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Elevator and Escalator Maintenance and Safety Practices (2012)

Chapter: Chapter One - Introduction

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Elevator and Escalator Maintenance and Safety Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21940.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Elevator and Escalator Maintenance and Safety Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21940.
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Page 4
Page 5
Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Elevator and Escalator Maintenance and Safety Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21940.
×
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3 Project Background and context Elevators and escalators (El/Es) are highly specialized and provide an essential public transportation service. Despite this critical role, agencies tend to downplay the importance and understandably place their primary focus on traditional rolling stock. Activism by the disability community has played a key role in bringing El/Es to the forefront, resulting in agencies adopting a more positive approach to more aggressively and effectively maintaining El/Es equipment to improve reliability and availability. Although El/Es are highly specialized, the core operational and maintenance requirements are very similar to those of buses and rail vehicles. Regarding maintenance, the basic tenets apply: • Equipment needs to be inspected, maintained and repaired on a regular basis. • Inspections and related maintenance activities need to comply with all legal requirements and take into consid- eration original equipment manufacturer (OEM) recom- mendations and local operating conditions. • Inspections need to be performed according to detailed written procedures, at established time intervals, and by trained and skilled personnel. • Maintenance needs to be conducted on a planned sched- uled basis where activities are predicted and scheduled at times that least affect customers. • Unscheduled repairs and breakdowns, although impos- sible to completely eliminate, must be kept to a bare minimum through a proactive preventive maintenance (PM) approach. • Experience and data obtained from several sources must be analyzed and converted into scheduled maintenance activities. • Most important, regardless of how repetitious mainte- nance becomes, it needs to be performed consistently, correctly, and without interruption over and over again. On the operating side, passengers are not concerned about difficult maintenance challenges. Whether a bus, train, or escalator, they justifiably want all public transportation to function properly and safely when needed, day in and day out. When equipment does fail, customers expect replace- ment services that inconvenience them the least. While customer expectations and the overall approach to maintenance may be similar to other forms of public transit on a broad level, El/Es are poles apart from revenue-producing rolling stock. Elevators and escalators are also physically very different from each other, despite being grouped in the same vertical transportation category, which requires technicians to have a wider array of knowledge and skills. Aging equipment, increased passenger use, complex technology applications, harsh and punishing environments, and extended use add to the adversity agencies face in keeping El/Es operational and providing quality service. Adding to these challenges, some customers are intent on purposely abusing and undermining the equipment simply to create a public nuisance. The bottom line is that the exclusive nature of El/Es equipment requires specialized attention and skills, a more proactive approach to PM, and quicker response to failures. When El/Es do break down, public confidence is diminished and riders who rely on vertical transportation to access pub- lic transit are inconvenienced. Those with disabilities are affected the most. At the same time, accessibility regula- tions bring into focus that continual availability of verti- cal transportation equipment needs to be a core element of public transportation. The need for this synthesis stems from the unique nature of El/Es, the inconvenience caused to customers when this equipment breaks down, and the general lack of information available regarding collective El/Es experiences. The pur- pose is to provide summary information through an in-depth examination of representative U.S. transit agencies. Doing so allows others to benefit from the experiences of their peers as they work to provide safe and reliable El/Es access to users and lessen unnecessary expenditures. This synthesis is intended for a broad range of transit professionals, ranging from maintenance personnel to gen- eral managers and other stakeholders, to widen existing understanding and gain greater insight into this important but often unnoticed subject. Specifically, the synthesis addresses the following: • Equipment specifications, • Safety and ADA compliance, • Equipment availability, • Customer communication and education, chapter one IntroductIon

4 lowing chapter would then take the various subject headings and collectively present the range of approaches used by the case study agencies with a focus on successful applications. The panel also recommended that the synthesis examine how each of the case study agencies uses different approaches to define El/Es maintenance and service, especially with regard to defining equipment availability. A work plan incorporat- ing panel direction and comments was prepared, delivered, and then approved by panel members. The synthesis approach also included the following: 1. A literature review. A Transportation Research Informa- tion Services (TRIS) search using several different key- words was conducted to aid the literature review. 2. A comprehensive survey of five transit agencies used as in-depth case studies: Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Tran- sit Authority (MARTA), Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA), Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). The survey consisted of a comprehensive questionnaire designed to elicit detailed El/Es information from several agency personnel. One person at each agency was responsible for coordinating responses from maintenance, public com- munication, data management, personnel and other agency departments. Table 1 shows the distribution of El/Es and rail • Personnel allocation, • Technician training and licensing, • Maintenance programs and appropriate intervals, • Spare parts and inventory, and • Impact of new technology. technIcal aPProach to Project The approach to this synthesis began with a teleconference with Topic Panel members overseeing the synthesis project held on October 26, 2010, to discuss the project approach. Due to the extensive nature of the scope that includes numerous topic areas warranting a more comprehensive investigation, the panel decided that the consultant should focus on providing in-depth case studies of five transit agencies. It was determined that providing thorough analyses of several El/Es subject areas at a select number of agencies would be more beneficial and useful to the reader than would a more cursory examination of numerous subject areas made across several agencies. The five agencies used for the in-depth case studies were selected from a consortium currently engaged in developing a Transit Elevator/ Escalator Maintenance Training and Apprenticeship Program. During the October 26 teleconference, the panel also sug- gested beginning the report with overviews on how each of the five case study agencies individually addresses each of the El/Es subject areas. It was recommended that the fol- Agency No. of Elevators No. of Escalators Combined El/Es No. of Rail Stations Atlanta (MARTA) 109 149 258 38 Chicago (CTA) 159 161 320 144 New York City (NYCTA) 192 176 368 468 Philadelphia (SEPTA) 106 50 156 156 San Francisco (BART) 140 176 316 44 Totals 706 712 1,418 850 TABlE 1 El/ES EqUIPMENT AND STATION SUMMARY FIGURE 1 Case study agency locations.

5 guidelines, ADA of 1990 that present accessibility require- ments, and other relevant El/Es-related publications. Chap- ter three offers an in-depth look at how each of the five case study agencies maintains its elevators and escalators, complies with safety regulations, classifies equipment availability, com- municates with customers, provides alternative transportation during equipment outages, and handles the impact of new tech- nology. Chapter four recaps noteworthy achievements of each of the five agencies organized under major heading groups. The report ends with chapter five, which summarizes the find- ings and lessons learned from this study. stations among the five case study agencies. A copy of the survey questionnaire and compilation of agency responses is included as the appendix. Figure 1 shows the geographic locations of the five case study agencies. rePort organIzatIon Following this introduction, chapter two reveals the findings of a literature review. Included are publications from ASME that addresses safety codes, APTA that provide specification

Next: Chapter Two - Literature Review »
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TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 100: Elevator and Escalator Maintenance and Safety Practices documents elevator and escalator maintenance activities, safety practices, and passenger communication efforts at five U.S. transit agencies.

The five agencies where information was gathered are MARTA (Atlanta, Georgia), NYCTA (New York, New York), SEPTA (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), CTA (Chicago, Illinois), and BART (San Francisco, California). These five agencies together operate 1,418 elevators and escalators throughout 850 rail stations.

Together, they are part of a U.S. Federal Transit Administration-sponsored consortium with the American Public Transportation Association, Amalgamated Transit Union, and the Learning Center, engaged in developing a Transit Elevator/Escalator Maintenance Training and Apprenticeship Program.

The following four appendixes to TCRP Synthesis 100 are available in electronic format only. Links to the appendixes are below.

BART Elevator PM, 59

BART Escalator PM, 254

BART El-Es Training 1, 507

BART El-Es Training 2, 556

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