T3 Webinar Presentation

Beyond Scheduling: Transit Scheduling and Operations IT: Lessons Learned (May 31, 2012)

Public Transit Scheduling and Operations IT: Lessons Learned

Presenter: Ray Burgess
Presenter's Org: King County Metro Transit
Presenter: Kranthi Balaram
Presenter's Org: Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)
Presenter: Mark Patzloff
Presenter's Org: Chicago Transit Authority

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T3 Webinars are brought to you by the ITS Professional Capacity Building (PCB) Program at the U.S. Department of Transportation's ITS Joint Program Office (JPO), Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA).

Most of the slides in this presentation are branded with the USDOT logo in the lower right. Many of the slides in this presentation also include the CTA logo in the upper right.

Slide 1: Public Transit Scheduling and Operations IT: Lessons Learned

(T3) Presentation
May 31 2012

Slide 2: Todayís Speakers


Terry Regan
Volpe National Transportation Research Center
U.S. Department of Transportation


Ray Burgess
King County Transit Authority
Seattle, WA

Kranthi Balaram
Mark Patzloff

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)
Chicago, IL

Slide 3: Disclaimer

This presentation contains references to brand names and proprietary technologies. This information is provided in the specific descriptions of ITS applications at the presenting agencies, and does not in any way constitute an endorsement of those brands or technologies by USDOT.

Slide 4: Presentation Outline

  1. Problem Statement, Current challenges, Alternative views
  2. DOT Peer-to-Peer program
  3. CTA Peers and their approach
  4. Evaluation challenges
  5. Peer focus - King County Transit: Approach, Challenges, Customization, Lessons Learned
  6. CTA: Strategic Goal, RFP and the road ahead
  7. Questions?? Contact information
  8. Appendix

Slide 5: ITS Peer-to-Peer Program

1. Problem statement, Current challenges, Alternative views

Slide 6: Problem Statement

Too many disparate decentralized systems with redundant processes, manual entries, multiple interpretation of business rules limiting visibility and sustainability.

[This slide contains an image of one system containing six separate computer systems. This image depicts the common problem with public transit scheduling and operations, which is that the system is decentralized and creates redundancy.]

Slide 7: Current challenges

  • outdated procedures
  • lack of communication potential between them
  • heavy customization, numerous features and interfaces
  • obsolete hardware and outdated OS
  • no vendor support continuity
  • no real time status reporting
  • high risk for employee turnover
  • expensive maintenance, small chance to expand
  • difficult integration with advanced-IT ERPs

Slide 8: Alternative views

  • The status quo (Legacy systems) and processes:
    • ‘work satisfactorily; no reason to change them’
    • ‘can be enhanced/refaced to interface with new IT’
    • ‘add some value, yet run a system deficit annually’
    • ‘are ticking time bombs’
    • ‘can be replaced when necessary i.e. Not Now
  • The new systems:
    • ‘mean a steep, painful learning curve’
    • ‘increase the risk of security breech and failure’
    • ‘represent increase cost and time for training’
    • ‘are not easily understood’

Slide 9: ITS Peer-to-Peer Program

2. DOT Peer-to-Peer Program

Slide 10: What is this program?

  • Sponsored by the US DOT's RITA Office - Research & Innovative Technology Admin.
  • Provides short-term technical assistance on ITS planning, procurement, deployment, and operational challenges
  • Connects agencies with an existing base of ITS knowledge and expertise within the transportation community
  • AKA Peer-to-Peer

Slide 11: How the P2P visit came about

  • CTA contacted the ITS P2P Program about increasing its understanding of the process other agencies use to procure and deploy transit software.
  • ITS P2P agreed to support two CTA staff members' travel for four site visits in the Pacific Northwest; an addition peer-to-peer contact was made via a tele-conference.
  • CTA produced a summary report detailing outcomes.

Slide 12: The purpose of the P2P visit

To share experiences and improve...

  • ...the processes behind managing procurement of large-scale transit IT projects
  • ...assimilation of large-scale IT deployments
  • ...how we make better use of IT standards
  • ...relationships with internal/external stakeholders
  • ...the IT challenges to large and small agencies

Slide 13: ITS Peer-to-Peer Program

3. CTA peers and their approaches

Slide 14: Peer agencies

On-site visits:

  • Community Transit Everett, WA
  • Pierce County Transit Lakewood, WA
  • King County Transit Seattle, WA
  • Tri-Met Transit Portland, OR

Conference call:

  • BC Transit Victoria, B.C Canada

Slide 15: Profile: peer agencies/CTA

Statistics for bus only Pierce Transit BCTransit Community Transit TriMet King County CTA
Fleet size 230 261 295 625 1,300 1,781
Routes 46a 54 53b 79 251 144
Annual Boardings 16.4m 24.5m 9.6m 58.4m 119.0m 306.0m
Svc. Area (sq. miles) 414 322 1,305 570 2,134 275

a 38 local+8 Sound Transit
b 30 local+23 Sound Transit

Slide 16: CTA peers: their approaches

  • Each agency is currently using GIRO's Hastus product for scheduling.
  • Two of the five (Community and BCTransit) have combined IT vendors: Hastus and Trapeze
  • All of the agencies are considered generally IT-savvy but only one (Portland's Tri-Met) has a high reliance on in-house built systems.

