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United States Government Accountability OfficeReport to the Committee on Banking,Housing, and Urban Affairs, U.S. SenateSeptember 2020TRANSIT ASSETMANAGEMENTFTA Should ClarifyPerformance Dataand Develop a Plan toGuide Future ProgramImprovementsAccessible VersionGAO-20-686

September 2020TRANSIT ASSET MANAGEMENTFTA Should Clarify Performance Data and Develop aPlan to Guide Future Program ImprovementsHighlights of GAO-20-686, a report to theCommittee on Banking, Housing, and UrbanAffairs, U.S. SenateWhy GAO Did This StudyWhat GAO FoundIn 2019, the Department ofTransportation (DOT) reported a 98billion national backlog in deferredreinvestment needs for transit assetsin 2014, affecting the quality of transitservices. Transit asset managementcan help agencies make investmentdecisions that improve assetperformance and reduce life cyclecosts. In 2016, FTA issued a final rulefor its TAM program that requiredtransit agencies to develop TAMplans and report on their assets.The Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Transit Asset Management (TAM)program requires transit agencies receiving federal assistance to develop plansto manage their assets and meet other requirements. According to generalizableresults from GAO’s survey of urban transit agencies, most agencies made fewchanges or limited improvements to their existing procedures for inventorying orassessing the condition of assets to incorporate TAM requirements. TAMrequirements also include reporting performance targets for four types of assets:rolling stock (like buses); equipment; facilities; and, for rail agencies, guidewayinfrastructure (like track). Transit agencies GAO surveyed found performancetargets for most, but not all, assets to be useful for capital planning (see figure).GAO was asked to review FTA’simplementation of the TAM program.This report examines the extent towhich: (1) transit agencies reportedimprovements as a result of the TAMprogram; (2) FTA establishedperformance measures to assessasset condition and reportedinformation on those measures; and(3) TAM requirements prepare transitagencies to manage assets over theirlife cycles. GAO conducted ageneralizable web survey of officialsrepresenting urban transit agencies;reviewed FTA documents; evaluatedthe TAM program against leadingpractices for performance measures,program management, and transitasset management; and interviewedFTA officials.What GAO RecommendsGAO is making recommendationsthat FTA: (1) include the knownlimitations of TAM performance datain public reports, and (2) develop aplan to manage any futureimprovements to the TAM program.DOT concurred with therecommendations.View GAO-20-686. For more information,contact Andrew Von Ah at (202) 512-2834 Transit Agencies’ Views on Performance Targets (Estimated Percentages)Notes: Combined data for each asset category may not equal 100 percent as “do not know”responses are excluded. Estimates in this figure have a margin of error of /- 10 percentage points orfewer, at the 95 percent confidence level.Nonetheless, the targets for the four asset categories are based on performancemeasures that do not fully assess state of good repair, as defined by FTAstandards, or cover all key performance dimensions contrary to leading practicesGAO identified in prior work. For example, FTA’s measures do not fully addresswhether an asset poses an unacceptable safety risk, one of FTA’s standards.FTA has not reported this and other limitations of its TAM performance data. Asa result, stakeholders may draw inaccurate conclusions on the condition of thenation’s transit assets, potentially affecting policy decisions.FTA’s TAM requirements may not prepare transit agencies to manage transitassets over their life cycles. For example, contrary to FTA-sponsored researchon leading transit asset management practices, FTA does not require transitagencies to develop investment scenarios, which hypothesize the effects ofdifferent funding levels on transit assets. While FTA officials told GAO they madethis decision to minimize the burden on smaller agencies, leading practicesprovide tools for any size agency to adapt scenarios to its needs. FTA officialssaid that addressing GAO’s findings and others that may result from FTA’s ownreviews of the TAM program would require a program rule change, which is alengthy and costly process. Leading program management practices emphasizethe importance of identifying areas for improvement and proactively planning forchange. Such planning may be even more important when change requires alengthy process; but FTA does not have such a plan. Having a plan to managefuture improvements to the TAM program could help ensure intended programbenefits are realized.United States Government Accountability Office

