Via Planetizen, here’s a recent study out of a New York transit foundation complied a rankings of on-time performance using the exact same on-time standards, as opposed to the self-reported on-time stats, which can vary a lot between agencies.
It turns out that Metro Transit does very well! Here’s the resulting chart:
The report’s authors then describe to a few trends and conclusions:
The systems that rise to the top tend to be in less congested cities (no surprise there – congestion is the primary source of bus delays). The top three cities for reliability saw smaller ridership losses on their bus system from 2016-2017 than the national average.
With this tighter standard, weekday on time performance differs substantially from what agencies report themselves. TriMet’s on time performance for bus drops from 85% to 75%, LA Metro’s from 72% to 64% and King County Metro’s from 77% to 60%.
Most importantly, the on time numbers aren’t great overall. If these were grades in school, even the highest performing agency, TriMet, only receives a “C.” This should alarm transit agencies everywhere because of the high value transit riders place on reliability.
To improve on-time performance, they recommend signal priority and bus lanes, all door boarding, and restrooms for bus drivers. All good ideas!