTANT RICHARD STANGER Manuel Padron & Associates Los Angeles, California TOPIC PANEL LEE BRODIE, Dallas Area Rapid Transit HENRY DAVIS, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority MARK GROVE, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District FRANK N. LISLE, Transportation Research Board LITTLETON C. MacDORMAN, Arlington, Virginia CLAIRE E. McKNIGHT, City College of New York PAUL O'BRIEN, Utah Transit Authority PETER D. TERESCHUCK, San Diego Trolley, Inc. CARLOS GARAY, Federal Transit Administration (Liaison) S UBJECT A REAS Public Transit Research Sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration in Cooperation with the Transit Development Corporation TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2005 www.TRB.org

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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP SYNTHESIS 61 The nation's growth and the need to meet mobility, environ- Project J-7, Topic SE-03 mental, and energy objectives place demands on public transit ISSN 1073-4880 systems. Current systems, some of which are old and in need of ISBN 0-309-09757-6 upgrading, must expand service area, increase service frequency, Library of Congress Control Number 2005929992 and improve efficiency to serve these demands. Research is nec- essary to solve operating problems, to adapt appropriate new Transportation Research Board technologies from other industries, and to introduce innovations into the transit industry. The Transit Cooperative Research Pro- Price $16.00 gram (TCRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the transit industry can develop innovative near-term solutions to NOTICE meet demands placed on it. The need for TCRP was originally identified in TRB Special The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the Transit Report 213--Research for Public Transit: New Directions, pub- Cooperative Research Program conducted by the Transportation Re- lished in 1987 and based on a study sponsored by the Federal search Board with the approval of the Governing Board of the Na- Transit Administration (FTA). A report by the American Public tional Research Council. Such approval reflects the Governing Transportation Association (APTA), Transportation 2000, also Board's judgment that the project concerned is appropriate with re- recognized the need for local, problem-solving research. TCRP, spect to both the purposes and resources of the National Research modeled after the longstanding and successful National Coopera- Council. tive Highway Research Program, undertakes research and other The members of the technical advisory panel selected to monitor technical activities in response to the needs of transit service provid- this project and to review this report were chosen for recognized ers. The scope of TCRP includes a variety of transit research scholarly competence and with due consideration for the balance of fields including planning, service configuration, equipment, fa- disciplines appropriate to the project. The opinions and conclusions cilities, operations, human resources, maintenance, policy, and ad- expressed or implied are those of the research agency that performed ministrative practices. the research, and while they have been accepted as appropriate by TCRP was established under FTA sponsorship in July 1992. the technical panel, they are not necessarily those of the Transporta- Proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, TCRP was tion Research Board, the Transit Development Corporation, the Na- authorized as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Effi- tional Research Council, or the Federal Transit Administration of the ciency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). On May 13, 1992, a memorandum U.S. Department of Transportation. agreement outlining TCRP operating procedures was executed by Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the tech- the three cooperating organizations: FTA, the National Academy of nical panel according to procedures established and monitored by Sciences, acting through the Transportation Research Board the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee and the (TRB); and the Transit Development Corporation, Inc. (TDC), a Governing Board of the National Research Council. nonprofit educational and research organization established by APTA. TDC is responsible for forming the independent govern- ing board, designated as the TCRP Oversight and Project Selec- tion (TOPS) Committee. Special Notice Research problem statements for TCRP are solicited periodi- cally but may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. It is The Transportation Research Board of The National Academies, the responsibility of the TOPS Committee to formulate the re- the Transit Development Corporation, the National Research Coun- search program by identifying the highest priority projects. As cil, and the Federal Transit Administration (sponsor of the Transit part of the evaluation, the TOPS Committee defines funding Cooperative Research Program) do not endorse products or manu- levels and expected products. facturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely be- Once selected, each project is assigned to an expert panel, ap- cause they are considered essential to the clarity and complete- pointed by TRB. The panels prepare project statements (requests ness of the project reporting. for proposals), select contractors, and provide technical guidance and counsel throughout the life of the project. The process for developing research problem statements and selecting research agencies has been used by TRB in managing cooperative re- Published reports of the search programs since 1962. As in other TRB activities, TCRP TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM project panels serve voluntarily without compensation. Because research cannot have the desired impact if products are available from: fail to reach the intended audience, special emphasis is placed on disseminating TCRP results to the intended end users of the re- Transportation Research Board search: transit agencies, service providers, and suppliers. TRB Business Office provides a series of research reports, syntheses of transit practice, 500 Fifth Street, NW and other supporting material developed by TCRP research. Washington, DC 20001 APTA will arrange for workshops, training aids, field visits, and other activities to ensure that results are implemented by urban and rural transit industry practitioners. and can be ordered through the Internet at The TCRP provides a forum where transit agencies can coop- eratively address common operational problems. The TCRP results http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore support and complement other ongoing transit research and train- ing programs. