NYC, SF, and DC Sign Deals 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 in New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. to "smartly" manage the ins and outs of keeping trains and buses running.

New York’s LIRR, San Francisco’s BART, and 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. Reads an IBM press release:

The LIRR will use IBM technology to manage and maintain approximately 1,180 rail cars, locomotives, and their associated parts to improve operations and passenger safety. As part of a project expected to be completed in 2012, IBM will also be helping the LIRR expand its asset management system to include facilities, bridges, and tunnels.

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-scale 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.