Chart of the Day: Weekday On Time Transit Performance, US Systems

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:

Transit On Time Performance 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!

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5 Responses to Chart of the Day: Weekday On Time Transit Performance, US Systems

  1. Aaron Isaacs
    Aaron Isaacs August 31, 2018 at 9:25 am #

    Did they say what their standard is for on time performance? Metro Transit’s is less than one minute early and no more than 5 minutes late, and under that standard they run 85-90% on time (see my previous post on this topic).

    • Bill Lindeke
      Bill Lindeke August 31, 2018 at 9:29 am #

      they used a universal standard, not sure exactly what it was.

  2. Aaron Isaacs
    Aaron Isaacs August 31, 2018 at 9:29 am #

    I found it. They’re assuming 1 minute early and no more than 4 minutes late is on time. Interesting.

    • Bill Lindeke
      Bill Lindeke August 31, 2018 at 9:40 am #

      i guess that extra minute makes a difference

  3. Aaron Isaacs
    Aaron Isaacs August 31, 2018 at 4:17 pm #

    A high percentage of early buses implies lax on-street supervision.

    Also, Metro Transit has more miles of bus lanes and shoulder lanes than anyone else, which really reduces wxpress bus lateness.

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