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished schol- ars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and techni- cal matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Acad- emy of Sciences, The National as a parallel Academy organization of Sciences of outstanding is a private, nonprofit,engineers. It is autonomous self-perpetuating society of in its administration distinguished schol- andengaged ars in the selection of its in scientific members, and sharing engineering with the research, National dedicated Academy to of Sciences the furtherance the responsibility of science for and technology advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in programs aimed the 1863, at meeting Academy national needs, encourages has a mandate education that requires andthe it to advise research, federal and recognizes government on the superior scientific andachieve- techni- ments cal of engineers. matters. Dr. Dr. Ralph J.William CiceroneA.isWulf is president president of the National of the National AcademyAcademy of Engineering. of Sciences. The National The Institute Academy of Medicine was established of Engineering wasin 1970 by the established National in 1964, Academy under of Sciences the charter to secure of the National the Acad- services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining emy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration to andthe in health of the public. the selection The Institute of its members, acts sharing under with thethe responsibility National Academy given to the National of Sciences Academyfor the responsibility of Sciences by federal advising the its congressional government.charter to be an Academy The National adviser toof the federal government Engineering and,engineering also sponsors on its own initiative, programs to identify aimed issues national at meeting of medical care, needs, research, education encourages and education. Dr. Harvey and research, V. Fineberg and recognizes issuperior the president of the achieve- Institute of Medicine. ments of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The National The Institute Research of Medicine Council was organized was established by the in 1970 byNational Academy the National of Sciences Academy in 1916 of Sciences toto associate secure the the broadof services community of science eminent members ofand technology appropriate with the Academy's professions purposes of in the examination of furthering policy mattersknowledge and pertaining advising to the federal the health of the government. Functioning public. The Institute acts in accordance under with general the responsibility policies given determined to the National by the Acad- Academy of emy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, of Sciences and the National to identify issues Academy of medical of care, Engineering research, inand providing services education. to the government, Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg the public, and is president the of the scientific Institute ofand engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both the Academies and Medicine. the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. William A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, The National respectively, Research of Council the National was organized Research Council. by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and The Transportation advising Research Board the federal government. is a division Functioning of the National in accordance Research with general Council, policies determinedwhich by serves the the Acad- National emy, the Academy Council hasof Sciences become and the the National principal Academy operating of Engineering. agency of both theThe Board'sAcademy National mission isof toSciences promote innovation and progress and the National Academy in transportation of Engineering through research. in providing In an to services objective and interdisciplinary the government, the public, and setting, the the Board facilitates the sharing of information on transportation practice and policy scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both the Academies and by researchers and practitioners; the Institute of stimulates Medicine. research Dr. RalphandJ.offers Ciceroneresearch and Dr. management William A.services Wulf are that promote chair and vice technical chair, excellence; respectively, provides expertResearch of the National advice on transportation policy and programs; and disseminates research Council. results broadly and encourages their implementation. The Board's varied activities annually engage more The Transportation than 5,000 engineers, Research scientists, Board is a and other division of the transportation National and researchers Research Council, practitioners fromwhich serves and the public the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. The Board's mission private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is is to promote innovation supported by and progress state in transportation transportation through departments, research. federal agencies Inincluding an objective and interdisciplinary the component administrationssetting, of the the Board facilitates the U.S. Department ofsharing of information Transportation, and on transportation other organizationspractice and and policy by individuals researchers interested in and the practitioners; development of stimulates research transportation. and offers research management services that promote technical www.TRB.org excellence; provides expert advice on transportation policy and programs; and disseminates research results broadly and encourages their implementation. The Board's varied activities annually engage more www.national-academies.org than 5,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org

