Community of Metros News: Nova Phase 21 Management Meeting in Montreal

The Nova benchmarking group convened in Montréal, Canada for the Phase 21 Management Meeting on 1st – 4th October 2018. Société de transport de Montréal (STM) hosted the meeting, with 15 members in attendance, including one of the newest members of the Community of Metros, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). Chairman of the Board Mr. Philippe Schnobb welcomed the group to Montréal and presented an overview of public transport operations at STM. The group also learned about the latest changes to public transport governance in Montréal.

During Nova Management Meetings, members develop the work programme for the upcoming phase. The topics selected for study in Phase 21 were absenteeism, signalling reliability, employee engagement and managing works during revenue service. The Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) also presented the first Key Performance Indicator and Safety Performance Indicator results using 2017 data, as well as case studies on Escalator Management and Station Design Guidelines and Passenger Flow Monitoring. Results from the 2018 Customer Satisfaction Survey were also presented. Each of the 15 attending metros presented an update to the group about their metro’s activities and challenges over the past six months.

During the week, members had the opportunity to see STM’s facilities, including its new AZUR trains and bespoke train simulator; “Espace Client” customer service centre; and the Youville workshop, which is the largest metro maintenance facility operated by STM, handling the maintenance for its MR-73 and AZUR rolling stock.

Posted in Community of Metros News, Meetings

Community of Metros News: Nova Phase 20 Annual Meeting in London

Nova celebrated its 20th birthday at the Phase 20 Annual Meeting, held in London and hosted by the Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) at Imperial College London. 22 members of the Community of Metros (17 Nova members and 5 CoMET members) attended the Annual Meeting and Metro Leader Day, held on 8th – 11th May 2018. Representatives from new members at Bay Area Rapid Transit (San Francisco) and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai were warmly welcomed for their first meeting.

The meeting focused on Phase 20 benchmarking results, including Key Performance Indicators, case studies on Escalator Management and Security on Metros, as well as wider studies from the Community of Metros on Enhancing Platform Safety Without Platform Doors and Using Data to Improve Maintenance. Members presented an update on their metro’s current activities and plans, giving insight into shared challenges and opportunities. The meeting also included the annual Nova Metro Leader Day, focused on strategic-level discussions on topics of interest, such as managing ageing assets and metro automation. The Group also celebrated Nova’s 20th birthday throughout the week.

Nova Phase 20 Chair Joubert Flores (Director at Metro Rio), RTSC Managing Director Richard Anderson and Head of Metro Benchmarking Alex Barron cutting the Nova Phase 20 birthday cake

As well as meeting activities, members visited London Underground facilities across two technical visits. These visits included a guided tour of Tottenham Court Road station, which has undergone significant works in preparation for the opening of the Elizabeth Line, and as part of an area-wide regeneration plan. Members also rode the new Elizabeth Line rolling stock from Liverpool Street to Stratford, where they heard more detail on the development of the line as it prepares to open. Members also visited Transport for London’s operational control centres where the Underground and surface transport networks are monitored and optimised.

New members from the Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai (Mohammed Yousuf al Mudharreb, Director of Rail Operations, and Amair Saleem, Director of Safety, Risk, Regulation and Planning), and Bay Area Transit Authority in San Francisco (Robert Powers, Assistant General Manager) participate at the Nova Phase 20 Annual Meeting

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Community of Metros News, Meetings, RTSC News

“The Operator’s Story” Open Session with the Government of India, World Bank and Community of Metros

During the CoMET 2018 Management Meeting in early March 2018, the Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) at Imperial College London, Community of Metros and the World Bank hosted an Open Session focused on the findings from “The Operator’s Story” research project. This Open Session was kindly hosted by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and the Government of India. The day’s programme included sessions centred on the research into the government and operational requirements for metro success.

