The Asset Management Office has garnered several lessons from NCDOT's development of a comprehensive transportation asset management program.
First and foremost, says Asset Management Director Lacy Love, a DOT should start with something it is already doing, e.g., pavement preservation, and expand over time. NCDOT has been working on its TAM program for eight years, and the program is still evolving.
Second, TAM must have buy-in at all levels - from the chief executive to the front line manager; implementing a comprehensive TAM program requires a team approach and a willingness to change from what Love terms a "firefighting" approach to a planning mode. Involving the public is also a vital component of a successful TAM effort.
Third, a DOT needs to give field personnel the tools they need in order to make intelligent decisions regarding system conditions and maintenance priorities. By establishing performance measures, a measurement methodology and robust management systems, the department is poised to provide the motorists of North Carolina with the highest possible return on their investment dollar. Love cites the example of using personal digital assistants (PDAs) for maintenance managers so that they can accurately capture what's being done on DOT roadways. For NCDOT, this type of commitment is essential to improving LOS from the ground up.
Figure 5: Hamlet Rail Station.