Community of Metros News: Recent Virtual Events

The Transport Strategy Centre (TSC) held the first Virtual General Meeting of 2024 in February. Members heard the initial findings of the study on Energy Storage Systems for Regenerative Braking and participated in the metro roundtable presentations on the topic of forecast of future demand. After the meeting, a summary regarding the latest ridership projections and remote working practices which are carried out by COMET metros was circulated.

In March, TSC held the first ever virtual KPI Data Collection Clinic presenting the annual programme of COMET data cycles, latest changes and improvements in data collection process, and responding to the common data queries. TSC received very positive feedback on this event and will work closely with members to hold similar sessions like this one in the future.

Two study webinars were held recently. The Metro Reliability Webinar, held in February, delivered the key finding of the Metro Reliability study with regard to reliability targets, trends, and improvement programmes. Singapore SMRT and New York NYCT shared their reliability journeys and performance improvements.

Example slide from Metro Reliability webinar on influencing factors

Another webinar on Preparing for Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change, held in April, gave members an opportunity to review their own vulnerability and resilience to extreme weather in relation to other metros. Metro highlight presentations were delivered by Sydney Metro and Atlanta MARTA on their preparation for handling extreme weather events.

Community of Metros News: Recent Virtual Events

The recent COMET virtual events held by Transport Strategy Centre (TSC) include the following:

  • Data Insights Webinar (September): highlights from this year’s KPI cycle, the latest Safety Performance Indicator (SPI) findings, and 2023 Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS) results.
  • Study Webinar on Operational Impacts of New Fleets (October): members heard presentations from TSC on the key findings of the study, and metro highlight presentations delivered by Newcastle Nexus and Metro de Santiago.
  • COMET Panel on Knowledge Management (December): the first moderated virtual panel discussion was held by TSC, with members directly heard from Berlin BVG, MRT Jakarta, Dubai RTA, Washington DC WMATA, and London Underground on the challenges and practices in the area of knowledge management.
Example slide from Knowledge Management panel discussion

Thank you to the COMET members for participating across a wide range of virtual events in 2023. We look forward to seeing many members throughout our virtual event and in-person meeting programme in 2024.

Community of Metros News: COMET 2023 Annual Meeting in Dubai, 12-16 November

The Transport Strategy Centre (TSC) together with Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai welcomed over 70 attendees from 28 member metros during the COMET 2023 Annual Meeting in Dubai. This was the first major opportunity for all COMET members to come together in person since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting started with an executive day based on the themes of financial, operational, and environmental sustainability. Metro executives discussed shared challenges in the new post-COVID period, and heard wide-ranging discussions on the potential future opportunities from other metros.

The remainder of the meeting consisted of breakout sessions on the topics of technology and innovation, KPI presentations across several success dimensions, and structured discussions on the topics of staffing and reliability. Members also heard the latest update on Transport for London’s Elizabeth Line 18 months after its opening, and from new member Bangalore BMRC on their challenges and lesson learnt from its rapid network expansions.

During technical visits, delegates visited the multi-agency Enterprise Command and Control Centre, Expo Station, and RTA’s Operational Control Centre where members had discussions with Dubai metro operator, Keolis-MHI, and learnt the details about the operations and maintenance contract. Thank you to RTA for its generous hosting of a very interesting and successful COMET Annual Meeting.

Community of Metros News: CBTC Workshop in New York, 10-13 July

An expert workshop on Communication-Based Train Control (CBTC) took place in July, hosted by New York NYCT. The workshop was hosted jointly with the International Suburban Rail Benchmarking Group (ISBeRG) of TSC. Over the course of three days, forty attendees joined from sixteen metros and one railway who were planning, installing, or had already implemented CBTC.

TSC and members presented on three key themes: challenges when migrating to CBTC, how to prepare for implementation of CBTC, and how to best leverage CBTC to benefit metro operations. The delegates had in-depth discussions around these topics and exchanged ideas based on their own experience.

Members also took part in technical visits to the NYCT Rail Control Center as well as the Corona Maintenance Yard to view signalling infrastructure. Additionally, New York PATH welcomed delegates to their operational control center based in New Jersey. Very positive feedback was received after the event and members are looking forward to the next in-person CBTC workshop.

Community of Metros News: COMET 2023 Eastern Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, 23-26 May

After the successful in-person 2023 Western Meeting in San Francisco, the Transport Strategy Centre (TSC) had the pleasure of welcoming COMET members during the 2023 Eastern Meeting, which was hosted by Kuala Lumpur Rapid Rail. Despite being a smaller group with seven metros, the intimate setting allowed for in-depth discussion on various topics, including financial performance and future funding, station staffing and recruitment, metro demand, energy efficiency, and reliability performance.

During the technical visits, members visited the Sungai Buloh Depot and the Operational Control Center, as well as experienced a ride on the new Putrajaya Line. The line was officially launched in 2021 with an extension through the city centre reaching south near the airport in March 2023.

