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Transit State of Good Repair (SOGR) continues to dominate the surface transportation sector in the US. In June 2012, both the House and Senate voted to pass the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP- 21/H.R.4348) legislation, the surface transportation authorization bill, which President Obama signed into law. MAP-21 improves the focus on SOGR and the asset management required to maintain transit systems. It provides significant funding increases specifically for improving SOGR of transit systems in the country.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is providing leadership and oversight to implement MAP-21. It is required to define "state of good repair" and establish related performance measures. Transit agencies are required to set annual SOGR targets through their asset management plans as well as asset management systems that include capital asset inventories and condition assessments, decision support tools, and investment priorities.

The emphasis on more acute asset management is increasing with the proliferation of investments in complex wireless communication, fare collection, operations control, vehicle maintenance, LED lighting technology and controls, and customer information systems. This emphasis is further enhanced with investment needs in core capacity and systems expansion in response to growing regional travel demand.

In order to discuss best practices and lessons learned with reference to the new MAP-21 requirements, Global Mass Transit will host its second conference on Transit State of Good Repair (SOGR) on March 14-15, 2013 at Hotel JW Marriott in Washington DC.

The mission of the conference is to explore SOGR as a strategy for managing and growing the transit asset base to achieve a high quality, reliable, safe, secure, efficient and customer-centric transit service that promotes community liveability and sustainability.

The conference aims to bring together diverse stakeholders to prepare for the implementation of the new MAP-21 SOGR Grant Program under which USD2.1 billion is to be distributed in fiscal years 2013 and 2014. The speakers will include policymakers, transit agencies and operators, technology providers, specialist consultants, transit-related associations, and financiers such as private equity firms and banks.

KEY issues to be explored:

  • What are the requirements under MAP-21 that are relevant to SOGR?
  • What issues are being experienced in the implementation of SOGR programs in large, medium and small transit agencies?
  • What role can the systems engineering approach play in ensuring, improving, and leveraging data interoperability and management?
  • How can system effectiveness be improved with customer information systems and open fare collection systems?
  • How can contemporary asset management upgrades be implemented with system-wide applications such as Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) (subway) and Positive Train Control (PTC) (surface rail)?
  • Which international best practices can be adopted in service reliability, tunnel access, and wireless communication systems?
  • What new approaches are possible to finance the required repair and upgradation of ageing transportation assets?
  • How can the performance of capital assets be improved and measured?
  • What are the requirements for developing an effective National Transit Asset Management System?