Review of asset management for metro systems: challenges and opportunities

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - subway/metro, mode - tram/light rail, mode - rail, mode - bus, mode - bus rapid transit, planning - service quality, planning - travel demand management, planning - integration, infrastructure - maintainance, organisation - management, ridership - forecasting


Metro asset management, performance assessment and deterioration, budget optimisation, urban railway, maintenance and rehabilitation, ridership


Metro systems play a crucial role in the movement of millions of passengers worldwide as commuters rely on a fast, reliable, and convenient underground railway for their daily transportation. However, in many cases, the quality of the service that can be delivered, including performance, attractiveness, and customer satisfaction, are constrained by poorly maintained infrastructure. Meanwhile, effective planning to maintain, rehabilitate, replace and expand existing systems must respect technical, social, political, financial, and management constraints. There is a lack of a comprehensive framework for managing metro assets. This is mainly due to the multiplicity of components; the complexity of their interdependencies; common lack of historical data and performance indicators; and unavailability of a unified framework that integrates forecasts of future demand with decision-making systems. The main objective of this research is to review available studies and models for underground rail systems, identify the main strategic-operational planning gaps, and propose critical tasks for a comprehensive asset management framework. The platform developed in this research is suitable for further studies in urban railways such as Rail Rapid Transit (underground and surface), Light Rail Transit, and suburban trains as well as other modes of transport (e.g. traditional buses, Bus-Rapid-Transit).


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.