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25 Although each agency has different El/Es equipment, main- tenance approaches, staffing levels, and operating environ- ments, this chapter identifies successful practices put into place by these agencies to meet their specific needs. Those currently operating El/Es or planning new applications should consider these practices as a way of improving the safety and efficiency of their own operations. Asset MAnAgeMent Up-front and ongoing planning where El/Es assets are man- aged like transit rolling stock is essential for effective El/Es operation. Asset management, defined here as cradle-to- grave planning and budgeting for El/Es design, installation, maintenance and repairs, spare parts, quality control, mod- ernization, rehabilitation, and replacement is a critical but often overlooked El/Es function. It is critical in that asset management should begin during initial planning stages of a new start rail operation where agencies could then consider station designs that circumvent or limit the need for El/Es if possible to reduce initial and ongoing expenses. Regardless, El/Es are integral to all rail operations and ongoing labor and equipment costs must be considered for the life cycle of every rail station that has them. Asset management should also take into consideration an aging population, which will increase the use and related expenses associated with transit El/Es. BART is one example of effective asset management where each El/Es in its operation is closely tracked through comprehensive documentation. That documentation includes an inventory of all El/Es, including date of installation and current age, maintenance and repair history, safety incidents, equipment upgrades and modernization, and other notes. The detailed documentation allows BART to review the history of each elevator and escalator and adjust PM activities and intervals, and make informed decisions regarding the need for upgrades and replacements. Another noteworthy example of asset management is MARTAâs modernization program that will rehabilitate and upgrade 117 escalators installed 30 years ago. In the first phase MARTA is modernizing 30 units, with another 30 scheduled for the next fiscal year. The program includes upgrading escalators with safety devices and reconditioning them to function as new. Doing so provides the public with safer equipment and improves availability due to increased reliability. CTA has a similar program to replace 52 of its oldest El/Es within 5 years because spare parts are difficult to obtain, which increases maintenance requirements and downtime. Likewise, NYCTA has an asset management program in place that schedules the replacement of 25- to 35-year-old escalators. In an effort to improve asset planning for new stations and existing station upgrades, CTA realizes that it needs more participation by inspectors and technicians to provide valu- able input during the initial design stage. CTA also realizes that the planning of new and upgraded stations must take into consideration additional personnel requirements needed to meet extra maintenance demands and to better satisfy code inspections. equipMent specificAtions Crafting technical specifications that consider multiple experi- ences helps ensure that El/Es will provide safe, reliable service in harsher, heavy usage and in high-abuse transit environments. Agencies including MARTA, BART, and others incorporate APTA guidelines into their technical specifications because they were developed to reflect the specific heavy-duty require- ments of El/Es operating in North American transit environ- ments. The guidelines represent the best thinking of transit agencies, consultants, and El/Es OEMs. Although the addi- tional requirements established specifically for transit add equipment costs, authors of the APTA specification claim through past experience that additional up-front costs will be more than offset by reduced life-cycle costs. Most important, use of APTA guidelines will improve customer safety, satis- faction, and convenience and increase the publicâs confidence, which in turn increases ridership. Another essential equipment document is ASME A17, Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators, which establishes a standard for the design, construction, operation, inspec- tion, testing, maintenance, alteration, and repair of El/Es. All agencies use this code as an integral element of their El/Es program. Although OEMs are responsible for delivering equipment that meets hardware requirements established by ASME A17, agencies must ensure that these requirements are upheld through maintenance, repair, and testing. BART is a good example of an agency that adds specific requirements to its El/Es technical specifications. For chapter four HigHligHts of Agency successes
26 El/Es availability through a data management system, while MARTA uses a spreadsheet program. To ensure prompt repairs under ADA, BART dispatches a mechanic within 1 h using a trunked radio system, which is operational anywhere within the BART system. Radio com- munication allows BART to respond quickly and efficiently to El/Es emergencies and downed equipment. For elevators designated as âspecial,â MARTA requires its contractor to begin repair work immediately and work 24/7 to return downed elevators to service. MARTA oversees the contrac- tor to make sure prompt repairs are made. custoMer coMMunicAtion And educAtion Keeping the public safe and informed requires effective agency-to-customer communication. SEPTA takes a pro- active approach by sending safety personnel to rail sta - tions and schools to discuss escalator and elevator safety. Public awareness training