Transit Asset Condition

How well are we maintaining our transit infrastructure?

Transit Asset Condition

Definition: 
Transit asset condition reflects the relative age of the region’s transit infrastructure. It is measured in terms of the percentage of transit assets beyond their expected useful life, as gauged by federal standards. In order to incorporate assets of vastly different monetary values (i.e. a bus stop versus a subway station), this percentage is weighted based on the cost to replace each asset.

Well-maintained transit vehicles, stations, trackways and other key infrastructure are needed to deliver the reliable performance that Bay Area transit riders are seeking, and to ensure passenger safety and comfort. Keeping a close eye on the age of transit assets is an important way to gauge the reliability and readiness of the Bay Area’s public transit system.

Regional Performance
While the vast majority of the Bay Area’s regional rail guideway is in good condition, over half of regional rail vehicles have surpassed their useful life.

Chart Text

2017 Transit Asset Condition by Asset Type

 
Local Focus
Maintaining transit assets in good condition is a challenge for agencies large and small.

All Bay Area transit providers reported at least one asset category in which their share of obsolete assets was higher than the regional average. Of the six largest transit operators, Caltrain is a prime example of the region’s aging infrastructure. While Caltrain has no track mileage restrictions, its share of revenue vehicles, non-revenue vehicles, and facilities deemed obsolete are all well above the regional average.

Muni’s 2017 debut of new light rail vehicles represented the system’s first new light rail vehicles in 14 years. These vehicles will be used to expand service through the Central Subway and to replace aging vehicles in the years ahead. Through regular fleet replacement, Muni has maintained the lowest share of revenue vehicles past their useful life of all major operators in the Bay Area, despite having nearly twice as many vehicles as the next largest operator.

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2017 Transit Asset Condition by Operator

 
Sources: 

Metropolitan Transportation Commission: Regional Transit Capital Inventory (2015)

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Image: MTC Library, Photographer: Karl Nielsen

Methodology Notes: 

Percentage of assets past useful life relies upon the identified useful life for each asset type as specified by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The calculation is weighted based on asset replacement value to reflect the greater importance of high-value assets to system operations.