Most of the world is releasing its breath over the coronavirus pandemic. Restrictions are being relaxed, cautiously and optimistically, in many countries. Individuals are stepping out their homes and, while observing social distancing guidelines, greeting friends, neighbours and extended family members.
In Melbourne, Lord Mayor Sally Capp, is preparing the city for the return of workers, traders, shoppers and domestic tourists, while maintaining the suggested social distancing guidelines, by putting in place measures to widen the footpaths and bike lanes1. This will enable pedestrians and cyclists to roam the city streets, while keeping a safe distance from other individuals.
Yarra Trams is also undertaking preparatory measures for an increase in passenger numbers, once restrictions are relaxed in Victoria. Since late March, staff members have worked diligently to sanitise the trams and the company has offered a wider availability of PPE and cleaning products to drivers and inspectors. Physical barriers on board some trams were trialled and passenger access to the front row of seats were also restricted2; these are likely to be in place for the foreseeable future.
The adapting of these physical assets is a positive sign. However, asset managers and owners reading will know of the delicate balance in asset management. What is the balance to cost, risk and performance? How is the adapting of such assets commensurate with capability, delivery, business and consumer needs?
By adding to the width of one asset, such as footpaths, what is the impact on others, city roads for example. With traffic in the CBD prior to the shutdown jamming to gridlock, what hope do commuters hold for access once footpaths have eaten into streets and lanes. The trams were equally crammed prior to the pandemic, and the curbing of passenger access onto these assets will surely necessitate greater service provision to meet demand.
Let us know your thoughts on asset management in context with the coronavirus pandemic. If you’re working in the government or transport sector and working towards a plan for post-shutdown, we would love to hear from you. And if you’re not a member of the Asset Management Council, join today. Click here to find out more about our membership rates and benefits.