ContentsLetter1BackgroundMost Transit Agencies Surveyed Made Limited AssetManagement Improvements as a Result of the TAM Program,and Found Annual Reporting of Performance Targets of LimitedUseFTA’s TAM Performance Measures Do Not Fully Assess the Stateof Good Repair of Transit Assets, and FTA Has Not DisclosedData LimitationsFTA’s Current TAM Requirements May Not Prepare TransitAgencies to Manage Transit Assets over Their Life Cycles, butChange Management Planning Could HelpConclusionsRecommendations for Executive ActionAgency Comments581626323333Appendix I: Additional Results from the Transit Asset Management (TAM) Program Surveys35Appendix II: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology40Appendix III: Comments from the Department of Transportation47Appendix IV: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments50GAO ContactStaff Acknowledgments5050Appendix V: Accessible Data51Data TablesAgency Comment Letter5159TablesTable 1: Elements of a Transit Asset Management (TAM) PlanRequired by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA)Page i6GAO-20-686 Transit Asset Management

Table 2: Extent to Which the Federal Transit Administration’s(FTA) Transit Asset Management (TAM) PerformanceMeasures Align with Leading PracticesTable 3: Federal Transit Administration (FTA) PerformanceMeasures and Transit Cooperative Research Program(TCRP) Recommended Measures by Asset CategoriesTable 4: Stratified Sample of Tier I and Tier II Urban TransitAgencies172043FiguresFigure 1: Urban Transit Agency Views on Condition AssessmentImprovements from Agencies That Made Changes toMeet Transit Asset Management Requirements(Estimated Percentages by Asset Category)Figure 2: Urban Transit Agency Views on the Level of Challengein Assessing the Condition of Transit Assets (EstimatedPercentages by Asset Category)Figure 3: Urban Transit Agency Views on Improvements toPrioritized Lists of Projects and Level of ChallengeMeeting Requirement (Estimated Percentages by Tier)Figure 4: Urban Transit Agency Views on Usefulness ofPerformance Targets for Capital Planning (EstimatedPercentage by Asset Category)Figure 5: Urban Transit Agency Views on the Usefulness ofSetting Annual Performance Targets for Capital Planning(Estimated Percentage by Asset Category)Figure 6: Steps for Developing a Transit Asset Management(TAM) PlanFigure 7: Tier I Agency Views on the Usefulness and Level ofChallenge Meeting Specific Transit Asset Management(TAM) Plan Requirements (Estimated Percentages)Figure 8: Percentage of Group Transit Asset Management (TAM)Plan Sponsors Reporting Challenges Meeting TAMRequirementsFigure 9: Transit Asset Management (TAM) Officials WhoReported Hiring Consultants, Contractors, or AdditionalWorkers to Complete TAM Requirements (Percentagesby Respondent Type)Accessible Data for Urban Transit Agencies’ Views onPerformance Targets (Estimated Percentages)Page ii10111315162736373951GAO-20-686 Transit Asset Management

Accessible Data for Figure 1: Urban Transit Agency Views onCondition Assessment Improvements from Agencies ThatMade Changes to Meet Transit Asset ManagementRequirements (Estimated Percentages by AssetCategory)Accessible Data for Figure 2: Urban Transit Agency Views on theLevel of Challenge in Assessing the Condition of TransitAssets (Estimated Percentages by Asset Category)Accessible Data for Figure 3: Urban Transit Agency Views onImprovements to Prioritized Lists of Projects and Level ofChallenge Meeting Requirement (Estimated Percentagesby Tier)Accessible Data for Figure 4: Urban Transit Agency Views onUsefulness of Performance Targets for Capital Planning(Estimated Percentage by Asset Category)Accessible Data for Figure 5: Urban Transit Agency Views on theUsefulness of Setting Annual Performance Targets forCapital Planning (Estimated Percentage by AssetCategory)Accessible Data for Figure 7: Tier I Agency Views on theUsefulness and Level of Challenge Meeting SpecificTransit Asset Management (TAM) Plan Requirements(Estimated Percentages)Accessible Data for Figure 8: Percentage of Group Transit AssetManagement (TAM) Plan Sponsors ReportingChallenges Meeting TAM RequirementsAccessible Data for Figure 9: Transit Asset Management (TAM)Officials Who Reported Hiring Consultants, Contractors,or Additional Workers to Complete TAM Requirements(Percentages by Respondent Type)AbbreviationsAASHTOAMPOAPTACTAADOTFHWAFTAPage iii5253545556575859American Association of State Highway andTransportation OfficialsAssociation of Metropolitan PlanningOrganizationsAmerican Public Transportation AssociationCommunity Transportation Association ofAmericaDepartment of TransportationFederal Highway AdministrationFederal Transit AdministrationGAO-20-686 Transit Asset Management

MAP-21MPONTDTAMTAM programTCRPTERMMoving Ahead for Progress in the 21stCentury ActMetropolitan Planning OrganizationsNational Transit DatabaseTransit Asset ManagementNational Transit Asset Management SystemTransit Cooperative Research ProgramTransit Economic Requirements ModelThis is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright protection in theUnited States. The published product may be reproduced and distributed in its entiretywithout further permission from GAO. However, because this work may containcopyrighted images or other material, permission from the copyright holder may benecessary if you wish to reproduce this material separately.Page ivGAO-20-686 Transit Asset Management

441 G St. N.W.Washington, DC 20548LetterSeptember 30, 2020The Honorable Mike CrapoChairmanThe Honorable Sherrod BrownRanking MemberCommittee on Banking, Housing, and Urban AffairsUnited States SenateU.S. transit agencies provide transportation services to millions ofpassengers each year through a wide variety of capital assets, includingbuses, rail cars and track, stations, and other facilities. In 2019, theDepartment of Transportation (DOT) reported that based on 2014 data,19 percent of transit vehicles were not in a state of good repair and therewas a deferred reinvestment needs backlog of 98 billion for transitassets.1 The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP21), enacted in 2012, established specific requirements to improve thesafety, reliability, and performance of transit assets through aperformance-based approach.2 MAP-21 required that DOT establish asystem to monitor and manage transit assets and develop performancemeasures to assess progress.To implement this statute, DOT’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA)issued a final rule in July 2016 establishing the National Transit AssetManagement (TAM) System (TAM program). In general, FTA requiredtransit agencies receiving federal public transportation financialassistance to prepare a TAM plan with differing requirements dependingon the type and number of assets agencies maintain.3 Transit agencieswere required to prepare an initial TAM plan by October 2018 that1DOT, Federal Highway Administration, and Federal Transit Administration, Status of theNation’s Highways, Bridges, and Transit Conditions and Performance (23rd Edition)Report to Congress (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 21, 2019).2Pub. L. No. 112-141, 126 Stat. 405 (2012).3TAM regulations apply to all recipients and sub-recipients of federal financial assistanceunder 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53 (Public Transportation) that own, operate, or manage capitalassets used for providing public transportation. 49 C.F.R. § 625.3. For the purposes of thisreport, when we discuss transit agencies, we are referring to those that receive federalpublic transportation financial assistance.Page 1GAO-20-686 Transit Asset Management

Letterincluded an inventory and condition assessment of capital assets and aprioritized list of investments to improve their state of good repair.In prior work, we reported that transit agencies vary in their use of leadingpractices in asset management, including collecting asset condition andperformance data and estimating investment needs.4 According to theAmerican Public Transportation Association (APTA), more than 900transit providers in urban areas and 1,200 providers in rural areasreceived grant money from FTA in 2018.5 FTA’s TAM program setminimum asset management requirements for transit agenciesnationwide.You asked us to review FTA’s implementation of this new program. Thisreport examines the extent to which:·transit agencies reported improvements to their assetmanagement as a result of FTA’s TAM program;·FTA has established performance measures to assess assetcondition and reported information on those measures; and·FTA’s TAM program requirements prepare transit agencies tomanage transit assets over their life cycles.To examine the extent to which transit agencies reported improvementsin asset management as a result of the TAM program, we conducted twoweb-based surveys using 2017 data from FTA’s National TransitDatabase (NTD) to identify and select respondents.6 In our first survey—the urban transit agency survey—we selected all “Tier I” transit agencies4GAO, Transit Asset Management: Additional Research on Capital Investment EffectsCould Help Transit Agencies Optimize Funding, GAO-13-571 (Washington, D.C.: July 11,2013).5APTA, 2020 Public Transportation Factbook (Washington, D.C.: March 2020). Urbanizedareas are defined as areas with a population over 50,000 people. APTA uses data fromFTA’s National Transit Database for its Factbook.6The NTD is a centralized source for information and statistics on the nation’s transitsystems managed by FTA. Recipients or beneficiaries of FTA grants report data to thedatabase, and FTA submits annual NTD reports to Congress summarizing transit serviceand safety data. Based on interviews with DOT officials and analysis of the NTD data, wedetermined that the full sample frame of transit agency data was sufficiently reliable forour purposes.Page 2GAO-20-686 Transit Asset Management