Community of Metros News: COMET 2023 Western Meeting in San Francisco, 19-21 April

COMET fully resumed in-person meetings in 2023, with the first successful meeting held by San Francisco BART in April. It brought together 22 metros discussing topics of fare evasion, recruitment and retention, crime and disorder, and energy efficiency.

The delegates visited BART Powell Street station and Hayward Maintenance Yard. The technical visits also included a tour of fare gate prototypes installed at the Rockridge station and a visit to San Francisco Central Subway.

During the meeting sessions, metros shared the latest development of their own systems, and heard detailed information from the metro spotlight presentations, including San Francisco BART’s presentation on the new rolling stock project, and Berlin BVG’s presentation on their measures of combating crime and disorder.

Community of Metros News: Latest Virtual Events

COMET continued to hold various virtual events in the second half of 2022. These include:

  • Data Webinar on Key Performance Indicators and Customer Satisfaction Survey Results
  • Case Study Webinar on Customer Assistance in Low Staff Environments
  • General meeting where members shared challenges and initiatives relating to attracting and retaining staff in the Metro Roundtable session and TSC presented the latest benchmarking findings from the COMET KPIs and a summary of the Staff Retirement Trends express study
Example Recruitment Campaign from Washington DC WMATA
  • CEO/COO Sessions with the theme of Continuing Recovery While Facing New Challenges. Metro executives had discussions on the recent challenges associated with demand recovery and the energy crisis. Highlights from KPI benchmarking were also presented by TSC with a focus on COVID-19 impacts on metro performance.
  • CBTC Workshop held jointly between COMET and ISBeRG (International Suburban Rail Benchmarking Group). The experts from the two groups exchanged their experiences with planning, implementing, and operating CBTC.

Community of Metros News: Latest Virtual Events

As well as the recent in-person COMET Reconnects meeting held in London in May 2022, COMET has held a variety of virtual events in the second quarter of 2022 with very active engagement from metros. These include:

  • Two general meetings where metros participated in:
    • Roundtable discussions on rolling stock management and procurement, major line and signalling upgrades and latest challenges, COVID-19 circumstances and demand forecasts;
    • Summary presentations on ongoing COMET studies (Fare Evasion, Digital Transformation of Rolling Stock Maintenance, Sustainability and Environmental Social Governance Strategies).
  • Webinar on Flood Management in Metros covering metros’ vulnerability to flooding, vulnerability assessments, stakeholder engagement, infrastructural design, operational management and lessons learned from previous flooding experiences.
Extract from Flood Management in Metros Webinar (held July 2022)

Upcoming events include webinars on Key Performance Indicators and Customer Satisfaction Survey Results, and Customer Assistance in Low Staff Environments. The current list of COMET members is here.

Community of Metros News: COMET Reconnects Meeting in London, 25-27 May

The Transport Strategy Centre (TSC) is delighted to be hosting the first in person Community of Metros (COMET) meeting since 2019 that we’ve called “COMET Reconnects”, taking place from 25-27th May 2022 in London.

We are proud to be hosting the meeting across a number of Imperial College London venues during the week, including the South Kensington Campus and the brand new White City campus which is a world-class facility focusing on innovation, entrepreneurship, and multidisciplinary research. More about Imperial College London’s White City campus can be found here.

COMET is 44 metros in 40 cities worldwide participating in an annual programme of benchmarking and knowledge sharing across a number of dimensions fundamental to metro management and operations. 20 metros from the group are in London this week, visiting the Transport for London network including the brand new Elizabeth Line, and participating in meetings centred around strategic priorities and structured discussion. Our full virtual events programme for COMET members is running this year alongside this in-person meeting.

Follow the Transport Strategy Centre’s LinkedIn page here for more updates on COMET Reconnects and on the wider work of the TSC. More detail on the TSC can be found on our website here.

Community of Metros News: Latest Virtual Events

COMET has held two webinars in February and March 2022 on the topics of Efficient Maintenance and Inspections, and Sustainable Fares and Funding.

COMET originally aimed to study the efficiency of maintenance and inspections pre-pandemic in 2019. The aim of the study is to explore the resources metros spend on maintenance and inspections in more granular detail than has been previously possible, as well as the factors influencing their maintenance and inspection regimes. 40 metros attended the webinar with supporting presentations from Nanjing Metro and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in San Francisco.

Extract from Efficient Maintenance and Inspections webinar

In March, the Sustainable Fares and Funding webinar took place with 32 metros in attendance. Financial benchmarking of metros, fares and funding continue to be longstanding areas of research and interest in COMET. Revenue from fares is the largest source of income for metros. Increasingly, uncertainty over demand caused by COVID-19 and cost pressures worldwide highlight the importance of a predictable, stable fare regime. The webinar included presentation and discussion of fare structures, fare levels, and concessionary fares, as well as long-term capital planning and funding considerations for metros.