Ensuring readiness to implement a major asset replacement program

Baltimore, Maryland

The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is one of the largest multi-modal transport systems in the USA, operating bus, rail, subway and mobility access public transport systems. They planned a major asset replacement program to introduce a new train control system, control centre and all new railcars to its metro railway in Maryland. To ensure operational readiness, they needed to identify and address the change impacts of a phased implementation program across all areas of operation including, process, people and procedural change. Shoal was appointed, in a joint venture with Anne O’Neil Consultants LLC, to deliver the MTA Baltimore Metro Operational Readiness and Assurance project.


Shoal introduced a unique approach to evaluating operational readiness for the phased implementation program and ultimate transition to the new system. The first step was to map out their current operations, as a desktop review. All information was then put into a systems engineering model and then validated with the client onsite, through a series of workshops. The model needed to accurately reflect the current state, in order to identify the complex series of changes that would occur between the current operations and the planned, future operations. Once identified, changes could be classified as document, business, or physical, thus providing an understanding of the potential impact on people, processes, and assets.


Following further updates and validations directly with the MTA Baltimore Metro, the model was then translated into a visual roadmap to specify the actions necessary to achieve operational readiness. They were primarily nontechnical items such as: human factors; training requirements of staff; and document updates to capture the establishment of new processes for the management of new assets. The recommendations were provided in a report and a series of onsite presentations, from control centre staff to Director level, to address a list of priority areas to action, ensuring that MTA Baltimore Metro were operationally ready to enact their major asset replacement plan.