We have had a lot of focus on public transportation over the last year with key posts on Millennials, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, and Enterprise Asset Management Challenges to name a few. Recently we took this subject to the next level with 2 IBM sponsored surveys to answer the question “How bright is the future of our transportation systems?”
The first survey was a global survey of asset management executives and professionals, including transportation executives, with ReliabilityWeb.com, to understand their views of asset management and how they are planning to focus their initiatives in the short term.
The second survey was done by IBM at the recent 2014 American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Expo as part of a fun and interactive Lite-Brite® survey display. Yes, you heard right, Lite-Brite! This is the Lite-Brite image of the results of the survey:
The 3 questions that were asked in both surveys focusing on how bright the future of our transportation systems are included:
- Why do you have an interest in asset management?
- Are you planning to develop a strategic asset management plan?
- What investments do you plan to make over the next 5 years?
Question 1: Increasing system reliability was a top reason for an interest in asset management
It’s clear that a focus on system reliability matters and is a direct link to the profitability of the organizations providing public transportation. Increasing reliability was in the top 2 answers for both surveys. It ranked 1st for the transit asset management strategists in the ReliabilityWeb.com survey with 76% of the respondents and it ranked 2nd with 58% of the respondents at APTA, 2nd only to improving financial results.
*ReliabilityWeb.com Survey (n=61 transit asset management strategists)
**APTA Survey (n=36)
Question 2: Strategic asset management plans already in place for close to 45% of respondents
For asset intensive industries, like transit organizations, asset cost is a major factor for capital and operational expenses. Having strategic asset management plans in place makes sense to address this. Close to 45% of respondents for both surveys already have strategic asset management plans in place. The majority of respondents that didn’t have a plan in place already stated that they plan to implement one within 12 months (49% of ReliabilityWeb.com survey and 36% from APTA).
Question 3: Performance metrics and reliability improvements are top investment strategies
Asset managers in transit organizations focus on the bottom-line profitability of their businesses and influence investment decisions. Knowing this it was no surprise that performance metrics were listed as the top investment planned over the next 5 years for both survey groups. Knowing that reliability can translate to more passengers, which in turn can translate to greater profits, we saw that investments in reliability improvements was in the top 3 responses for both groups.
Our conclusion: The future of our transportation systems is bright with transit asset managers focused on reliability and strategic asset management plans, which will drive improved financial results.
Download a copy of How bright is the future of our transportation systems report to share with your peers.
To dive deeper into this topic of reliability for transportation systems, I recommend you: