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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

TAM Plans

Abstract metro schemeEvery agency must develop a transit asset management (TAM) plan if it owns, operates, or manages capital assets used to provide public transportation and receives federal financial assistance under 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53 as a recipient or subrecipient. Each transit provider must designate an Accountable Executive (49 CFR 625.5) to ensure appropriate resources for implementing the agency's TAM plan and the Transit Agency Safety Plan.

Each TAM plan should:

  • Outline how people, processes, and tools come together to address asset management policy and goals
  • Provide accountability and visibility for furthering understanding of leveraging asset management practices
  • Support planning, budgeting, and communications to internal and external stakeholders

TAM Plan Update

Agencies are required to update their TAM plan in its entirety at least once every four years. The first compliant TAM plans were due October 2018 and agencies must complete an updated plan every four years beginning in October 2022. The TAM plan cycle should coincide, to the extent possible, with the State and metropolitan planning cycle for the development of the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). 

The TAM plan update is an opportunity for transit agencies to review the process from the previous cycle and apply lessons learned. This may include improvements to the data collection process and aligning the plan with strategic priorities. In addition, the update provides agencies with the ability to incorporate any changes or updates to existing safety documents or capital plans that occurred over the past four years. Please refer to the FAQs for tips on completing your TAM plan update including the latest information on TAM plan updates. 

During the update process, transit agencies must fully revisit the TAM planning process to create a new TAM plan for the current horizon period. This process includes reviewing every element of the TAM plan and making all necessary changes for a subsequent version, which may include completely overhauling certain sections. The updated TAM plan must reflect agency goals that may have shifted, the creation of new investment prioritization criteria, or updates to existing TAM and SGR policy. This effort may also involve inter-departmental coordination to ensure that asset managers are communicating with planning and financial staff to accurately forecast state of good repair and agency needs. Please refer to the resources at the bottom of the page for information on investment prioritization, decision support tools, and other key elements of your TAM plan.  

Throughout the four-year horizon period for a TAM plan, a transit provider may choose to amend its TAM plan to reflect changes to investment priorities, targets, or other unforeseen occurrences (like a natural disaster) that impact the relevance of the TAM plan. TAM plan amendments should be used in response to unexpected changes; however, they should be incorporated into future TAM plan updates so long as the changes remain relevant under the new four-year horizon period. Amendments to a TAM plan do not replace the required comprehensive update.  

TAM Plan Elements

Tier I agencies must comply with all nine elements of the TAM plan. Tier II agencies are responsible only for the top four elements.

Tier Element Brief Description
Tier I and II I. An inventory of asset A register of capital assets and information about those assets.
2. A condition assessment of inventoried assets

A rating of the assets' physical state; to be completed for assets an agency has direct capital responsibility for; should be at a level of detail sufficient to monitor and predict performance of inventoried assets

3. Description of a decision support tool An analytic process or tool that (1) assists in capital asset investment prioritization and/or (2) estimates capital needs over time
does not necessarily mean software
4. A prioritized list of investments A prioritized list of projects or programs to manage or improve the SGR of capital assets
Tier I only 5. TAM and SGR policy A TAM policy is the executive-level direction regarding expectations for transit asset management; a TAM strategy consists of the actions that support the implementation of the TAM policy
6. Implementation strategy

The operational actions that a transit provider decides to conduct, in order to achieve its TAM goals and policies


7. List of key annual activities
The actions needed to implement a TAM plan for each year of the plan's horizon
8. Identification of resources A summary or list of the resources, including personnel, that a provider needs to develop and carry out the TAM plan
9. Evaluation plan An outline of how a provider will monitor, update, and evaluate, as needed, its TAM plan and related business practices, to ensure the continuous improvement

Group TAM Plans

Tier II agencies may develop their own plans or participate in a group TAM plan, which is compiled by a group TAM plan sponsor (generally the State DOT or a direct or designated §5310 or §5307 recipient). The purpose of the group plan option is to reduce the planning and reporting burden on smaller transit agencies from having to develop individual plans and to report to FTA’s National Transit Database (NTD) on their own. The group plan uses consolidated performance targets that apply to the group of participants as a whole, rather than to individual agencies.

If you are State DOT or an agency that passes FTA funds to subrecipients, use our checklist to determine whether you are required to be a group TAM plan sponsor. A group TAM plan sponsor must coordinate the development of the group TAM plan with each participant’s Accountable Executive and make the completed plan easily available to all participants and applicable planning agencies.

Not all tier II agencies are required to be offered a group TAM plan; use our checklist to determine whether you are automatically going to be a participant in a group TAM plan. Group TAM plan sponsors may, but are not required to, offer participation in group TAM plans to tier II agencies who are also direct recipients of §5307 funds.

A tier II provider must provide written notification to a sponsor if it chooses to opt out of a group TAM plan. It may only participate in one group TAM plan.

The Group Plan Sponsor Workbook provides further detail on identifying participants and developing group TAM plans.

Plan Submission Requirements

The first complete compliant TAM plan was due October 2018, and in perpetuity the plan must be updated, in its entirety, at least once every four years. FTA recommends that recipients coordinate TAM plan updates with the cycle for their relevant Statewide and Metropolitan planning processes. All agencies must complete a compliant second version of their TAM plans by October 2022. The TAM plan update section above outlines the requirements for this process. 

Once a TAM plan is completed or updated, it should be shared with partners for review and to coordinate implementation. The completed or updated TAM plan does not need to be submitted to FTA, though it must be available for review and as part of ongoing Oversight.

In addition, each entity developing a TAM plan must report annually to FTA's National Transit Database (NTD). This submission must include: asset inventory data; condition assessments and performance results; projected targets for the next fiscal year; and a narrative report on changes in transit system conditions and the progress toward achieving previous performance targets. These requirements were phased in starting in the FY2018 reporting period.

Resources

The following resources may be helpful when developing and updating your TAM plans. These are only suggested resources; you can develop your TAM plan to best suit your agency while meeting FTA’s minimum requirements.
Visit the TAM Resource Table for a full list of available TAM resources.   

The TAM Resource Table shares actual agency examples of asset management work. Please refer to APTA's Transit Asset Management site to view examples of agency TAM Plans. 

Last updated: Friday, September 17, 2021