TAMNews - September 2018

transit asset management

TAMNews                                      September 2018

FTA's Transit Asset Management (TAM) newsletter keeps you up to date on asset management initiatives and creates a forum for the industry to share information and learn from one another.

message from FTA  |  announcements  |  events  |  resources  |  articles

Message from FTA Associate Administrator for Budget and Policy

Dear TAM Colleague, 

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) continues to advance efforts to implement the National Transit Asset Management (TAM) System required by MAP-21. I am sending this letter to remind you of the rule requirements that take effect on October 1, 2018.

By October 1, 2018, your agency must have completed the following actions:

  • Finalized a compliant TAM plan; be part of a completed, compliant group TAM plan; or have an FTA-approved TAM plan extension in place.
  • Set state of good repair (SGR) performance targets for your agency or as part of your group TAM plan, with plans to update them annually.
  • Have plans to report or ensure your group plan sponsor has plans to report updated asset information and your performance targets to FTA's National Transit Database (NTD) as part of your 2018 annual report.
  • Have a process in place to share required TAM information, including your TAM plans and targets, with your Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and/or State DOT planning partners.

This is a reminder that the Accountable Executive, usually the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or General Manager (GM) of the agency, must approve the TAM plan. He or she must self-certify compliance with FTA’s rules and regulations in the Certifications and Assurances phase of a grant application. Beginning October 1, 2018 completing the Certifications and Assurances will include certifying your compliance with all aspects of the TAM rule described above. Compliance with the TAM rule will also be reviewed at your next Triennial or State Management Review, beginning with federal fiscal year 2019.

TAM is a business model that gives you the opportunity to strategically prioritize funding based on the condition of your assets and achieve or maintain a state of good repair (SGR). The TAM rule provides the framework to monitor and manage assets, improve safety, increase reliability and performance and establish performance measures in order to help you keep your systems operating smoothly and efficiently. 

If you are unable to comply with the TAM rule requirements, your agency cannot proceed to the next step of the grant obligation process. Failure to comply with a requirement of the rule will also subject your organization to a range of remedies, depending upon the circumstances, up to and including being ineligible to receive FTA funds until compliance is achieved.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please visit the TAM website to access technical assistance products, including compliance checklists, information about TAM plan elements, frequently asked questions (FAQ), and more, or contact us at TAM@dot.gov

We look forward to working with you to meet the TAM requirement.


Robert J. Tuccillo
Associate Administrator for Budget and Policy/CFO


Updated Webpages: The Overview and Getting Started webpages have been updated and reorganized to better equip agencies with information about managing transit assets.

Consider submitting your agency’s work to the TAM Peer Library: The TAM Peer Library showcases the best practices of transit agencies. Click the link to learn more and submit your work. Please note we are no longer accepting complete TAM Plan submissions, but are interested in examples of policies, processes, tools, or other resources you have to share.

Upcoming Events

Safety Final Rules Webinars: FTA is hosting a series of webinars through September on the new Final Rules related to the safety of the public transportation system: the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan (PTASP) rule, and the Public Transportation Safety Certification Training Program (PTSCTP) rule.

Coordinating TAM in Planning Webinar: Stay tuned for the announcement of an FTA webinar on coordination between transit agencies and MPOs.

2018 APTA Annual Meeting: Register for the American Public Transportation Association Annual Meeting, which will be held September 23-26 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Conference is the flagship event for public transportation professionals to engage in workshops, join tours, and network with colleagues.

New Resources

New FAQs: The TAM FAQs page has been updated to include additional information on the relationship between the TAM Plan and the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan (PTASP), as well as information on the October TAM Plans deadline.

TAM Plans for Small & Medium Providers Webinar: A recording of the FTA July 11 TAM Plans webinar is now available.

FTA 2018 TAM Roundtable: The presentations from the 2018 TAM Roundtable on July 15 in San Diego, CA are now available on the TAM website.

Facility Condition Assessment at Iowa DOT: A new case study is available, detailing how the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) developed its own tablet-based facility condition assessment app.


Can Andy Byford save the subways?: Andy Byford, the president of the New York City Transit Authority, has introduced his master plan for the system, titled “Fast Forward: The Plan to Modernize New York City Transit.” The plan includes hundreds of new subway cars, a new fare payment system, new wheelchair-accessible stations, and redesigned bus networks.

Denver’s RTD transitions from building rail to maintaining it: Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) has been carrying out a massive, multiyear, multibillion-dollar expansion of transit services through their FasTracks program. RTD officials have begun the transition from management of the construction program to a maintenance program for infrastructure in state of good repair.

Future of old-time Mattapan trolleys up for debate: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has spent the last year studying the future of the 2.5-mile Mattapan trolley line, but the agency says it needs more time, leaving the status of the historic streetcars in doubt.

New sleek 35-ft CAT buses hit the streets: The Chatham Area Transit Authority (CAT) has placed 16 new 35-foot buses into service after weeks of extensive testing. The new buses will replace many of the older buses in the fleet that have extended beyond the industry’s standard of useful life.

SETPA infrastructure program to impact regional rail in August: The first phase of the Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)’s Southwest Connection Improvement Program has begun, covering maintenance projects impacting all lines at University City Station, and select service on three other lines.

Want better business? Invest in public transit: Officials in Detroit learned that the city had fallen out of contention for Amazon’s new headquarters due to a lack of investment in regional public transit. Examples like this are found across the U.S., as a reliable, well-maintained public transportation system is now a requirement for many businesses scouting for new locations.