BART Signs Deal to Upgrade Transit Technology

IBM’s Smarter Planet project, which uses technology (and sometimes plain old polling)
in an effort to revamp urban infrastructure, today signed deals with
transit agencies based in Oakland, New York City, and Washington D.C.
to "smartly" manage the ins and outs of keeping trains and buses

BART, New York’s LIRR, and Washington D.C.’s Metro plan to install the Maximo software, a program that anticipates and schedules preventive maintenance on rail cars, tracks, buses, and other equipment.

"There are thousands of people and parts responsible for making sure that our trains arrive on time and deliver our passengers safely to their destinations,” Randall Franklin, BART Program Director for Business Advancement, said in a statement. "Because we are managing an aging fleet while planning for the future, the efficiency of BART requires visibility across all of our assets to provide safe and uninterrupted railway services to our customers."

The move could prove particularly beneficial for D.C., which was urged by federal safety regulators to phase out the older rail car model that was involved in a fatal accident in June but found itself
short of cash to fund a full-cale replacement. In a statement on the
IBM deal, Metro’s deputy information technology chief said a recent
meeting with China’s Guangzhou Metro, which also uses Maximo, helped
pave the way for the agreement.


SPUR Talk: Transportation Challenges for Downtown Tech Companies

The San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), hosted a lunchtime talk in downtown San Francisco today, with representatives from Salesforce and Airbnb, about how the companies help employees commute between work and home. Unlike tech giants based outside of downtown San Francisco, neither company makes heavy use of private buses–so-called Tech […]