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!

5 thoughts on “Chart of the Day: Weekday On Time Transit Performance, US Systems

  1. Aaron IsaacsAaron Isaacs

    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).

  2. Aaron IsaacsAaron Isaacs

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

  3. Aaron IsaacsAaron Isaacs

    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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