Transit Asset Management System 49 U.S.C. 5326 as part of the MAP21

Transit provides more than 10 billion passenger trips each year, which represents more trips each month than all of the Nation’s airlines combined will make in a year. When transit assets are not in a state of good repair (SGR), the consequences often include increased safety risks, decreased reliability, higher maintenance costs, and an overall lower quality of service to customers.

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, MAP-21, states in its section 5326 that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will implement a national transit asset management system, including “a strategic and systematic process of operation, maintaining, and improving public transportation capital assets effectively throughout the life cycle of such assets.”

The Transit Asset Management System will include at minimum:

  1. The definition of the ‘state of good repair’, that should include standards for measuring the condition of equipment, infrastructure, rolling stock, and facilities of the capital assets of the public transportation systems that receive FTA funding.
  2. Federal financial assistance to develop a transit asset management plan.
  3. Reports of the conditions of the systems, and any changes to it.
  4. An analytical process or decision support tool that allows for the estimation of capital investment needs, and the prioritization of the public transportation systems.
  5. Technical assistance to the FTA funding recipients.

Predictive Analytics tools for Asset Management can help to meet the requirements of the Transit Asset Management systems, 49 U.S.C. 5326, especially those points related to the implementation of a national transit asset management system, that include an analytical process or decision support tool for use by public transportation systems.

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act – MAP21

MAP21 - Putting Performance into Action
Image courtesy of

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, also known as MAP-21, is a law that includes provisions intended to improve security reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.

Many of the provisions in MAP-21 track the Agency’s strategic framework to improve commercial motor vehicle safety by supporting its three core principles:

  1. Raise the bar to enter the industry and operate on the roads;
  2. Hold motor carrier and drivers to the highest safety standards to continue operations; and
  3. Remove the highest risk drivers, vehicles, and carriers from the roads and prevent them from operating.

Countries are implementing legislature and safety mandates that are raising the bar for transportation companies to improve their safety records and asset management processes. Predikto is working with some of the largest transportation companies in North America to facilitate the deployment of Predictive Analytics solutions to predict asset failures and prevent safety hazards. Predictive Analytics solutions can take into account historical maintenance records, prior asset failures, and current operating conditions of the equipment to identify “High Risk” situations and remove the highest risk drivers, vehicles, assets, and carriers from roads and railroad tracks.

In future posts we will be talking about specific sections of interest for predictive analytics, such as Transit Asset Management (Sec. 5326), Public Transportation Safety Program (Sec. 5329), and State of Good Repairs (sec. 5337).

Gartner Strategic Technology Trends in 2014

Gartner released last month the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2014.

Gartner defines a strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.

A strategic technology may be an existing technology that has matured and/or become suitable for a wider range of uses. It may also be an emerging technology that offers an opportunity for strategic business advantage for early adopters or with potential for significant market disruption in the next five years. These technologies impact the organization’s long-term plans, programs and initiatives.

A few of these trends caught our eye. They dropped the “Actionable Analytics” trends from 2013 and added a few new ones that Predikto is involved with:
– Internet of Everything: We call it Internet of Things. “The Internet is expanding beyond PCs and mobile devices into enterprise assets such as field equipment, and consumer items such as cars and televisions. The problem is that most enterprises and technology vendors have yet to explore the possibilities of an expanded internet and are not operationally or organizationally ready.” Predikto makes this leap forward much easier for large enterprises
– Cloud/Client Architecture: Predikto delivers our actionable intelligence via the cloud, but we depend on the infrastructure and systems our clients have installed over the years. Our clients equipment sensor data is stored in a server somewhere, once they send that data to Predikto, our entire solution and infrastructure is in the cloud.
– Web scale IT: The Predikto solution is built using these platforms
– Smart Machines: Predikto enables our clients to understand the language their machines speak. in other words, we help our clients understand when their machines are telling them something is wrong days in advance of traditional symptoms.

We are excited to see such a push away from plain Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing and more towards smart machines and cloud based solutions.


Death of ERP as we know it

Many organizations spend millions to implement large and complex enterprise applications to enable best in class IT solutions that result in “increased operational efficiencies”. I believe this strategy is crippling many mid to large sized organizations. Oracle and SAP are expensive, complicated, and robust applications that reduced risk from a CIO and CFOs perspective. But at what costs? I rarely see clients who achieved the ROI estimates they calculated prior to the significant investments.

Many C level executives no longer believe in calculating ROI for large ERP projects because the ROI simply is not there. They are forced to stay current with the complicated systems and spend millions on upgrades due to fear of being left behind and eventually de-supported. So what options do they have? Many are starting to replace low risk and low complexity pieces of their business processes with cloud based SaaS solutions. There are plenty to choose from and many more keep popping out. They are not flat our replacing the ERP applications, but one piece at a time they are transferring processes from the large consolidated ERP to niche software applications that meet the needs of that business area more effectively and at a significant price reduction.

In 10 years the clients might still be an Oracle or SAP shop, but perhaps 50% of the scope that existed in the old ERP may now be distributed across a handful of SaaS distributed cloud based systems all well integrated with robust automation and integration tools. The power will shift from the large ERPs software companies to the enterprises ability to make choices and take back the control. Many IT departments have been crippling their operational and business teams by implementing best in breed large ERP software. The future will allow companies to deploy smaller Cloud based solutions that meet the business needs more effectively.