Community of Metros News: Nova Phase 22 Management Meeting in Barcelona

16 members of Nova and two members of CoMET met in Barcelona from 24th – 27th September 2019 for the Nova Phase 22 Management Meeting, hosted by Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona.

During the week, members heard presentations from across the CoMET and Nova Key Performance Indicators Balanced Scorecard, as well as study presentations on Reliability of Signalling Equipment, Modern Maintenance Practices and Energy Saving Strategies. Members also exchanged their latest activities, challenges and initiatives during meeting sessions.

The annual Management Meeting is where the upcoming Nova work programme is determined by the members. The next phase’s work programme will consist of three studies on the topics of preventative actions to avoid human-related failures in train operation and in the Operational Control Centre (OCC), innovations to reduce track time to do capital and maintenance works, and customer experience in stations.

Members also had the opportunity to use TMB’s metro network extensively, and visited Line 10’s ZAL depot to learn about how TMB carries out engineering and maintenance.

Community of Metros News: Nova Phase 21 Annual Meeting in Vancouver

The Nova metro benchmarking group convened in Vancouver, Canada for the Phase 21 Annual Meeting. British Columbia Rapid Transit Company (BCRTC) welcomed 13 metros from around the world from 13th-16th May, including Mexico City STC visiting from Nova’s sister group CoMET. Members were welcomed to the meeting by Kevin Desmond, CEO of BCRTC’s parent organisation TransLink, and Haydn Acheson, CEO at BCRTC.

On Monday 13th May, the North American members of Nova convened to discuss issues of critical importance in the region, notably equity and outreach initiatives, automation and experiences with Public Private Partnerships (PPPs or P3s), and maintenance organisational structures.

The full international group convened from 14th-16th May to hear the latest benchmarking information from the Transport Strategy Centre (TSC) at Imperial College London and to participate in peer-to-peer discussion. Studies presented at the meeting by the TSC included Passenger Incident Management, Managing and Reducing Absenteeism, Employee Engagement, and Planning and Scheduling Works Affecting Revenue Service, as well as a Key Performance Indicators and Safety Performance Indicators presentation. Members also discussed topics of strategic importance to metros, such as future revenue streams and managing passenger flow.

BCRTC’s SkyTrain system is a fully driverless network and Nova benchmarking incorporates data from the Expo and Millennium Lines.

Community of Metros News: CoMET 2018 Annual Meeting in São Paulo

17 members of the Community of Metros gathered in Sao Paulo for the CoMET 2018 Annual Meeting. The meeting was held 5th – 8th November, hosted by Metro São Paulo, which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2018. Members were warmly received by the Secretary of Metropolitan Transport for the State of São Paulo, Clodoaldo Pelissioni, and by Metro São Paulo President, Paulo Menezes Figueiredo.

During meeting sessions, members heard the latest results from the annual work programme of Key Performance Indicators benchmarking, spanning metro performance across six areas including financial, safety and environmental benchmarking. New case study research undertaken for the 2018 work programme was also presented, covering Modern Maintenance Practices, Optimisation of Train Availability, and Passenger Incident Management.

Throughout the meeting, each metro also presented their latest news, including their recent activities, challenges, and achievements over the past 6-7 months. The CoMET group heard from three visiting Nova metros throughout the week: Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona, Metrovías (Buenos Aires) and MetrôRio.

On 8th November, the CoMET Annual CEO/COO Day was held, welcoming metro leadership to discuss issues of strategic importance. Three topics were selected across financial, environmental and operational business areas, discussing future revenue streams, climate change and extreme weather events, and passenger flow management. A variety of metros participated and led each session, with support from the Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) providing the latest group benchmarking relating to the topic.

Throughout the event, members were able to learn about the city of São Paulo and Metro São Paulo’s network through technical visits and using the system. Members visited the Jabaquara depot, serving Line 1-Blue, and saw how trains are prepared for service, corrective and preventative maintenance procedures, equipment and component tuning and testing, component maintenance, warehousing and logistics, and the on-site training centre. During a second technical visit, members visited Sé station, the most crowded station on Metro São Paulo’s network. The station is an interchange for Line 1 – Blue and Line 3 – Red, with around 600,000 passenger passing through this station every weekday. Members were also welcomed to the launching ceremony of the “Estação Memória” (Memory Station) stand in Sé station, an interactive cultural exhibit celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Metro São Paulo.

Community of Metros News: Nova Phase 21 Management Meeting in Montreal

The Nova benchmarking group convened in Montréal, Canada for the Phase 21 Management Meeting on 1st – 4th October 2018. Société de transport de Montréal (STM) hosted the meeting, with 15 members in attendance, including one of the newest members of the Community of Metros, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). Chairman of the Board Mr. Philippe Schnobb welcomed the group to Montréal and presented an overview of public transport operations at STM. The group also learned about the latest changes to public transport governance in Montréal.

