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

Community of Metros News: CoMET 2017 Management Meeting in New York

Members of the Community of Metros attended the CoMET 2017 Management Meeting in New York, held from 15th – 17th March 2017. Representatives from 15 members attended the meeting, which focused on work programme development for CoMET in 2017. New York City Transit provided a host presentation focusing on its upcoming plans and characteristics, and members presented a short update on their organisation’s current projects, issues and best practices.

Members attended an opening reception at the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn, as well as a technical visit to the Second Avenue Subway new line segment and stations. New York City Transit also presented its new asset monitoring tools to the group. One of these tools was the Service Intervention Recommendation Engine (SIRE), which assists train dispatchers in deciding where to hold and skip trains, taking into account the net passenger time savings and volume of passengers affected.

Self-portrait mosaic of Chuck Close at 86th Street station on the Second Avenue subway

The Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) presented the final 2015 Key Performance Indicators results and four case study projects on Best Practices in Operating UTO Lines, Safety Culture, Planning for the Lifecycle of Metro Infrastructure Assets, and Accessibility Training.

Posted in Community of Metros News, Meetings

Community of Metros News: CoMET 2016 Annual Meeting in Singapore

In November 2016 members of the Community of Metros came together for the CoMET 2016 Annual Meeting in Singapore, hosted by Singapore SMRT. The meeting was attended by representatives from 18 metros – all 16 CoMET members and two Nova members from the Southeast Asia region.

Throughout the week, attendees toured SMRT facilities, including the Kim Chuan Depot, which is the world’s largest underground depot and home to the fully automated Circle Line. During meeting sessions each metro shared their latest updates, including specific recent initiatives aiming to improve customer satisfaction or service quality.

The Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) from Imperial College London presented the results of recent benchmarking research. The latest key performance indicator results were focused on meeting host Singapore SMRT and also included new items looking in more detail at the benchmarking of reliability and asset performance. Other recent benchmarking research that was presented and discussed included the 2016 results of the international metro customer satisfaction survey and the updated safety performance indicators. The recent benchmarking studies on the agenda were on Driver Training and Cybersecurity.

The meeting concluded with the 7th annual CoMET CEO/COO Day, where senior managers from the metros gathered to discuss metro performance and managing network expansion, addressing cybersecurity risks, and carrying out asset renewals.

Posted in Community of Metros News, Meetings

Community of Metros News: Nova 2016 Meeting in Lisbon

In September 2016 members of the Nova metro benchmarking group met in Lisbon, hosted by Metropolitano de Lisboa. The extended four-day meeting was attended by representatives from 17 metros. This was the first meeting for the new member Vancouver SkyTrain, who presented an extended introduction to their metro. Berlin BVG metro was also invited as a European CoMET member and presented an extended update of their metro. All other Nova members also had the opportunity to share their latest updates and challenges.

During the meeting benchmarking research results from the past year were presented and discussed. This included the latest key performance indicator results, updates on recent CoMET and Nova research on fares, results of the 2016 international metro customer satisfaction survey, and results of several benchmarking studies. The recent studies on the agenda were Management of Electronic Maintenance, Planning for the Life Cycles of Metro Infrastructure Assets, Safety Culture, and Best Practices in Operating Very High Frequency Metro Services. Meeting attendees also discussed and agreed the work programme for the next year.

In addition, attendees used the metro to travel between the hotel near Saldanha and the meeting venue at Alto dos Moinhos station. The group also visited the Pontinha Depot and Workshop as well as the metro’s Operation Control Centre (OCC). As part of the meeting’s social activities attendees also got to travel on a famous historic tram and visit the Carris Museum.

Posted in Community of Metros News, Meetings

Community of Metros News: Vancouver SkyTrain Joins

Vancouver SkyTrain has joined the Community of Metros as part of the Nova consortium as of September 2016. SkyTrain is the oldest and one of the longest fully-automated driverless metro systems in the world. Vancouver is the largest city in western Canada and the centre of the Lower Mainland region in the province of British Columbia, which comprises a total of 2.6 million inhabitants.

The SkyTrain network consists of three medium-capacity metro lines totalling 79km with 53 stations. The Expo and Millennium Lines are directly operated by member BCRTC (the British Columbia Rapid Transit Company, a subsidiary of regional transport authority TransLink), while the Canada Line is operated by private-sector contractor ProTrans BC through a PPP arrangement. The total system transports nearly 120m annual boardings as part of a integrated multimodal public transport network that include a large bus network, the West Coast Express commuter rail line, and the SeaBus ferry service.

The system first opened in 1985 for the World Exposition (Expo86) with the Expo Line from downtown Vancouver to New Westminster. The line was expanded in the late 1980s and early 1990s across the Fraser River to Surrey. The Millennium Line was the second line opened in 2002, forming a loop with the Expo Line. The 19km, 16-station Canada Line was built in advance of the 2010 Winter Olympics using a PPP arrangement. It opened in 2009 and links the city centre with the airport and major satellite city (Richmond) along what had been one of the city’s busiest bus corridors.

At the start of December 2016 the 11km Evergreen Extension to the Millennium Line will open in the northeast part of the Vancouver area. In advance of this opening in October 2016 Expo and Millennium Line services will be reconfigured, reducing the overlapping section to downtown Vancouver.

The SkyTrain network is fully accessible, with step-free access to all stations and trains. The Expo and Millennium Lines use Bombardier Advanced Rapid Transit technology, which uses linear induction motors and delivers fast and very frequent service with relatively smaller, lower-capacity trains. The same technology is also used by Nova member Kuala Lumpur RapidKL on the Kelana Jaya Line. The Canada Line uses conventional AC motor technology with larger cars operating two-car trains.