President of the Community of Metros, Philippe Martin (Deputy General Manager, RATP), introduces the session

“The Operator’s Story” research project included valuable contributions from Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona, Rapid Rail (Kuala Lumpur), Bangkok Expressway and Metro Public Company, Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway (MTR), Toronto Transit Commission, Guangzhou Metro, Metro São Paulo, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), London Underground, Metro de Santiago (Santiago de Chile). Interviews and fieldwork were carried out with each of these operators to form individual case studies supporting the research. These studies illuminate how new and developing metros can be successful and avoid mistakes of the past by highlighting upstream decisions that have facilitated, constrained or affected their operations.

“The Operator’s Story” report is distributed to Mukund Kumar Sinha (Joint Secretary & Officer on Special Duty, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs) and Durga Shankar Mishra (Secretary, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs)

The Open Session included presentations on key areas of the research findings, including government and operator actions for metro success, and a focus on Public Private Partnerships (PPP, 3P) for delivering metros. Two panel discussions were also held. The first saw senior managers from London Underground, Singapore SMRT and Metro São Paulo discuss their operational history, success factors and challenges. The second panel discussion comprised key figures from Indian metros to offer insight on the lessons learned through developing India’s current metros, and the plans for future systems.

Alex Barron, Head of Metro Benchmarking, presenting at the Open Session


“The Operator’s Story” emerging findings can be found here.
Many thanks to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation for hosting this valuable Open Session and to Community of Metros members for their kind participation.

Posted in Community of Metros News, Community of Metros Research

Community of Metros News: CoMET 2018 Management Meeting in Delhi

Members of the Community of Metros attended the CoMET 2018 Management Meeting from 5th – 9th March, hosted by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). The meeting was attended by representatives from 14 metros in addition to DMRC. Members received a warm welcome from India’s Honourable Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, and from DMRC senior managers including its Managing Director, Dr. Mangu Singh.

Meeting attendees discussed and agreed on the research topics for the CoMET Work Programme for 2018. The Railway and Transport Stategy Centre (RTSC) from Imperial College London also presented findings from recent benchmarking research, including Key Performance Indicator benchmarking and case study presentations on platform safety, operational control centres and customer satisfaction.

Throughout the week, attendees were able to see DMRC’s facilities first-hand. These included visiting one of DMRC’s depot and staff training facilities, a metro museum at Patel Chowk station, and key interchanges on the network. Members also visited stations on the Red, Orange and Violet lines, as well as the Magenta Line, which was partially open at the time of the meeting and fully opened in May 2018.

Posted in Community of Metros News, Meetings

Community of Metros News: First North American Sub-Group Meeting Held in Washington DC

The North American Sub-Group of the Community of Metros has officially been formed and its inaugural meeting held in Washington DC. The North American Sub-Group brings together metro operators in North America to collaborate on benchmarking and focus on challenges particularly affecting operators in the region. The group consists of existing Community of Metros members New York City Transit, Société de Transport de Montréal, Toronto Transit Commission and Vancouver SkyTrain, as well as new members of the community, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and Bay Area Rapid Transit (San Francisco).

During this meeting, members heard benchmarking analysis with a focus on North America, and case studies of particular relevance including Measuring and Improving Customer Satisfaction and Best Practices in Driver Training. Members also participated in structured discussions on key topics of interest for North American metro operators, such as managing reliability, ridership trends and using performance data.

WMATA Chief Operating Officer Joe Leader explains WMATA’s rolling stock replacement programme

Members used WMATA’s network extensively, learning about station operational procedures and plans for future station works. The group also visited WMATA’s Greenbelt Yard facility to learn about its rolling stock replacement programme, including the logistics of the depot and customer-focused design elements of the trains. Its new 7000-series cars total 45% of its fleet and is reducing fleet-related delays.

Posted in Community of Metros News, Meetings, Metro News, RTSC News

Community of Metros News: Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Joins

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in San Francisco, United States, has joined the Nova benchmarking consortium as part of the North American Sub-Group. The North American Sub-Group brings together metro operators in North America to collaborate on benchmarking and focus on challenges particularly affecting operators in the region.

BART is a network of approximately 180km and 46 stations, transporting 124 million passengers annually. It opened in phases between 1972-1974 and now operates across five lines, as well as an automated guideway transit line serving Oakland International Airport. It runs a 24 Trains per Hour (TPH) frequency with a fleet of over 650 cars. Given its unique design and geography in the region, BART also continues to participate in the International Suburban Rail Benchmarking Group (ISBeRG).