During Nova Management Meetings, members develop the work programme for the upcoming phase. The topics selected for study in Phase 21 were absenteeism, signalling reliability, employee engagement and managing works during revenue service. The Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) also presented the first Key Performance Indicator and Safety Performance Indicator results using 2017 data, as well as case studies on Escalator Management and Station Design Guidelines and Passenger Flow Monitoring. Results from the 2018 Customer Satisfaction Survey were also presented. Each of the 15 attending metros presented an update to the group about their metro’s activities and challenges over the past six months.

During the week, members had the opportunity to see STM’s facilities, including its new AZUR trains and bespoke train simulator; “Espace Client” customer service centre; and the Youville workshop, which is the largest metro maintenance facility operated by STM, handling the maintenance for its MR-73 and AZUR rolling stock.

Community of Metros News: Nova Phase 20 Annual Meeting in London

Nova celebrated its 20th birthday at the Phase 20 Annual Meeting, held in London and hosted by the Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) at Imperial College London. 22 members of the Community of Metros (17 Nova members and 5 CoMET members) attended the Annual Meeting and Metro Leader Day, held on 8th – 11th May 2018. Representatives from new members at Bay Area Rapid Transit (San Francisco) and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai were warmly welcomed for their first meeting.

The meeting focused on Phase 20 benchmarking results, including Key Performance Indicators, case studies on Escalator Management and Security on Metros, as well as wider studies from the Community of Metros on Enhancing Platform Safety Without Platform Doors and Using Data to Improve Maintenance. Members presented an update on their metro’s current activities and plans, giving insight into shared challenges and opportunities. The meeting also included the annual Nova Metro Leader Day, focused on strategic-level discussions on topics of interest, such as managing ageing assets and metro automation. The Group also celebrated Nova’s 20th birthday throughout the week.

Nova Phase 20 Chair Joubert Flores (Director at Metro Rio), RTSC Managing Director Richard Anderson and Head of Metro Benchmarking Alex Barron cutting the Nova Phase 20 birthday cake

As well as meeting activities, members visited London Underground facilities across two technical visits. These visits included a guided tour of Tottenham Court Road station, which has undergone significant works in preparation for the opening of the Elizabeth Line, and as part of an area-wide regeneration plan. Members also rode the new Elizabeth Line rolling stock from Liverpool Street to Stratford, where they heard more detail on the development of the line as it prepares to open. Members also visited Transport for London’s operational control centres where the Underground and surface transport networks are monitored and optimised.

New members from the Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai (Mohammed Yousuf al Mudharreb, Director of Rail Operations, and Amair Saleem, Director of Safety, Risk, Regulation and Planning), and Bay Area Transit Authority in San Francisco (Robert Powers, Assistant General Manager) participate at the Nova Phase 20 Annual Meeting

Community of Metros News: CoMET 2018 Management Meeting in Delhi

Members of the Community of Metros attended the CoMET 2018 Management Meeting from 5th – 9th March, hosted by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). The meeting was attended by representatives from 14 metros in addition to DMRC. Members received a warm welcome from India’s Honourable Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, and from DMRC senior managers including its Managing Director, Dr. Mangu Singh.

Meeting attendees discussed and agreed on the research topics for the CoMET Work Programme for 2018. The Railway and Transport Stategy Centre (RTSC) from Imperial College London also presented findings from recent benchmarking research, including Key Performance Indicator benchmarking and case study presentations on platform safety, operational control centres and customer satisfaction.

Throughout the week, attendees were able to see DMRC’s facilities first-hand. These included visiting one of DMRC’s depot and staff training facilities, a metro museum at Patel Chowk station, and key interchanges on the network. Members also visited stations on the Red, Orange and Violet lines, as well as the Magenta Line, which was partially open at the time of the meeting and fully opened in May 2018.

Community of Metros News: First North American Sub-Group Meeting Held in Washington DC

The North American Sub-Group of the Community of Metros has officially been formed and its inaugural meeting held in Washington DC. The North American Sub-Group brings together metro operators in North America to collaborate on benchmarking and focus on challenges particularly affecting operators in the region. The group consists of existing Community of Metros members New York City Transit, Société de Transport de Montréal, Toronto Transit Commission and Vancouver SkyTrain, as well as new members of the community, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and Bay Area Rapid Transit (San Francisco).

During this meeting, members heard benchmarking analysis with a focus on North America, and case studies of particular relevance including Measuring and Improving Customer Satisfaction and Best Practices in Driver Training. Members also participated in structured discussions on key topics of interest for North American metro operators, such as managing reliability, ridership trends and using performance data.

WMATA Chief Operating Officer Joe Leader explains WMATA’s rolling stock replacement programme

Members used WMATA’s network extensively, learning about station operational procedures and plans for future station works. The group also visited WMATA’s Greenbelt Yard facility to learn about its rolling stock replacement programme, including the logistics of the depot and customer-focused design elements of the trains. Its new 7000-series cars total 45% of its fleet and is reducing fleet-related delays.

