We think this sheds a lot of light on why Metro has so many breakdowns.
According to an April 2009 study released by the Federal Transit Administration, more than one-third of the mass transit services' assets in Boston, NY/NJ, Philly, DC, Chicago and San Fran are “either in marginal or poor condition, indicating that these assets are near or have already exceeded their expected useful life.”
It would take $50 billion to bring them all back into good repair, the report said.
The study also found that “all seven agencies maintain comprehensive asset inventories for capital planning purposes, other asset management practices are lacking. For example, only 1 of 7 uses decision support tools to help conduct “what if” analysis; only 2 of 7 use a rigorous process to help rank and prioritize their investment needs; and only 3 of 7 have committed to conducting comprehensive asset condition assessments on an ongoing basis.”
If you really geek out on this stuff, the very dense report is available here.