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.

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 2019 Management Meeting in Madrid

The CoMET group convened in Madrid for the first meeting of the year. The CoMET 2019 Management Meeting welcomed all 17 members of CoMET for the first time since 2016. The group also welcomed metros visiting from Nova – Metropolitano de Lisboa, San Francisco BART, and Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona – and Tokyo Metro as observers to the meeting. Members were welcomed to the meeting by Borja Carabante, Chief Executive Officer at Metro de Madrid, and Rosalía Gonzales López, President of the Board of Directors of Metro de Madrid and the Regional Minister of Transport, Housing and Infrastructure. 

The group was particularly honoured to share in Metro de Madrid’s 100th Anniversary celebrations, taking place throughout 2019. During the meeting, members had the opportunity to learn about the history of Metro de Madrid through visits to Chamberi station museum, where a variety of restored trains and artefacts are on display, and Chamartín station, which is a good example of historical station design. Members also learned about Metro de Madrid’s “Estación 4.0” where new innovations for the metro are tested.

Members also exchanged their latest activities, challenges and initiatives during meeting sessions, as well as focusing on preparations and lessons learned from major events. The RTSC presented latest benchmarking results from studies such as Energy Saving Strategies, Escalator Management (Availability, Assets and Safety), and Metro Security, as well as exploring key performance indicators focusing on key areas of metro operations and management.

The annual Management Meeting is where the upcoming CoMET work programme is determined by the members. After voting on 36 potential topics for study in 2019, the group agreed on four studies for 2019 – a large study focusing on station staffing models, real-time travel information, and focused studies on best practices using signage in stations and trains, and digital transformation of metros. The studies will be carried out by the Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) at Imperial College London over the next year.

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 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

CoMET and Nova News: CoMET 2015 Annual Meeting in Madrid

In November 2015, members of the Community of Metros came together for the CoMET 2015 Annual Meeting in Madrid, hosted by Metro de Madrid. The meeting was attended by representatives from 21 metro systems across the world, the most ever for a CoMET meeting. The meeting was opened by members of the Metro de Madrid executive committee as well as officials from the Madrid Region government.

Representatives from 21 world metro systems at the CoMET 2015 Annual Meeting in Madrid
Representatives from 21 world metro systems at the CoMET 2015 Annual Meeting in Madrid

Throughout the week, attendees toured Metro de Madrid facilities, including the intermodal stations at Moncloa and Vodafone Sol and the Centre for Operational Maintenance and Monitoring of Installations and Telecommunications (COMMIT). During meeting sessions each metro shared their latest updates, including information about strategies to improve efficiency and productivity. The Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) from Imperial College London also presented the results of recent benchmarking research and metro representatives discussed them. The recent benchmarking studies on the agenda were on Best Practices in Operating Very High Frequency Metro Services, the Management of Electronics Maintenance, Multi-Functional Staff, and Customer-Focused Train Design.

Plaza de España Station on Line 3 in Madrid.
Plaza de Espana Station on Line 3 in Madrid

The meeting also included the 6th annual CoMET CEO/COO Day, where senior managers from the metros gathered to discuss Key Performance Indicators as well as topics of key strategic importance, such as managing reinvestment and using multi-functional staff. Finally, after the main meeting there was the first ever CoMET and Nova European Regional Meeting, with representatives from eight European metro systems discussing topics of mutual interest, joined also by the CoMET metros of North America.

Meetings: Nova Annual Meeting 2015, Barcelona

In April 2015, members of the Nova group met in Barcelona for their annual meeting. The group were also joined by CoMET members, Metro de Madrid. The meeting provided an opportunity for members to hear the results of this year’s research. In addition, each member gave a brief update on the current issues in their metro and any changes over the last six months, with opportunity to discuss and ask the advice of peers on relevant topics.

tmb150430_027

The hosts, Barcelona TMB arranged fascinating technical visits. The group were honoured to visit the security canine facility and watch a demonstration of the security dogs working. There was also an opportunity to see ‘behind the scenes’ of the new automated line 9. This included an opportunity to meet and ask questions to the multifunctional staff who work on that automated line.

tmb150427_043

CoMET and Nova News: CoMET Annual Meeting in Beijing

In November 2014, members of the Community of Metros along with Asian members of Nova came together for the CoMET 2014 Annual Meeting in Beijing by the Beijing Subway. This meeting marked the 20th anniversary of CoMET, and was the largest meeting in CoMET’s history with attendees from 17 metros around the world. The meeting was opened by the Deputy Mayor of Beijing and the Permanent Secretary of the Chinese Ministry of Transport.

CoMET 2014 Annual Meeting Beijing Group Photo Small
Representatives from 17 world metros at the CoMET 2014 Annual Meeting in Beijing.

Throughout the week, attendees got to tour Beijing Subway’s facilities and observe operations, including visits to the Beijing Subway Rolling Stock Equipment Company, the Songjiazhuan Station (interchange for Lines 5 and 10 and the Yizhuang Line), the Operations Control Centre, and a ride on Line 10, which at 57km is the world’s longest metro loop line (and completely underground).

2014 Beijing Subway Map SMALL
Following several years of massive growth, the Beijing Subway is now one of the largest in the world.

During meeting sessions each metro shared their latest updates, including information about recent major incidents. Imperial College London also presented the results of recent research on Station Management and Mobile Technology and Understanding and Using Service Performance Data as well as the results of the first ever international metro customer satisfaction survey that was conducted in 2014. The meeting also included the 5th annual CoMET CEO/COO Day, where presidents and directors from the metros gathered to discuss metro Key Performance Indicators as well as topics of key strategic and tactical importance.

After the main meeting there was a CoMET and Nova Asian Regional Meeting attended by 9 of the 10 Asian members of CoMET and Nova. Representatives from the metros of Kunming and Chongqing also attended as observers and potential members of the new third sub-group of CoMET for new and growing metros. The Regional Meeting focused on key topics for Asian metros, including cost recovery, rapid growth, and rescuing efficiency.