BART has some exciting programmes underway, including the delivery of new train cars and managing extension projects. In 2018, BART opened the East Contra Costa County extension and its trains run on renewable diesel fuel. This follows the 8.6km Warm Springs Extension project, which opened in 2017, and serves as the starting extension towards Silicon Valley. BART is currently delivering its “Better BART” project, which aims to improve the system’s safety and reliability. This involves extensive projects such as track replacement, power line and structure repairs, infrastructure and station renewal, and delivering increased capacity through implementing Communications-Based Train Control signalling (CBTC).

Posted in Community of Metros News, Metro News

Community of Metros News: Welcome to Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) in Washington DC, USA, has joined the Community of Metros as part of the North American Sub-Group. The North American Sub-Group brings together metro operators in North America to collaborate on benchmarking and focus on challenges particularly affecting operators in the region.

Network Map of the Washington Metro (2018)

WMATA provides fully-accessible metro rail service across three jurisdictions in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, in addition to MetroBus and MetroAccess services in the region. WMATA is a nationally important public transport operator in the United States, providing the third largest metro system in the United States based on ridership (after New York City and Chicago), with approximately 180 million annual trips. It was created through a dedicated Compact in 1965 and the metro network opened in 1976 on a 7.4km, 5 station segment of the Red Line. Its original design consisted of 83 stations and approximately 160km of network length, and was delivered in phases until 2001: operations began in 1977 on the Blue Line, in 1978 on the Orange Line, in 1983 on the Yellow Line, in 2000 on the Green Line and 2014 on the Silver Line. The Blue, Orange and Silver Lines interline on some sections of route. The system is approximately 40% underground, particularly in the high-density District of Columbia, and its current fleet consists of approximately 1150 cars.

WMATA continues to add to the diversity of the Community of Metros, increasing the number of peers in North America and joining other “middle-aged” metros. One of WMATA’s notable practices is its focus on measuring and reporting its performance to customers across areas of service quality, safety, security and financial responsibility. Customers use the SmarTrip farecard to pay for their journeys on WMATA metro and bus services, and data from the SmarTrip system is used to calculate service quality indicators, such as customer on-time performance (known as “MyTripTime”). WMATA then analyses the sources of delay affecting this figure and identifies key actions to improve performance.

WMATA’s future strategic plans for the metro focus on delivering more capacity and reliability. Initiatives such as core station improvements to accommodate all eight-car trains during peak periods, adding passageways, escalators and stairs to improve passenger experience in stations, adding new Blue Line connections to reduce waiting times and adding pocket tracks and crossovers at key points on the network to deliver greater operational flexibility and resilience. The Community of Metros hopes to be a valuable source of knowledge and best practices to WMATA as it continues with these future initiatives, as well as its ongoing extensive Back2Good programme to improve total service provision to customers.

Posted in Community of Metros News, Metro News

Community of Metros News: CoMET 2017 Annual Meeting in Taipei

In November 2017, members of the Community of Metros came together for the CoMET 2017 Annual Meeting in Taipei, hosted by Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation (TRTC). The meeting was attended by representatives from 17 metros – 15 CoMET members and 2 Nova members from the Southeast Asia region. The meeting spanned four days, including technical visits, the Annual CEO/COO Day, and an Asian Regional Meeting.

Throughout the week, members were able to see TRTCs facilities. This included the Zhongshan Metro Mall and its “Underground Book Street”, Taipei Metro Taipei Main Station, Taoyuan Airport MRT Taipei Main Station and Taipei Metro Beimen Station. Members also toured the Beitou Depot. During meeting sessions, each metro provided an update on their recent activities, plans and challenges.

The Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) from Imperial College London presented the results of recent benchmarking research. The latest set of Key Performance Indicators results were focused on meeting host TRTC and members were consulted on a refined and improved balanced scorecard to increase the depth and breadth of benchmarking results. Other recent research was also presented at the meeting, including results from the International Metro Customer Satisfaction Survey and Safety Performance Indicators. Two in-depth case studies were presented to the group, on Using Data to Improve Maintenance, and Station Design Guidelines and Passenger Flow Monitoring.

On Thursday 30th November, the CoMET Annual CEO/COO Day was held, where metro leaders came together to discuss issues of strategic importance. Key discussion topics included customer safety and security risks and initiatives, managing Unattended Train Operation (UTO), and preparing for new mobilities. The Asian Regional Meeting was also held on 1st December, attended by 8 members from the Asia region, as well as Paris RATP and New York City Transit to observe and participate in discussions. The group discussed key issues affecting Asian metros, including the management of rapid network expansion, managing capacity and automation, and improving reliability.

Posted in Community of Metros News, Meetings

Community of Metros News: Nova Phase 20 Management Meeting in Oslo

The Nova Phase 20 Management Meeting was held from 19th – 22nd September 2017, attended by 15 members and observed by Stockholm MTR. The meeting was held in Oslo, hosted by Oslo Sporveien, who joined the Community of Metros in 2014.

During the visit, members were able to see some of Oslo Sporveien’s facilities first-hand. These included visits to Løren, Ullevål, Majorstuen and Tøyen Stations, as well as Sporveien’s Metro Control Room, and Driving Simulator. Members were also shown Sporveien’s innovative train passenger counting system.

During the meeting, members presented an update focusing on recent developments, challenges and good practices implemented. The Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) presented the 2016 Key Performance Indicator results, focusing on host metro Oslo Sporveien, and the Safety Performance Indicators results. Three research projects were also presented by the RTSC team, on Cybersecurity and Accessibility Training, as well as a session on Measuring the Customer Experience Using Big Data, which presented the RTSC’s initial insights into the use of big datasets. Members also selected the case studies and work programme for Nova Phase 20.

Posted in Community of Metros News, Meetings

 “The Operator’s Story” at the OECD International Transport Forum, Leipzig

Richard Anderson, Professor Dan Graham, Dr. Roger Allport and Priya Wells attended the 2017 OECD International Transport Forum to bring the ongoing “Operator’s Story” research project to industry experts and policymakers from around the world. The RTSC team were joined by Dominic Patella, Senior Transportation Specialist at the World Bank, and an expert panel made up of Dr Jacob Kam of Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway, Ismael Uruen Pueyo of Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona and Professor Tony Ridley of Imperial College London.

“The Operator’s Story” is an applied research project aiming to capture and document what makes metros successful from the Operator’s point of view, a perspective that has been little explored. 10 members of the Community of Metros participated in in-depth case studies for the research, providing insight into their governance structures, operational opportunities and constraints, and relationships with stakeholders. These findings have been combined with long-term metro benchmarking to present a set of initiatives that actively improve metro success, for application to existing and new metro systems alike.

Examples of external factors affecting metro operators

Richard Anderson, Roger Allport and Dominic Patella presented the emerging findings of the research, focusing on the increasing trend towards urbanisation and the use of metro rail as a solution to promote sustainable growth. Roger Allport presented key insights from the in-depth case studies, focusing on strategic and governance practices. Using best practice insight from the Community of Metros, Richard Anderson presented some of the key operational principles of metro development.

Ismael Uruen Pueyo (Director of Economic and Finance, Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona) during the panel discussion

Following the presentation, questions were fielded from the audience to the presenters and expert panel. The questions were diverse, covering the setup of metros to successfully transition between engineering, operations and management, managing service levels during constrained funding periods and recruiting expertise for metros.

“The Operator’s Story” team in Leipzig from the World Bank, RTSC at Imperial College London and Community of Metros


“The Operator’s Story” team would like to thank the OECD International Transport Forum for hosting this first session into the research findings, as well as the members of the expert panel who provided valuable insight into how the research findings apply in real-world situations.

A report presenting “The Operator’s Story” Emerging Findings can be found here.

Posted in Community of Metros News, Community of Metros Research, Meetings, RTSC News