Future plans for the SkyTrain network include adding capacity with additional rolling stock and potential extensions as well as managing ageing infrastructure that is now more than 30 years old. One such extension project is the Millennium Line Broadway Extension, which would add 6km and 6 stations underground and link the Millennium Line to the Canada Line along what is currently one of the busiest bus corridors in North America.

Posted in Community of Metros News, Metro News, Unattended Train Operation

Community of Metros News: 2016 Safety Culture Expert Workshop in Sunderland, UK

In June 2016 the Community of Metros held an expert workshop on safety culture. The workshop was hosted by Nexus (owner of the Tyne and Wear Metro system) and held jointly with sister benchmarking group ISBeRG, the International Suburban Rail Benchmarking Group. Safety experts from 17 organisations – 5 CoMET metros, 7 Nova metros, and 5 ISBeRG railways – attended.

The workshop was held at a unique venue – the Stadium of Light, home to Sunderland A.F.C. and near the metro station of the same name and was recorded in the local press. The workshop was sponsored by the Nova group in conjunction with its 2016 benchmarking research study on Improving Safety Culture and followed a similar ISBeRG study in 2014. Both studies aimed to better understand safety culture and identify how metros and railways have established and improved safety culture.

Over the course of the two-day workshop experts shared experiences, exchanged good practices, and discussed the results of the benchmarking studies. There were also focus sessions on three key topics: responding to and recovering from major incidents, taking a ‘brain-based approach’ to safety, and considering the safety culture of passengers. Finally, the workshop also included two external perspectives: the regulatory view of Safety Culture from the UK Office of Rail and Road (ORR) and the trade union view of safety culture from the UK’s National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT).

Posted in Community of Metros News, Meetings

Community of Metros News: CoMET 2016 Management Meeting in Hong Kong

In March 2016 members of the Community of Metros came together for the CoMET 2016 Management Meeting in Hong Kong, hosted by Hong Kong MTR. The meeting was attended by representatives from 13 metro systems across the world. Members were welcomed by MTR CEO Lincoln Leung as the host of the meeting.

Throughout the week, attendees toured Hong Kong MTR’s facilities, including the new Wong Chuk Hang Depot for the new fully automated South Island Line Depot opening in late 2016 and the new HKU Station on the western extension of the Island Line, which opened at the end of 2014. During meeting sessions each metro shared their latest updates, including information about current challenges. Meeting attendees also discussed and selected benchmarking research topics for the coming year.

The Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) from Imperial College London also presented updates and results of recent benchmarking research. This included key performance indicator benchmarking, recent research on fares and regulation, and results of a recent study entitled ‘Practical Interventions to Improve Trains Service Reliability’.

Posted in Community of Metros News, Meetings

RTSC presents big data research to President Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Imperial College London on the 21st October. As a result of a collaboration between the RTSC, Shanghai Metro, and the Data Science Institute (DSI) of Imperial, the Presidential visit included a presentation on the analysis of smartcard data for the Shanghai Metro network.

PresidentialVisit02

Our main research objective was to improve our understanding of demand patterns captured in smartcard data. We visualised passenger flows entering and exiting Shanghai metro stations using the extraordinary visualisation capabilities of the KPMG Data Observatory of DSI. The Data Observatory is the largest of its kind in Europe, featuring an enveloping circular wall of 64 monitors powered by 32 computers facilitating 313 degrees of surround vision.

In the second part of the presentation we visualised a simulation scenario for a hypothetical train service disruption. This allowed us to predict how temporary demand shocks would spread through other parts of the network. Studying disruption scenarios enables operators to prepare for unexpected events and improve the resilience of urban rail networks.

The Presidential visit proved to be an excellent opportunity to showcase the RTSC’s recently developed competences in big data analysis, and the potential of smart card data in cutting edge public transport research.

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Posted in Community of Metros Research, RTSC News

CoMET and Nova News: CoMET 2015 Annual Meeting in Madrid

In November 2015, members of the Community of Metros came together for the CoMET 2015 Annual Meeting in Madrid, hosted by Metro de Madrid. The meeting was attended by representatives from 21 metro systems across the world, the most ever for a CoMET meeting. The meeting was opened by members of the Metro de Madrid executive committee as well as officials from the Madrid Region government.

Representatives from 21 world metro systems at the CoMET 2015 Annual Meeting in Madrid

Representatives from 21 world metro systems at the CoMET 2015 Annual Meeting in Madrid

Throughout the week, attendees toured Metro de Madrid facilities, including the intermodal stations at Moncloa and Vodafone Sol and the Centre for Operational Maintenance and Monitoring of Installations and Telecommunications (COMMIT). During meeting sessions each metro shared their latest updates, including information about strategies to improve efficiency and productivity. The Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) from Imperial College London also presented the results of recent benchmarking research and metro representatives discussed them. The recent benchmarking studies on the agenda were on Best Practices in Operating Very High Frequency Metro Services, the Management of Electronics Maintenance, Multi-Functional Staff, and Customer-Focused Train Design.

Plaza de España Station on Line 3 in Madrid.

Plaza de Espana Station on Line 3 in Madrid

The meeting also included the 6th annual CoMET CEO/COO Day, where senior managers from the metros gathered to discuss Key Performance Indicators as well as topics of key strategic importance, such as managing reinvestment and using multi-functional staff. Finally, after the main meeting there was the first ever CoMET and Nova European Regional Meeting, with representatives from eight European metro systems discussing topics of mutual interest, joined also by the CoMET metros of North America.

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Posted in Community of Metros News, Meetings