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Center Identification Number: 473-05

Project Title: Repair Time Standards for Transit Vehicles

Co-Principal Investigators: 
Grisselle Centeno, Visiting Assistant Professor, IMSE

Lisa Staes, Senior Research Associate

Center for Urban Transportation Research
University of South Florida
Tampa, Florida

External Project Contact: 
Robert Westbrook, FDOT

I. Project Objective

To establish accurate repair time standards for transit vehicles in Florida public transit systems. This project will develop standards in order to minimize the time required to perform tasks, continually improve reliability of services and to conserve resources and minimum costs by specifying direct/indirect materials of tools to provide repair service.

II. Project Abstract

Time standards are goals that must be accomplished. According to the literature, for organizations that operate without standards a 60% performance is typical. When time standards are established, performance improves to an average of 85%, a 42% increase. Establishing time standards is a step in the systematic development of new workcenters and the improvements in methods used in existing workcenters. Areas such as purchasing, cost accounting, control and process design are closely related to standards functions. To operate effectively, all of these areas depend on time and operational procedures.

III. Task Descriptions

Task 1: Exploratory Phase.

The initial task will include surveying the literature and existing efforts in the area of repair time standards and recognizing strengths and weakness of the methods used. In addition, the necessary components of the information to be generated that are required for establishing accurate standards will be identified. At the end of this phase we should have a clear understanding of which methodology should be followed to capture the necessary information and establish time standards and procedures for transit vehicles.

Task 2: Analysis of repair components

This task is divided into three parts.

1. Prioritization of times to be established.
2. Analysis of various vehicle components in order to estimate the frequency of repairs required, and the criticality of various spare parts.
3. Analysis of resources available for repairing, such as manual or automated machinery.

Task 3: Conducting time studies (data collection)

  • This involves systematic collection of repair times for different components of transit vehicles.
  • Analysis, verification, and validation of results.
  • Comparison of obtained time standards with existing industry standards for similar applications.

Task 4: Building the database

This task is an ongoing process, wherein all data generated during previous tasks will be structured systematically. Technologies to be used for database construction are Oracle or SQL.

Task 5: Documentation of research work

Documentation of research progress will be maintained and presented quarterly. This phase also consists of preparing final project reports, suggested time standard charts and database.

IV.  Student Involvement

Graduate students will be used collect and analyze data. In addition, graduate students will help to develop database for time standards.

V. Relationship to Other Research Projects


VI. Technology Transfer Activities

The results of this project will be given to FDOT through quarterly reports and a final report. In addition, a database will be developed to store repair time standards in order to make times available for continuous use and for future modifications.

The final report will be available on the CUTR website. In addition, a postcard mailing will be conducted to individuals on the Florida Maintenance Training Program mailing list (that includes the names and addresses of maintenance managers and transit directors from around the nation) notifying them of the availability of the study.

VII. Potential Benefits of the Project

The principal benefits of having accurate time standards for repairing transit vehicles are: a) to increase productivity and to provide a reliable service safely and b) to lower cost, thus allowing more quality services for more units that need to be repaired.

In addition, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the Society for Automotive Engineers (SAE) are the in the process of establishing a national certification program for transit maintenance employees, while the FDOT through the Florida Maintenance Training Program are also considering a certification program. The time standards developed through this project will assist both groups in the development and implementation of their certification programs.

VIII. TRB Keywords

Time standards, time study, work measurement


National Center for Transit Research at the Center For Urban Transportation Research University of South Florida 4202 E. Fowler Ave., CUT100 Tampa, FL 33620-5375 (813) 974-3120 (813) 974-5168 Comments: