The key concerns in the upkeep of transport infrastructures are often economic and safety-related, but the environmental aspect is no less important. With energy sobriety an increasingly important concept in mobility, the issue of the upkeep of public transport systems can also be examined from the perspective of sustainable development.
The transport sector is one of the key areas identified by the United Nations for commitment to sustainable development. Offering safe, resilient and sustainable public spaces that are open to everyone necessarily involves the provision of efficient public transport systems.
Investing in public transport for a sustainable society
In the more developed countries, urban populations move around by metro, tram and bus on a daily basis, without always considering the complexity of these transport systems. This complexity permits remarkable performance. It’s the result of decades of industrial development. But like all precision mechanisms, a single grain of sand is enough to jam the whole machine.
By their nature, transport systems are far from perennial. And as we see on the news now and again, problems with even the most insignificant components can immobilize an entire network.
Anticipating problems to maintain service levels
As infrastructure and rolling stock grows older, asset managers find themselves faced with a growing need for intervention on their networks. Once they’re 10-15 years old, assets such as metro or tram lines require increased attention as part of their lifecycle management. Machinery wears out, structures fall apart, electronic equipment becomes obsolescent… These situations require asset managers to order major overhauls, or even renewal, of equipment.
These are complex operations requiring a lot of heavy work, and they have to be scheduled in advance if they are to be carried out in the best conditions, with as little impact as possible on the service offered to users. That requires in-depth knowledge of the lifecycle of assets and their modes of deterioration, and the deployment of suitable solutions such as asset management.
Asset management: a solution to the needs of asset owners
Asset management is now a professional discipline in its own right. The Institute of Asset Management (IAM), a non-profit professional organization, dates the appearance of the discipline to the 1980s. Since then, various benchmark documents have been published in several countries. This trend has gradually yielded a consensus on the processes and activities included in the discipline, culminating in 2014 with the publication of an international standard, ISO 55001.