Community of Metros News: CoMET 2017 Annual Meeting in Taipei

In November 2017, members of the Community of Metros came together for the CoMET 2017 Annual Meeting in Taipei, hosted by Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation (TRTC). The meeting was attended by representatives from 17 metros – 15 CoMET members and 2 Nova members from the Southeast Asia region. The meeting spanned four days, including technical visits, the Annual CEO/COO Day, and an Asian Regional Meeting.

Throughout the week, members were able to see TRTCs facilities. This included the Zhongshan Metro Mall and its “Underground Book Street”, Taipei Metro Taipei Main Station, Taoyuan Airport MRT Taipei Main Station and Taipei Metro Beimen Station. Members also toured the Beitou Depot. During meeting sessions, each metro provided an update on their recent activities, plans and challenges.

The Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) from Imperial College London presented the results of recent benchmarking research. The latest set of Key Performance Indicators results were focused on meeting host TRTC and members were consulted on a refined and improved balanced scorecard to increase the depth and breadth of benchmarking results. Other recent research was also presented at the meeting, including results from the International Metro Customer Satisfaction Survey and Safety Performance Indicators. Two in-depth case studies were presented to the group, on Using Data to Improve Maintenance, and Station Design Guidelines and Passenger Flow Monitoring.

On Thursday 30th November, the CoMET Annual CEO/COO Day was held, where metro leaders came together to discuss issues of strategic importance. Key discussion topics included customer safety and security risks and initiatives, managing Unattended Train Operation (UTO), and preparing for new mobilities. The Asian Regional Meeting was also held on 1st December, attended by 8 members from the Asia region, as well as Paris RATP and New York City Transit to observe and participate in discussions. The group discussed key issues affecting Asian metros, including the management of rapid network expansion, managing capacity and automation, and improving reliability.

Community of Metros News: Nova Phase 20 Management Meeting in Oslo

The Nova Phase 20 Management Meeting was held from 19th – 22nd September 2017, attended by 15 members and observed by Stockholm MTR. The meeting was held in Oslo, hosted by Oslo Sporveien, who joined the Community of Metros in 2014.

During the visit, members were able to see some of Oslo Sporveien’s facilities first-hand. These included visits to Løren, Ullevål, Majorstuen and Tøyen Stations, as well as Sporveien’s Metro Control Room, and Driving Simulator. Members were also shown Sporveien’s innovative train passenger counting system.

During the meeting, members presented an update focusing on recent developments, challenges and good practices implemented. The Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) presented the 2016 Key Performance Indicator results, focusing on host metro Oslo Sporveien, and the Safety Performance Indicators results. Three research projects were also presented by the RTSC team, on Cybersecurity and Accessibility Training, as well as a session on Measuring the Customer Experience Using Big Data, which presented the RTSC’s initial insights into the use of big datasets. Members also selected the case studies and work programme for Nova Phase 20.

 “The Operator’s Story” at the OECD International Transport Forum, Leipzig

Richard Anderson, Professor Dan Graham, Dr. Roger Allport and Priya Wells attended the 2017 OECD International Transport Forum to bring the ongoing “Operator’s Story” research project to industry experts and policymakers from around the world. The RTSC team were joined by Dominic Patella, Senior Transportation Specialist at the World Bank, and an expert panel made up of Dr Jacob Kam of Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway, Ismael Uruen Pueyo of Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona and Professor Tony Ridley of Imperial College London.

“The Operator’s Story” is an applied research project aiming to capture and document what makes metros successful from the Operator’s point of view, a perspective that has been little explored. 10 members of the Community of Metros participated in in-depth case studies for the research, providing insight into their governance structures, operational opportunities and constraints, and relationships with stakeholders. These findings have been combined with long-term metro benchmarking to present a set of initiatives that actively improve metro success, for application to existing and new metro systems alike.

Examples of external factors affecting metro operators

Richard Anderson, Roger Allport and Dominic Patella presented the emerging findings of the research, focusing on the increasing trend towards urbanisation and the use of metro rail as a solution to promote sustainable growth. Roger Allport presented key insights from the in-depth case studies, focusing on strategic and governance practices. Using best practice insight from the Community of Metros, Richard Anderson presented some of the key operational principles of metro development.

Ismael Uruen Pueyo (Director of Economic and Finance, Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona) during the panel discussion

Following the presentation, questions were fielded from the audience to the presenters and expert panel. The questions were diverse, covering the setup of metros to successfully transition between engineering, operations and management, managing service levels during constrained funding periods and recruiting expertise for metros.

“The Operator’s Story” team in Leipzig from the World Bank, RTSC at Imperial College London and Community of Metros


“The Operator’s Story” team would like to thank the OECD International Transport Forum for hosting this first session into the research findings, as well as the members of the expert panel who provided valuable insight into how the research findings apply in real-world situations.

A report presenting “The Operator’s Story” Emerging Findings can be found here.