3 ways for public transit systems to get the most out of EAM systems

public transit system bus interior

Except in developing countries where public transit systems are often totally new infrastructures built from scratch, most rail, metro and bus systems around the world are many decades old. Some even date back to the early 20th century and utilize antiquated, paper-based technology.

Enterprise asset management (EAM) systems offer public transit organizations a way to modernize – to move away from cumbersome and costly paper-based processes and integrate disparate systems that have been siloed between departments.

Here’s an example of what we’re talking about:

Many transit systems in the UK are still administered primarily on paper.  This means that an administrator has to provide maintenance staff with paper copies of vehicle repair schedules.

With an EAM system, all of that fussing with paper goes away. Modern EAM systems have electronic calendars that managers can use to plan their work and send automatic alerts at the appropriate times of the month to the maintenance crews in the field. All information gets delivered in real time to an end-point device, reducing errors and improving overall convenience and efficiency.

Reducing paper is just the first step. The real technology efficiencies come from integrating disparate digital systems. Rail organizations typically have separate systems that store information about physical properties, rolling stock, and track and linear assets. By converting to a new platform that offers a single view of the assets, rail systems get a holistic perspective of their environment and can make better decisions on where and when to assign resources.

Organizations seeking to deploy an EAM solution should consider these three best practices:

  1. Leverage analytics for repairs. By using sensors in the field and analytics on the back end, public transit systems now get better data on the equipment in need of repair and when it should get fixed. With more efficient maintenance schedules, trains are safer and less likely to experience serious accidents. More efficient maintenance also means that there will be fewer delays, so the on-time performance of the trains improves, making for more satisfied customers.
  2. Reduce costs by engaging the labor force more effectively. When the maintenance teams get better information on what needs to be repaired, they can plan properly. By understanding and working with both the employees and the organizations that represent them, transit organizations can run more efficient and safer operations. With good information, work crews will be deployed for specific tasks at times when trains don’t run, so they will be less apt to experience an accident or interference from trains speeding by.
  3. Track continuous improvement. EAM systems offer the ability to track and coordinate all of the rail system’s activities. This includes metrics on everything from maintenance projects and accidents to delays. Armed with this information, the rail system can track progress on key benchmarks, setting goals for continuous improvement. Instead of siloing data, EAM systems leverage a single, integrated database that, when backed by analytics, delivers greater visibility into the organization’s operations.

Today we have the technology to make our public transit systems run more efficiently and effectively than ever. It’s time that public transit organizations catch up and embrace the digital world. When they do, they can run rail, bus and metro systems at a lower cost, on time, and create safer environments for both passengers and transit workers.

Dennis Rocks headshotDennis Rocks was DXC’s Traffic Management Offering Manager in which he consults and provides support and expertise to Transportation and Logistics organizations.

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