The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has issued a final rule, which mandates management of transportation assets such as vehicles, facilities, equipment, and other infrastructure.

Under the new rule, FTA grantees must develop management plans for public transportation assets as transit asset management (TAM) paves way for safer, more reliable services nationwide.

Transportation secretary Anthony Foxx said: “The Obama Administration has made transportation infrastructure a priority across the US.

“FTA’s new transit asset management rule will ensure large and small transit operators take a common sense, strategic approach to maintaining their assets. This rule is a big step toward ensuring safe and efficient transit service for the tens of millions of Americans who rely on public transportation each day.”

"Transit asset management (TAM) paves way for safer, more reliable services nationwide."

The TAM includes reviewing inventories and setting performance targets and budgets, the FTA said in a statement.

Required under MAP-21 legislation, the rule is expected to reduce ageing of equipment and poorly maintained transit assets. It will come into effect in October this year.

Figures released by the FTA show that in 2013, the nation's transit industry had deferred maintenance and replacement needs totalling $86bn, of which more than half was made up by rail systems. During the same year, the transit agencies spent $2.2bn in mechanical failures.

Image: FTA announces new transportation assets management rule. Photo: courtesy of Federal Transit Administration.