includes reminding customers to take some simple, yet effective steps to stay safe. MARTA continually plays recorded messages over the PA system, advising patrons to hold handrails and be careful when enter- ing and exiting escalators. All agencies surveyed make extensive use of traditional and electronic communication methods to inform patrons of El/Es status and receive customer input. Effective communi- cation is not always complex. Customers within CTAâs rail system are informed of downed El/Es equipment via white dry erase board signs posted at each station, updated hourly by station attendants to keep customers informed. Customers can also access CTAâs Internet site to receive real-time El/Es status and planned outages. BART uses an extensive com- munication network to inform patrons of El/Es status that in addition to an Internet website includes Really Simple Syn- dication feeds, Short Message Service, and message alerts via e-mail, text, and Twitter. Excellent examples of receiving input from patrons include MARTA and BART, which participate in local ADA committee meetings to inform the disability community of El/Es activities and receive input from that community regarding public accessibility issues. MARTA also receives patron feedback through Facebook, Twitter, and the agen- cyâs website and customer service hotline. CTA staff logs in all El/Es-related calls, investigates them, and responds to every customer with an answer. When El/Es equipment does fail and become inoperable, each agency provides alternative transportation in the form of buses equipped with a wheelchair lift or ramp, typically referred to as bus bridges. Understanding that bus service can be inconvenient and add extra trip time, CTA makes sys- temwide PA announcements to inform passengers to bypass an affected station and return to the intended station via the other direction where El/Es are operational. elevators, those requirements include hands-free phones located alongside hall call buttons, internal cameras, remote equipment monitoring, glass door panels, auxiliary oil recov- ery tanks for hydraulic elevators, and controls and indicators located on station agent booths. Escalator specifications include remote monitoring systems, fault displays, and step load requirements that go beyond the APTA guidelines. Remote monitoring systems that provide real-time status of equipment, failure codes, and other useful information are also used by NYCTA. MARTA specifies and plans to eventually install addi- tional video surveillance cameras at all El/Es locations. With 75% of escalators and 50% of elevators now equipped with cameras, incidents of unfounded claims are dwindling. MARTAâs new capital improvement project will specify full coverage at both El/Es levels. sAfety El/Es safety is the number one priority at every transit agency as reflected in their unanimous use of ASME A17, along with local codes and regulations to guide inspection, maintenance, and repair activities. Even though MARTA contracts for the maintenance and repair of its El/Es, the agency employs four in-house inspectors to ensure the contractor is complying with all applicable safety requirements. Each of MARTAâs in- house inspectors is QEI certified. All of CTAâs inspectors are also QEI certified and monitor safety compliance through a dedicated safety department, which performs safety audits on every elevator and escalator twice annually. SEPTAâs safety program incorporates a series of documented PMIs that it conducts on a regular basis according to the A17 safety code, OEM requirements, and the agencyâs own experiences. The purpose of the aggressive inspection schedule is to iden- tify faulty equipment in advance of failure to improve reli- ability and safety. In addition to its own safety inspections, SEPTA contracts with a qualified third-party inspection company to perform annual inspections to independently confirm state certification requirements. BART holds weekly safety meetings with its staff to discuss ways to improve safety. AvAilAbility ADA requires that accessibility features, which include El/ Es, be repaired promptly and that transit agencies take rea- sonable steps to accommodate individuals with disabilities who would otherwise use the feature. While all agencies have measures in place to make sure El/Es are available for service, each uses a different method to classify and track that availability. A good, straightforward definition of El/ Es availability comes from BART and MARTA, which con- sider equipment as being down anytime it is not available for customer use regardless of the reasonâthe only excep- tion being major capital improvement projects. BART tracks
27 training and case study exercises. The agency is also in the process of acquiring actual elevator and escalator mock-ups to be used as training aids. MARTA shows that when mainte- nance is contracted, contract language needs to address train- ing requirements. doing More witH reduced budgets With all agencies facing budget issues, some are taking note- worthy steps to improve efficiency. To reduce travel and response time, BART assigns technicians to El/Es in close proximity to each other. Technicians also leave from and return to their route location instead of having to travel back and forth to an agency location, which often is far away from the El/Es they will be working on in a given day. BART also stores tools, equipment, and parts at most station locations to save travel time. The steps allow BART to significantly reduce maintenance and repair times. NYCTA houses its spare parts at three centrally located depots, also to reduce travel time by technicians. Although CTA has been short six escalator technicians