Letter(151 total) and a stratified random sample of urban “Tier II” transitagencies (173 total).7 Tier I agencies (which generally have more assets)must develop their own TAM plans; while Tier II agencies (whichgenerally have fewer assets) have the option to either develop their ownTAM plan, or participate in a group plan with other transit agencies. Wedid not include rural agencies in the scope of this survey because FTAofficials told us that other agencies, including State DOTs, areresponsible for reporting rural transit agency data in NTD, and theyexpected that rural agencies largely participate in group plans.Approximately 79 percent of our sample (256 respondents) completed oururban transit agency survey. The results of this survey can be generalizedto the population of Tier I and Tier II transit agencies listed in FTA’sdatabase that serve urban areas and are presented as estimates with 95percent confidence intervals within plus or minus 10 percentage points,unless otherwise noted.Our second survey focused on group plan sponsors, which are generallythe state DOT or other designated or direct recipient of federal transitfunding that prepares a TAM group plan covering at least one Tier II,urban or rural transit agency in a region. We selected all 68 group plansponsors and approximately 85 percent (58 respondents) completed thesurvey. We conducted seven pretests before finalizing our two surveys,which primarily focused on the agencies’ experience with TAM programrequirements and any challenges and benefits they experienced inmeeting them. For more information on the methods and results of theseweb surveys see appendix II and the electronic supplementGAO-20-687SP.To examine the extent to which FTA has established performancemeasures to assess asset condition and reported information on thosemeasures, we compared FTA’s performance measures against leadingpractices for transit asset management established by the DOT-7FTA defines Tier I transit agencies as those recipients that own, operate, or manageeither rail transit, or more than 100 vehicles in revenue service during peak regular servicehours across all fixed-route modes, or more than 100 vehicles in one non-fixed routemode. Tier II transit agencies are generally those that fall below the Tier I thresholds anddo not operate rail. Sub-recipients of section 5311 funds (49 U.S.C. § 5311 – formulagrants for rural areas) or any American Indian tribes are also classified as Tier II.Page 3GAO-20-686 Transit Asset Management

Lettersponsored Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)8 as well asleading practices for performance measures in our prior reports.9 We alsocompared information FTA reported from the measures to key practicesin transparently reporting data established in prior GAO reports.10 We alsoreviewed survey responses relevant to FTA’s performance measures. Toassess the extent to which FTA’s TAM program requirements preparetransit agencies to manage transit assets over their life cycles, weevaluated FTA’s TAM program requirements against TCRP’s leadingpractices in transit asset management and The Standard for ProgramManagement.11To examine all objectives, we reviewed relevant laws, regulations, andFTA documents on the implementation of the TAM program including thefinal rule and FTA’s TAM Guide.12 We also conducted interviews with FTAofficials about how they developed program requirements, as well as witha nongeneralizable selection of external transit stakeholders who wereknowledgeable about the program requirements. These transitstakeholders included the American Association of State HighwayTransportation Officials (AASHTO), APTA, the Association ofMetropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO), and the CommunityTransportation Association of America (CTAA). We selected thestakeholders based on our interviews with FTA as well as a review of ourpast reports and current literature in the field.We conducted this performance audit from April 2019 to September 2020in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain8TCRP, Guidance for Developing a Transit Asset Management Plan, Report 172 (2014).TCRP is an applied research program sponsored by FTA and managed by theTransportation Research Board, a division of the National Academies of Sciences,Engineering, and Medicine.9The four leading practices used in this report reflect the four characteristics for effectiveperformance measures discussed in GAO, Executive Guide: Effectively Implementing theGovernment Performance and Results Act, GAO/GGD-96-118 (Washington, D.C.: June1996) and Tax Administration: IRS Needs To Further Refine Its Tax Filing SeasonPerformance Measures, GAO-03-143 (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 22, 2002).10GAO, Open Data: Treasury Could Better Align with Key Practicesand Search Requirements, GAO-19-72 (Washington, D.C.: Dec. 13, 2018).11Project Management Institute, Inc., The Standard for Program Management, FourthEdition, (2017).12FTA, Transit Asset Management Guide: Focusing on the Management of Our TransitInvestments, Report no. 0098 (Washington, D.C.: November 2016).Page 4GAO-20-686 Transit Asset Management

Lettersufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for ourfindings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe thatthe evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings andconclusions based on our audit objectives. Additional information aboutour scope and methodology is provided in appendix II.BackgroundU.S. transit agencies have a wide variety of capital assets to maintain,including buses, rail cars, rail guideways, stations, and other facilities andsupporting assets. Without sufficient investment, a transit agency mayfind its capital assets becoming increasingly unreliable and difficult tomaintain, and in extreme cases may suffer reductions in system reliabilityresulting in degraded passenger service. FTA administers federal transitprograms and provides financial, technical, and other assistance,including grants that transit agencies can use to maintain, repair, andreplace transit assets.Transit asset management provides a set of tools and approaches forhelping transit agencies manage their physical capital assets over theirlife cycles to achieve and sustain a state of good repair. FTA’s 2016 finalTAM rule defined transit asset management as the strategic andsystematic practice of procuring, operating, inspecting, maintaining,rehabilitating, and replacing transit capital assets to manage theperformance, risks, and costs over their life cycles for the purpose ofproviding safe, cost-effective, and reliable public transportation. Inresponse to a MAP-21 requirement, FTA defined state of good repair as acondition in which a capital asset is able to operate at a full level ofperformance.In general, FTA’s final rule requires transit agencies and group sponsorsto develop TAM plans with several requirements for managing transitassets. Specifically, Tier I transit agencies must prepare a TAM plancovering their assets. Tier II transit agencies may prepare their own TAMplan or participate in a group TAM plan, prepared by another entity suchas a state DOT. TAM plans cover a horizon period of at least 4 years, andtransit agencies and sponsors are required to update their TAM plans intheir entirety at least every 4 years. FTA established nine requiredelements for these TAM plans. Four of these elements are universalrequirements that must be included in Tier I, Tier II, and group plans. Theremaining five requirements are for Tier I agencies only (See table 1).Page 5GAO-20-686 Transit Asset Management

LetterTable 1: Elements of a Transit Asset Management (TAM) Plan Required by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA)ElementDescription of elementUniversal requirements for all TAM plans:Inventory of Capital AssetsA listing of capital assets that a provider owns, except equipment with anacquisition value under 50,000 that is not a service vehicle.aUniversal requirements for all TAM plans:Condition AssessmentA condition rating of inventoried assets for which a transit provider has directcapital responsibility.Universal requirements for all TAM plans:Decision Support ToolsA description of the analytical processes or decision support tools an agency usesto estimate capital investment needs and prioritize investments.Universal requirements for all TAM plans:Investment PrioritizationA ranked list of capital projects and programs, including the year the transit agencyintends to carry out the program or project.Requirements for Tier I agencies onlyb: TAMand State of Good Repair PolicyPolicy describing the transit agency’s vision and executive-level direction tosupport TAM goals. Includes documented commitment to achieving state of goodrepair, defined TAM objectives, and assigned roles and responsibilities.Requirements for Tier I agencies onlyb:Implementation StrategyA strategic plan that reflects the activities necessary to achieve identified goals inthe TAM plan.Requirements for Tier I agencies onlyb: List ofKey Annual ActivitiesDescription of actions needed to implement the TAM plan for each year of theplan’s horizon.Requirements for Tier I agencies onlyb:Identification of ResourcesIdentification of the resources needed to execute the TAM plan including staffing,financial resources, equipment, and software over the course of the plan.Requirements for Tier I agencies onlyb:Evaluation PlanPlan for monitoring, updating, and evaluating the TAM plan, including timelinesand milestones to track progress toward meeting asset management goals.Source: GAO analysis of FTA TAM Guidance. GAO-20-686.aSee 49 C.F.R. § 625.25(b)(1) for additional information on inclusions and exclusions to theinventories.bIn general, Tier I agencies are defined by FTA as those which own, operate, or manage either railtransit or more than 100 vehicles in revenue service during peak regular service hours across all fixedroute modes or in one non-fixed route mode.In our prior work, we found that data-driven decision-making leads tobetter results, and that if agencies do not use performance measures andperformance information to track progress toward goals, they may be atrisk of failing to achieve their goals.13 MAP-21 featured provisions for bothDOT and its grantees to move toward a national performance-basedapproach for surface transportation. FTA’s final rule established a singleperformance measure for each of four asset categories identified byMAP-21 and required transit agencies to set performance targets forthese measures annually in the NTD for the next fiscal year. For eachmeasure, the transit agency determines the target for the projectedperformance of its assets in the next fiscal year. FTA regulations require13GAO, Managing for Results: Executive Branch Should More Fully Implement the GPRAModernization Act to Address Pressing Governance Challenges, GAO-13-518(Washington, D.C.: June 26, 2013).Page 6GAO-20-686 Transit Asset Management

