Mass Transit - 31

DATA
"My team will never be the
expert in telling an electrician
or a maintenance-of-way worker
how to lay track, but what we do
understand is processes and metrics and how to take the stuff that
matters and help build tools to help
people make better decisions,"
said Benesh. "Every moment of a
track shutdown is such precious
time. We're still creating the data
to determine how much work we
scheduled for a given night, did
that work get done and how do
we do more the next night."
Benesh notes that whatever the
project may be, the data used must
mean something and not just be
interesting, otherwise it's noise.
"I'm constantly pushing the
team to determine baselines and
where are we starting from," explained Benesh. "Even in the absence of data, we spend a lot of
time going out to create our own

data set. I am a firm believer that
everything is quantifiable, but it
may take more time to ensure what
you're quantifying is also meaningful. The work we do must be
enough to drive decisions."
Benesh says progress, when
viewed day-to-day, can seem a bit
slow, but when the broader scope
of effort is viewed, it's good to see
how her and her team's work are
positively impacting improved
processes at MBTA.
"I think most importantly for us
is that this change is embedded in
our frontline leadership. There's an
element of coaching and learning
and having them take ownership
and accountability and help them
continue to grow," said Benesh.
"Even after we finish a project, [the
frontline workers] will continue to
advance this grassroots philosophy
of taking a data-driven approach to
improve outcomes."

Mapping the course

"You can know where the finish line
is, but if you don't know the course
of the race, you may not get there,"
said David Schulze, chief of staff,
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART).
Helping colleagues reach the
finish line on projects that have an
agency-wide impact has been one
of Schulze's main functions during
his time as DART's vice president
Policy & Strategy, and now as chief

"We

view our bus mechanics as surgeons,
they're doing incredibly technical, complex
work and we want to make sure that our skilled
labor is not spending their time tracking parts or
searching racks, but is focused on doing the work
that will improve the customer's experience."
-KAT BENESH, chief of operations strategy,
policy and oversight, MBTA

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

31


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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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