for 3 years, the agency has improved El/Es availability by researching reasons for downed equipment and improving its communication with other agencies to exchange informa- tion. SEPTA is concentrating more of its El/Es efforts on conducting more detailed PM to reduce unexpected break- downs. The agency is also concentrating on problem El/Es equipment to reduce the likelihood of breakdowns. proActive MAintenAnce Comprehensive and documented maintenance programs improve safety and increase equipment reliability. Proactive measures required to develop and document these programs ensure that employees perform maintenance and repair tasks in a like manner, a manner that the agency determines is the best based on OEM recommendations, its own experiences and conditions, and industry guidelines. While ASME A17 calls for a written Maintenance Control Program (Section 22.214.171.124.1), BART takes the requirement one step further by developing a comprehensive and well-documented version that serves as an excellent industry example. Although resources are needed to create and maintain such a system, BART feels the safety benefits more than justify the extra effort. Although MARTA does not have in-house maintenance personnel, the agency is wise to employ four in-house equip- ment inspectors who audit contractor maintenance and equipment condition. Inspectors are all QEI certified, even though Georgia does not require the same certification for its state inspectors. MMS is an essential tool for tracking maintenance activi- ties and productivity. CTA uses such a system to generate reports that reveal equipment breakdowns, duration of those contrActing Because MARTA contracts out all of its El/Es maintenance, the agency realizes that strict oversight and accountability are essential to a successful and productive relationship. Four in-house QEI-certified inspectors continually audit the contractorâs work. If repeated failures are noted, MARTA will put pressure on its contractor to improve performance. Contract language calls for the contractor to provide training as needed. Although minimum maintenance staffing levels are established, MARTAâs El/Es contract allows workers to be brought in as needed to meet workload demands. CTA chooses to contract its elevator maintenance and repair, leaving in-house technicians dedicated exclusively to escalators. Here the contractor assumes all elevator liability and CTA maintains good communication with the contracted workforce. BART only contracts out El/Es work when the agency is overwhelmed with repairs. SEPTAâs contracted ser- vices include elevator cab rebuild and renovation and escalator handrail replacement and vulcanization. Contractors also per- form certain quality control functions at SEPTA. Contracting allows SEPTA to get certain jobs done in a timelier manner. trAining As mentioned in chapter two, BART, MARTA, SEPTA, WMATA, and NYCTA, along with their union partners, are part of a consortium to develop a national Transit Elevator/ Escalator Maintenance Training and Apprenticeship Program. Participation in this consortium, which is being developed as a joint laborâmanagement partnership, will provide each agency with a comprehensive training program consistent with nation- ally established training standards. The sharing of resources will allow member agencies to deliver training far superior to that which each agency could accomplish individually. Lacking training aids such as labs and mock-ups, CTA compensates by relying more on OJT and mentoring. Bring- ing students out into the field gives them hands-on exposure to the actual equipment they will be working with on a regu- lar basis. NYCTA provides employees with a series of 1- to 3-day courses offered on a monthly basis and uses training mock-ups to make that training more meaningful. SEPTA, a member of the El/Es consortium, is working on a 4-year training program using consortium materials in part to pro- vide workers with additional code knowledge, field training, and case study exercises. BART, also a member of the El/ Es consortium, has developed a library of comprehensive training materials that it uses to instruct its employees in a consistent manner and is included as a web appendix to this study. BART also reviews ASME A17 rules during weekly safety meetings with maintenance personnel. SEPTA is currently working on a 4-year program to improve its training effectiveness, placing a stronger empha- sis on providing additional safety code knowledge, field
28 programs in place that include making sure heaters are all working before the cold winter months arrive and checking the operation of vent fans before summer months. While all agencies have scheduled PM intervals based on local condi- tions and A17 and OEM requirements, MARTA goes further by requiring its contractor to consider the age of El/Es when developing PM intervals. NYCTA uses MMS data to replace certain parts before they fail; an elevator rope replacement at 5-year intervals is one such example. Analysis of handrail life has led SEPTA to institute a program to replace escalator handrails every 5 years. breakdowns, and the root causes. Information generated from the MMS is used to adjust scheduled maintenance activities to reduce the frequency of unscheduled repairs. SEPTA uses its MMS to track repair activities and adjust spare parts invento- ries accordingly to ensure adequate parts availability. MARTA uses its MMS to track repeat failures on equipment. Based on the findings, MARTA requires the contractor to replace cer- tain parts and take other actions at scheduled PM intervals. Scheduling El/Es maintenance in advance of need is another proactive example of PM. CTA has seasonal PM