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21 because it was assumed that the asset would receive proper ital improvements into station "renewal" projects instead of maintenance. This assumption was made regardless of an station "rehabilitation" projects. actual condition or age. As these SGR-defined assets reached the end of their service life and were replaced, the costs of The revised NYCT brings more improvements to the sys- replacement were considered as "normal replacement" invest- tem and the public in more places at a quicker pace. It also ments, not as SGR investments. makes better use of funding because it avoids unnecessary investment in components not in need of repair. This approach of counting an asset as SGR asset regard- less of its actual condition led to an inaccurate measurement of the percentage of SGR achieved. It also unintentionally Results led to an investment process that supported investments based on definitions applied to the assets (normal replace- As a consequence of the new approaches adopted by NYCT, ment or not-at-SGR) rather than a more complete assess- the reported condition of various asset classes changed. ment of what was in a state of good repair and what Although several key assets (cars, track, and switches) was not. remained stable at 100% in SGR, the reported condition of other asset classes changed, reflecting a more detailed and To address this issue, NYCT initiated a new condition- realistic measure of SGR. Three examples of the impact of based approach. In this approach, an asset's condition is deter- this are: mined using one of the following three metrics most appropriate to its asset class: 1. Stations. Overall this category went from 53% in SGR to 67% because of the new definition and the new sta- 1. Asset condition (ranked 1 to 4). tion component assessment regime. Funds allocated to 2. Asset age versus the presumed useful life of the asset. stations were better focused on components in poor 3. Actual asset performance as compared with standards condition. identified by the agency. 2. Power. The reduction in SGR status from 95% to 62% for this asset class reflected a more detailed assess- This approach is sensitive to the actual condition of NYCT's ment of the condition of the power system compo- assets. It permits an asset that reaches SGR to lose its SGR sta- nents. Previously, only substations were counted; now tus as it ages and its condition declines. the components of a substation and the power distri- bution network are included in the assessment. 3. Buses. The SGR for both buses and their support facili- Station Component Program ties dropped because assets formerly considered replacement actions now are considered SGR actions. In conjunction with this more refined approach to asset clas- The SGR for buses dropped from 100% to 87%, sification, a NYCT also adopted a more focused approach for whereas support facilities dropped to 66% from 90%. its station investment program. Initially, the agency rehabili- tated stations from top to bottom and replaced all station com- ponents without regard to their actual condition. After the SUMMARY OF CASE STUDIES station was rebuilt, it was then declared to be in SGR. NYCT believed that this approach misallocated resources and was The two case studies demonstrate that focused attention to unsustainable over the long run. It limited the number of sta- transit asset management can improve the funding of SGR tions that could be rehabilitated within a given funding level projects. At the MBTA in Boston, the funding of SGR invest- and precluded other stations with repair needs from benefiting ments increased from about 50% to almost 80% within from SGR investment. 5 years. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has agreed to help fund mandated expansion projects. In 1982, NYCT's NYCT developed a new approach to provide more benefits system was in a state of disrepair. In response, the MTA to more stations and customers. Station components would be undertook a series of 5-year capital plans to bring the system repaired individually or in cost-effective groupings depending back into SGR. The MTA is now in its fifth 5-year capital plan on their individual condition across a large number of stations. and has made significant strides in restoring the agency's No longer would improvements be focused on a small number assets to SGR. of stations. This component based and targeted approach was made possible by a survey of more than 11,000 station compo- The two case studies highlight two desirable features of an nents systemwide. "ideal" transit asset management database system. The MBTA database is a good case study of an effective strategic planning The new approach also included renewal projects. Where and programming tool. The MBTA database can assess the appropriate, components are bundled together with other cap- impacts of different funding scenarios on the state of repair of

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22 a transit system. These scenarios can be run "automatically" NYCT's database is a good example of a detailed database. because the database contains: Assets such as stations are broken down into very detailed components that each have a service life and can be renewed. Pre-determined condition settings and measures of SGR; This level of detail provides the opportunity to consider the Costs of asset renewal and replacement; and programming of specific renewals (e.g., replace escalators and A programming logic that makes "funding decisions" roofs) rather than consideration of simpler actions at a higher based on the weighting of several project factors. level of asset aggregation (e.g., rehabilitation of a station).