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Improved Decision Support Tools for State of Good Repair


The new authorization, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) gives FTA authority to establish a State of Good Repair grant program to strengthen the state of public transportation infrastructure throughout the United States. The new authorization also requires transit asset management plans from recipients and sub-recipients of Federal financial assistance. The FTA is seeking exploratory proposals that will demonstrate innovative, economical and durable technologies and devices or solutions that will improve the transit infrastructure. Improved decision support tools give transit agencies the ability to prioritize capital budgets for the benefit of public transportation and the riding public. The innovations in public transportation or transit must pertain to and be adaptable to existing heavy rail, commuter rail, light rail, buses, ferries, and streetcars. Project proposals must include a methodology on how they will use data to quantitatively demonstrate that their recommended technology innovations can truly improve a transit agency’s ability to properly maintain its transit infrastructure. The subtopics could range from asset management plans, capital asset inventories, condition assessments, and investment prioritization. Sub-topic example: Asset Management Information System - The goal of this research is to develop a prototype decision support tool to assist with asset management and related activities. While some Commercial-Off-the- Shelf asset management-related software exist, no single commercially available system appears to address all aspects of the asset management framework outlined in forthcoming FTA guidelines. Any decision support tool should contain the following fundamental asset management system components: • Asset Inventory • Asset Condition [condition monitoring, detection and tracking] • Maintenance Management, Fleet Management, Parts Management, Facilities Management • Scenario Analysis and Decision Making, Capital Programming • Financial, Accounting Management, Engineering and other systems Expected Phase I Outcomes: By utilizing the decision support tools implemented through this Asset Management Information system, a transit agency will be able to improve its stewardship over its physical assets, reduce maintenance costs, make better-informed capital investment decisions, and enhance the level of service it provides to its customers. The Phase 1 initiative has two primary outcomes: a. Enhance an agencies’ existing State of Good Repair database, including the incorporation of decay curves and condition ratings, and integration with existing enterprise asset management systems in order to better understand the relationship between asset age, condition and maintenance costs. b. Improve an agencies current project prioritization process, including the acquisition and implementation of a new consensus-based decision support tool that utilizes a set of capital project evaluation criteria based on agency objectives and customer expectations. Expected Phase II Outcomes: Phase II efforts include manufacturing and demonstrating a working prototype of the decision support tool or solution with all of the above listed Phase I outcomes.
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