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TCRP COMMITTEE FOR PROJECT J-7 COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM STAFF ROBERT J. REILLY, Director, Cooperative Research Programs CHAIR CHRISTOPHER W. JENKS, Manager, TCRP FRANK T. MARTIN EILEEN P. DELANEY, Director of Publications PBS&J, Tallahassee, FL TCRP SYNTHESIS STAFF MEMBERS STEPHEN R. GODWIN, Director for Studies DEBRA W. ALEXANDER and Information Services Capital Area Transportation Authority, Lansing, MI JON WILLIAMS, Manager, Synthesis Studies DWIGHT FERRELL DONNA L. VLASAK, Senior Program Officer The Ferrell Group, Richardson, TX DON TIPPMAN, Editor MARK W. FURHMANN CHERYL KEITH, Senior Secretary Metro Transit, Minneapolis, MN ROBERT H. IRWIN British Columbia Transit, Victoria, BC, Canada PAUL J. LARROUSSE National Transit Institute, New Brunswick, NJ WADE LAWSON South Jersey Transportation Authority, Atlantic City, NJ DAVID A. LEE Connecticut Transit, Hartford, CT DAVID PHELPS Consultant, Moneta, VA HAYWARD M. SEYMORE, III Laidlaw Transit Services, Inc., University Place, WA PAM WARD Ottumwa Transit Authority, Ottumwa, IA JOEL R. WASHINGTON Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Washington, DC FTA LIAISON KAREN FACEN Federal Highway Administration TRB LIAISON PETER SHAW Transportation Research Board

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FOREWORD Transit administrators, engineers, and researchers often face problems for which in- By Staff formation already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and Transportation practice. This information may be fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated. As a conse- Research Board quence, full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recommended practices for solv- ing or alleviating the problem. There is information on nearly every subject of concern to the transit industry. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with problems in their day-to-day work. To provide a systematic means for assembling and evaluating such use- ful information and to make it available to the entire transit community, the Transit Co- operative Research Program Oversight and Project Selection (TOPS) Committee author- ized the Transportation Research Board to undertake a continuing study. This study, TCRP Project J-7, "Synthesis of Information Related to Transit Problems," searches out and synthesizes useful knowledge from all available sources and prepares concise, documented reports on specific topics. Reports from this endeavor constitute a TCRP re- port series, Synthesis of Transit Practice. This synthesis series reports on current knowledge and practice, in a compact format, without the detailed directions usually found in handbooks or design manuals. Each re- port in the series provides a compendium of the best knowledge available on those meas- ures found to be the most successful in resolving specific problems. PREFACE This synthesis documents light rail maintenance staffing practices and factors important in their development at U.S. transit agencies. It covers the areas of maintenance functions, new light rail start-up, and management in attempting to give better insight into the vari- ables affecting maintenance staffing. This topic is of interest to transit managers of exist- ing light rail transit (LRT) operations and those involved in the planning or implementing of new LRT lines. It is also of interest to agency directors or general managers and execu- tive or board members who need to understand how the industry accomplishes system maintenance. A survey was conducted to gather feedback from U.S. transit agency staff working in LRT maintenance. Based on survey results, topical case studies were developed to high- light specific policies and practices at four U.S. agencies--San Diego (CA) Trolley, Inc.; Utah Transit Authority; Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet); and the Greater Cleveland (OH) Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). These combine with supplemental information gleaned from FTA's National Transit Database to update and expand on the operating characteristics of U.S. LRT systems. A panel of experts in the subject area guided the work of organizing and evaluating the collected data and reviewed the final synthesis report. A consultant was engaged to collect and synthesize the information and to write the report. Both the consultant and members of the oversight panel are acknowledged on the title page. This synthesis is an immediately useful document that records the practices that were acceptable within the limitations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. As progress in re- search and practice continues, new knowledge will be added to that now at hand.

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CONTENTS 1 SUMMARY 3 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Background, 3 Study Purpose and Constraints, 3 Study Approach, 3 4 CHAPTER TWO CHARACTERISTICS OF EXISTING LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT SYSTEMS RELATED TO SYSTEM MAINTENANCE Overview of Statistics, 4 Searching for Patterns, 8 Productivity Indicators, 8 11 CHAPTER THREE RESULTS OF QUESTIONNAIRE Staffing Philosophies and Policies, 11 Labor Issues, 11 Vehicle-Related Issues, 12 Maintenance of Way Issues, 13 Station-Related Issues, 13 14 CHAPTER FOUR CASE STUDIES San Diego Trolley, Inc., 14 Utah Transit Authority, 16 Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon, 20 Greater Cleveland Regional Transportation Authority, 22 Summary of Case Studies, 27 29 CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSIONS 30 APPENDIX A ANALYSIS OF NATIONAL TRANSIT DATABASE DATA ON VEHICLE MAINTENANCE 32 APPENDIX B RESULTS OF LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT MAINTENANCE STAFFING QUESTIONNAIRE 38 APPENDIX C WRITTEN COMMENTS TO SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE 41 APPENDIX D LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT MAINTENANCE STAFF INFORMATION FOR THREE OTHER SYSTEMS