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This study developed a methodology for improving the practice of making transit asset investment decisions at state departments of transportation and local transit agencies. The results of a literature review indicated that the majority of studies find there are significant differences in vehicle operating costs between road types (i.e., bituminous versus gravel versus earth), age, mileage, and vehicle type. Vehicle repair/maintenance cost is found to be primarily affected by vehicle condition. In terms of non-vehicle operating costs, vehicle downtime due to maintenance work and road calls due to vehicle breakdowns on the road were extensively studied in relation to vehicle condition. The major capability of the new vehicle deterioration model developed under this study is to predict the future condition of the vehicle based on the historical records of the selected dependent factors, such as vehicle's age, mileage, and current conditions. The contribution of possible variables was analyzed, and the factors that affect the vehicle future conditions were specified. The model can identify the relative importance of the independent variables with the given condition ratings shown. In addition, predictions can be made for individual vehicles or a group of vehicles at different condition ratings, both of which are important for the management system. Knowing the percentages of vehicles at different condition ratings in the future, based on the present and historical conditions, a transit fleet manager can allocate the budget more efficiently and accurately. This study also developed relationships between vehicle conditions and the cost of preventive and corrective maintenance and a life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) methodology incorporating these cost relationships into network-level and project-level decisions. One can use these relationships and LCCA to select the best maintenance strategies for short- and long-term operations. The models can help in making decisions regarding which applicable maintenance to use on the basis of minimizing total cost. The software developed implementing this system is called RSUTAMS. RSUTAMS is generic in nature, employing a visual interface that allows users to customize it to suit their particular transit asset management database structure and practice through a series of models.


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U.S. Department of Transportation

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345 kb