Letteragencies to set realistic targets that reflect anticipated resources.14 Insome cases, agencies may target a reduction in state of good repairperformance, such as when rehabilitation and replacement efforts are notexpected to keep pace with asset deterioration. These performancemeasures and annual targets by asset category are:14·Rolling stock (age-based measure). The annual target is theselected percentage of revenue vehicles within a particular assetclass that have met or exceeded their useful life benchmark (theexpected life cycle of a capital asset for a particular operatingenvironment). For example, FTA defines the useful life of a bus tobe 14 years, and if an agency uses that benchmark, it would set atarget for the percentage of buses to meet or exceed 14 years inthe next fiscal year.·Equipment (age-based measure). The annual target is theselected percentage of non-revenue, support-service, andmaintenance vehicles that have met or exceeded their useful lifebenchmark.·Facilities (overall condition rating measure). The annual targetis the selected percentage of facilities within a particular assetclass with a condition rating below 3.0 on the FTA TransitEconomic Requirements Model (TERM) scale where “1” poorand “5” excellent.15·Guideway infrastructure (measure of performancerestrictions). The annual target is the selected percentage oftrack segments with performance restrictions, also known as slowzones. Agencies are required to measure the extent of slow zonesat 9:00 am on the first Wednesday of each month and report theaverage to NTD.16 This measure only applies to Tier I agencies49 C.F.R. § 625.45(a)(2).15TERM is an analytical tool developed by FTA to forecast transit capital investmentneeds. The physical condition of all assets are measured using a numeric scale of “1 to 5”where “1” equates to components in need of immediate repair, “3” equates to moderatelydeteriorated components, and “5” equates to near new condition. See FTA, TAM FacilityPerformance Measure Reporting Guidebook: Condition Assessment Calculation, Version1.2 (Washington, D.C.: March 2018).16FTA, TAM Infrastructure Performance Measure Reporting Guidebook: PerformanceRestriction (Slow Zone) Calculation (Washington, D.C.: April 2017).Page 7GAO-20-686 Transit Asset Management

Letterthat operate rail and includes guideway, track, signals andsystems for rail assets.FTA monitors transit agency compliance with the TAM rule through itscomprehensive oversight reviews.17 Although FTA does not collect orreview each transit agency’s TAM plan, it relies on contractors to ensurethat each urban transit agency has a plan that includes each of therequired elements, among other things. Because the first TAM plans wererequired to be completed by October 2018 and the comprehensivereviews are conducted on a rolling basis every 3 years, FTA has not yetreported on agencies’ compliance with the requirement. FTA alsorequires agencies and sponsors to share their TAM plan with state DOTsand metropolitan planning organizations (MPO) that provide funding forasset investments.Most Transit Agencies Surveyed Made LimitedAsset Management Improvements as a Resultof the TAM Program, and Found AnnualReporting of Performance Targets of LimitedUseWhile Overall Improvement Was Limited, Tier I AgenciesReported More Improvements than Tier II Agencies inImplementing Universal TAM Plan RequirementsAccording to responses from our urban transit agency survey, mostagencies made either few changes or experienced limited improvementsto their asset management procedures as a result of implementing thefour universal TAM requirements. Those requirements include conductinginventories and condition assessments of capital assets and prioritizingprojects and listing decision support tools. Based on our survey, Tier Iagencies experienced more improvements to their asset managementpractices than Tier II agencies as a result of implementing these TAM17FTA conducts reviews (utilizing contractors), once every 3 years, of agencies thatreceive Urbanized Area Formula Program funds and state DOTs. These reviews examinewhether the recipient adheres to requirements and allows the FTA contractors to providetechnical assistance to agencies.Page 8GAO-20-686 Transit Asset Management

nation's transit assets, potentially affecting policy decisions. FTA's TAM requirements may not prepare transit agencies to manage transit assets over their life cycles. For example, contrary to FTA-sponsored research . Table 1: Elements of a Transit Asset Management \(TAM\) Plan Required by the Federal Transit Administration \(FTA\)\t6.

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