Mass Transit - 29

solution? No, they're part of the
solution. But the 3% Challenge
program is a more professional
way of accounting for our dollars,
by identifying promising projects
early, tracking them, supporting
the project managers doing the
work, and coordinating them
across the organization."

What good looks like

iStock

save an estimated 60 minutes over
the current manual process, while
making the process safer for those
who manually handle the 750V
breakers every day.
Changing the culture of leadership also falls under the Strategic
Initiatives Team. The Chief Operating Officer's Leadership Program
empowers the agency's leaders,
starting with communications.
"If you improve communications, you'll improve just about
everything from morale to trust to
procedures themselves," said Kevin
Coyne, senior operations advisor.
As a veteran Naval helicopter
pilot, Coyne's work includes establishing a formatted communication program where concerns
can be voiced and addressed and
where managers come out from
behind their desks at least once
every six weeks to work in the field
with their teams.
"We're looking right now at
implementing a simple but robust communication framework
that can pretty much guarantee

end-to-end communication," said
Coyne. "We've had some success
in targeting training and development at the mid-leadership level.
And we've implemented a mission,
vision, and values for the organization, which is important because in
the end, it's not just what you do,
it's the manner in which you do it."
One last example of a project
the team is involved with is the
three percent challenge. Johnson
explains in exchange for a large
amount of dedicated capital funding, the system's regional funding
partners have capped the annual
growth of WMATA's operating
subsidy at three percent.
"What we're leading is a programmatic approach to identifying and then tracking and driving
forward projects that are going to
save us money or generate revenue," said Johnson. "We've got
a small cross-department team
that has identified 26 projects
that amount to about $70 million
in extra savings or revenue over 10
years. Are those projects the whole

DATA HELPS shed
light onto ways
agencies can
better operate.

The Lean Strategy Team, led by
Kat Benesh, chief of operations
strategy, policy and oversight at
the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), leverage
their shared experiences as former
management consultants, engineers and financial analysts to focus on different parts of operations
to improve service and outcomes.
Benesh says her team spends
around 80 percent of their time
looking at how MBTA can do
more with what it has.
"We're very much from the
lean philosophy that we will bring
in a lot of data and we will bring in
the structure, but we're not people
who grew up in transit. We firmly
believe that the people who have
the best answer about how we can
operate more effectively are on the
frontline," said Benesh.
She points to one example
at MBTA's Southampton bus
garage, which Benesh says has
historically been a challenge to
operate due to the complexity
of the fleet. Her team partnered
with the garage's superintendent
and posed two questions to find
the focus of their work: What
does good look like? And what
are we trying to accomplish?
The team determined the biggest indicator for an improved
customer experience came down
to ensuring the right number of
buses operated on a given route
every day, which led them to focus on improving the mean miles
between failure.
"We looked at mean miles
between failure and also looked
at how much of that is driven
by scheduled and unscheduled

JULY/AUGUST 2019 | MassTransitmag.com | Mass Transit |

29


http://www.MassTransitmag.com

Mass Transit

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mass Transit

Ad Index
Editor's Notebook
People & Places
A New Standard Shapes Commuter Rail in Boston
Connected Vehicles: Tampa
Beyond the Bus: Charge Management
Driven by Data
Making the Case for Standardization in MaaS
Best Practices
Products
Mass Transit - 1
Mass Transit - 2
Mass Transit - 3
Mass Transit - 4
Mass Transit - 5
Mass Transit - Ad Index
Mass Transit - 7
Mass Transit - Editor's Notebook
Mass Transit - 9
Mass Transit - People & Places
Mass Transit - 11
Mass Transit - A New Standard Shapes Commuter Rail in Boston
Mass Transit - 13
Mass Transit - 14
Mass Transit - 15
Mass Transit - 16
Mass Transit - 17
Mass Transit - 18
Mass Transit - 19
Mass Transit - Connected Vehicles: Tampa
Mass Transit - 21
Mass Transit - 22
Mass Transit - 23
Mass Transit - Beyond the Bus: Charge Management
Mass Transit - 25
Mass Transit - 26
Mass Transit - 27
Mass Transit - Driven by Data
Mass Transit - 29
Mass Transit - 30
Mass Transit - 31
Mass Transit - 32
Mass Transit - 33
Mass Transit - Making the Case for Standardization in MaaS
Mass Transit - 35
Mass Transit - Best Practices
Mass Transit - 37
Mass Transit - 38
Mass Transit - Products
Mass Transit - 40
Mass Transit - 41
Mass Transit - 42
Mass Transit - 43
Mass Transit - 44
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