Thursday, December 10, 2009

MBTA hires TRA to assess infrastructure

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Acting swiftly to address the issues raised in David D'Allesandro's review of the MBTA, the Authority executed a contract with one of the transit industry's most respected safety and security consulting firms. Transportation Resource Associates (TRA) will perform an independent assessment of the MBTA's evaluation and prioritization of capital projects, with a focus on safety issues. Philadelphia-based TRA has been providing expertise and solutions to transit agencies throughout North America for nearly 20 years.

"It's become very clear that the MBTA needs to develop and implement a better system for examining requests for capital spending, and determining the best methods for maximizing our limited resources," said Acting MBTA General Manager William Mitchell. "With the help of the experienced and talented professionals at TRA, the MBTA will be in a stronger position to make informed decisions about the needs of the transit system, and how they should be prioritized."

"Safety and customer service must be our top priorities," said Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan. "The MBTA and MassDOT have moved swiftly to address the findings of the D'Allesandro report by developing an action plan that will protect our customers today and well into the future."

The assessment will address the key points raised in the D'Allesandro report:

• The T's process of identifying, evaluating, and prioritizing capital and renewal projects for vehicles and infrastructure. This will include an examination of nearly 60 projects referenced in the D'Alessandro report as "safety critical."

• The T's process for mitigating existing and potential infrastructure and vehicle issues.

• The adequacy of the MBTA Safety Department's roles and procedures in ensuring that safety matters are addressed in a timely and appropriate manner.

Mitchell said TRA has committed to providing the MBTA with an interim report in February, and a final, written report in March.

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