Slide 17: Systems: Peer Agencies/CTA

P2P comparison
Systems Pierce Transit BCTransit Community Transit TriMet King County CTA
Scheduling Hastus 2007 Hastus 2007 Hastus 2005 Hastus 2010 Hastus 2006 Hastus 2010
Payroll/Operations Hastus Daily Trapeze OPS PeopleSoft Trapeze OPS in-house Hastus Daily FAST
Accidents/Incidents in-house (ODDS) Trapeze/JD Edwards Risk Master in-house (ACID) Access db Other
Employee Rewards/Discipline ePersonality ePersonality Access db in-house (ERKS) PeopleSoft Other
Maintenance Spear-Infor JD Edwards AssetWorks-FleetFocus in-house (MMIS) AssetWorks-M5 MMIS
Bid Hastus Trapeze Trapeze in-house Hastus Hastus (bus)
Self-Service ePersonality/Hastus in-house w/central db Trapeze Self Service in-house w/central db    
Other notable systems/modules            

Slide 18: ITS Peer-to-Peer Program

4. Evaluation Challenges

Slide 19: Evaluation Challenges

  • Most agencies preferred judgment to financial metrics so comparisons are less than objective.
  • Lacking uniform objectives for replacement/upgrade.
  • Smaller agencies faced very different hurdles for these projects with regard to product acceptance, training and deployment.

Slide 20: Evaluation Challenges(2)

  • Decision-making history is not transparent
  • Wide range of project management skills
  • Agency terminology

Slide 21: ITS Peer-to-Peer Program

5. Peer focus - King County Transit

Slide 22: Peer focus - Approach

  • Result of a long and unsuccessful effort to have a custom built bus operations support system developed
  • Gathered a team of SMEs and IT personnel to draft updated requirements
  • Worked closely with vendor to identify differences between base system and our customized requirements
  • Phased implementation
    • Bid function implemented first
    • Daily operations functions moved to production base by base
    • Training at each base just prior to production start-up

Slide 23: Peer focus - Challenges

  • Converted from 3 legacy systems to new operations support system
  • Business kept evolving during life of project
  • Keeping project team staffed during a long (4 year) project
  • Resistance to change from long-time system users
  • Inability of IT staff to see into vendor code base to diagnose problems

Slide 24: Peer focus - Customization

  • Became a complex issue due to:
    • specific union work rules
    • reporting standards dictated by payroll and prior business practices
    • processing requirements from dispatchers and pick room personnel
  • Added to the time horizon
    • Approximately the first 40% of the project timeline was dedicated to requirement gathering and customization.
  • Required time and money to get it right
    • The project team spent one week payroll testing at vendor HQ
  • Canít be done well without company-wide buy-in
    • SMEs were highly engaged from Day 1

Slide 25: Peer focus - Lessons learned

  • Strong business lead is essential
  • A thorough testing plan is most important
  • Full organizational buy-in necessary
  • Testing time at vendor HQ is very much worth the time and expense
  • Post production support essential from both the vendor and core project team

Slide 26: ITS Peer-to-Peer Program

6. CTAís Strategic Goal, RFP and the road ahead

Slide 27: CTA focus - Strategic Goal

  • Enterprise system that supports all areas of Operations providing the functionality to accomplish centralized - Scheduling, Picking, Day-to-day work and resource management, Payroll, Accidents, Incidents, Interview and discipline tracking and reporting.

[This slide contains an image with three orange figures holding hands standing on top of blue interlocking puzzle pieces. This image depicts a centralized system that integrates scheduling, picking, day-to-day work and resource management, payroll, accidents, incidents, interview and discipline tracking and reporting. The utilization of a centralized system is a strategic goal of CTA.]

Slide 28: CTA Focus

  • Single Project Vision between operations - Bus, Rail and Maintenance
  • Identify Subject Matter Experts and all Stakeholders.
  • Focus on System Wide Process Optimization and alignment.
  • Workforce Change Management and Control.
  • Manage Resistance and align to Organization Vision.
  • Effective Communication.

Slide 29: CTA focus - RFP

  • CTA is currently engaged in an RFP to acquire an enterprise system.
  • Based on Lessons Learned from the Peer-to-Peer CTA will institute an RFP to include:
    • End to End Software Solution starting with Business Process Analysis till Deployment.
    • Benefits management and realization via phase gates to measure stakeholder aims.
    • On-site Vendor presence during parallel tests.
    • Phased deployment with 24/7 support and maintenance.

Slide 30: RFP Expectations

  • Enterprise System to support business processes, information flows, reporting, and data analytics.
  • Eliminate Paper distribution and tracking.
  • Automate all pick processes, uniformly across job classes.
  • Automate Extraboard assignments to < 3 minutes
  • Centralize Systems Safety and incident tracking.
  • Biometric time capture with additional kiosk services.
  • Web based attendance and holiday requests.
  • Workflow authorization of payroll processes.

Slide 31: Thank you!

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