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to produce managers and leaders capable of dealing and organizations with which the team met is included with a variety of problems inherent in managing in Appendix B. transit activities in a complex environment. Travel expenses for ITSP participants are underwritten by TCRP Project J-03 funding. INTRODUCTION Each mission abroad focuses on a theme that Achieving a state of good repair is a priority for encompasses a topic of concern in public transporta- transit agencies throughout the United States. As tion. Cities are selected according to their ability to ridership grows and those riders demand better demonstrate leading-edge strategies and approaches public transportation service, agency staff seek ways to public transportation issues and challenges as to implement improvements in an environmentally, reflected in the study mission's overarching theme. economically, and socially responsible manner while The members of each study team are fully briefed struggling with funding restraints. Public transporta- prior to departure. The intensive, professionally tion is increasingly viewed as a necessary and crucial challenging, 2-week mission has three objectives: to mode of travel in communities of all sizes; ensuring afford team members the opportunity to expand their that transit systems are maintained in a state of good network of domestic and international public trans- repair is more important than ever. In many larger portation peers, to provide a forum for discussion of cities, where public transportation has been in place global initiatives and lessons learned in public for more than 100 years, the infrastructure is crum- transportation, and to facilitate idea-sharing and the bling and the need for reinvestment is clear. In other possible import of strategies for application to trans- cities, the need might not be so obvious, but agencies portation communities in the United States. Mission know that they must be proactive in developing a participants return home with ideas for possible appli- plan to keep the system in a state of good repair. cation in their own communities. Participants are FTA is taking the lead in developing a common encouraged to share their international experience basis for defining, measuring, and reporting on the and findings with peers in the public transit commu- condition of the nation's public transport vehicles and nity throughout the United States. infrastructure. More than 1,700 public transit agen- For additional information about the Inter- cies exist throughout the United States. Each is at a national Transit Studies Program, please contact different stage of maturity, but all are challenged with Gwen Chisholm-Smith at TCRP (202-334-3246; maintaining a level of outstanding, reliable, and safe gsmith@nas.edu) or Kathryn Harrington-Hughes at service for the public. The challenge lies in identify- 443-385-0300 (khh@tcrpstudymissions.com). ing the proper level of maintenance to be provided to ensure their system remains in a state of good repair. At present, there is no universally accepted def- ABOUT THIS DIGEST inition for "state of good repair" for public transit assets; rather, individual transit agencies typically The following digest is an overview of a mission employ their own internal definitions (if they have that explored how bus and rail agencies and operators even adopted a definition), and these definitions can implement innovative, sustainable funding strategies vary appreciably. Most agencies base their definitions for transit assets, operations, and maintenance in Lon- either on direct measures of asset condition, such as don and Nottingham, United Kingdom; Strasbourg, the proportion of assets that exceed their useful life, or France; Karlsruhe and Berlin, Germany; and Oslo, on indirect performance measures, such as the pres- Norway. It is based on individual reports, provided by ence of track slow zones. the mission team members, and it reflects the obser- The ITSP study mission team consisted of tran- vations of the team members, who are responsible sit professionals from large and small systems in for the facts and accuracy of the data presented. The communities throughout the United States. The team digest does not necessarily reflect the views of met with transit operators and regulators in six cities TCRP, TRB, the National Academies, the American in four European countries to learn how they are Public Transportation Association (APTA), FTA, or achieving and sustaining a state of good repair. Harrington-Hughes & Associates. The meetings, presentations, tours, and experi- A list of the study team members is included in ences provided team members with a broad under- Appendix A. A list of the public transport agencies standing of the history, political structure, operation, 2