An Automated Performance Measurement System for Metro Operations



An Automated Performance Measurement System for Metro Operations

Authors

A Deloukas and E Apostolopoulou, Attiko Metro AE, GR

Description

Abstract

Assessing the performance of a public transport operator with its multiple functions and objectives has become an important concern in the last decade. Especially for expensive urban rail systems, expectations of their stakeholders (passengers, owners, employees, community) are raised to a high level. The paper discusses the development of an automated system to measure the performance of the newly started Attiko Metro (AM) entity operating Lines 2&3 in Athens. Point of departure are well-defined strategic initiatives assembled within the 20-year AM business plan. The strategies are transformed into 21 partial objectives belonging to four balanced perspectives: 7 financial measures (cost/revenue, outsourcing ratio), 6 customer-driven measures (service quality and safety), 6 measures of business process efficiency (labour and vehicle productivity), 2 employee-driven measures (motivation and commitment). The measurement system of the metro performance concurs with the balanced scorecard framework. The so called Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) interrelate input resources and factor costs (labour, energy, materials, vehicle capital), service production (e.g. veh-kms) as well as service consumption variables (e.g. ridership, revenue). The full set of measures refers to monthly reported KPIs and a subset to weekly KPIs (both actual and last 12-month average).

Moving average values for the first year of the metro operation will be discussed.A valid comparison with best practices of similar metro systems (in terms of size, technology etc.) is established. The target benchmarks represent a demand, such as a significant reduction in input factors consumed or a substantial increase in quality achieved. Attiko Metro operating entity seems to be in many dimensions already an outperfomer. One of the reasons of the good performance is the high outsourcing ratio (>20%) of AM non-core activities. Another interesting aspect is the performance comparison with the old metro operator of Line 1 in Athens (ISAP). Both operators share the same regulatory environment and regional cost-of-labour index.

A proprietary Enterprise Resource Planning system went live in AM on 2001 covering for the time being a part of its business processes. The ERP software will integrate after all the domains of Finance, Human Resources, Maintenance, Warehouse and Procurement based on a single database. The metro divisions can share information and communicate with each other. The ERP technology is expected to improve the metro performance. For instance, warehouse shortages are revealed in real time, so inventories may be reduced. Financial reporting becomes more transparent and detailed, so that accountability within the company is increased.

A Performance Management and Controlling (PMC) module has been developed as an application embedded within the ERP. The PMC module enables the automated monitoring of the overall performance of metro operations. It supports strategic management rather than operational processes. The sourcing scheme for calculating KPIs is described. Financial data are consolidated through the Reallocation submodule, staff-related data are drawn from the HR module, and external operational data are entered from the Automatic Train Supervision system, scheduling s/w or manually. Data collection and maintenance issues are addressed. One value-adding functionality of the PMC module is,that it does not only monitors past performance variability over time, but also predicts future performance via "what-if" scenario analysis. Scenarios may refer to altered train schedules, work rules or added extensions, i.e. changed outputs such as veh-kms, train-hours, peak hour vehicles or route length. Cost predictions are a function of input prices and fluctuating outputs. Scenarios enable the estimation of avoidable costs of operation, leading to improved metro performance.

Publisher

Association for European Transport