What does MyTripTime measure?

In the summer of 2016, WMATA launched “MyTripTime,” a tool that gives riders data about the performance of their individual Metro rides.

MyTripTime gives you a personalized on-time score based on your most frequent Metro rides in the last three months (you’ve got to make at least 5 rides on the same segment in a three month period for data to show up).

MyTripTime measures customer on-time performance (rather than train on-time performance), which is based on two numbers: number of minutes a customer spends on a trip, and WMATA’s calculations for how long that trip should take.

Breaking that down, the first measurement starts when a rider taps their SmarTrip card when they enter a station and ends when they tap out leaving their destination station. So if you enter at East Falls Church at 8:05am and exit at Farragut West at 8:21am, your “trip” lasted 16 minutes.

MyTripTime then compares that trip duration to the “WMATA expected travel time range” for that particular segment. The low end of the range equals the time it takes for a train to get from the starting platform to the destination platform (e.g. East Falls Church to Farragut West). The high end of the range adds in three additional buffers: wait time, walking time, and transfers.

  • The wait time buffer uses the maximum time a customer should wait for a train based on the service schedule. For example, if you arrive just after a train has departed East Falls Church during the morning rush hour, you should expect to wait another eight minutes for the next train, according to WMATA’s current timetable.
  • The time buffer to account for walking. For most stations, WMATA allots one minute, but for stations with longer distances between platform and fare gates (Fort Totten, Gallery Place, L’Enfant Plaza, and Metro Center) it tacks on two minutes. It builds in a three-minute walk time buffer at Rosslyn and Wheaton.
  • The transfer buffer adds one minute to the range for trips that include a transfer across platforms.

The MyTripTime on-time score calculates the percentage of trips that take less time than the highest end of WMATA’s expected travel time range.

What's the MyTripTime challenge?

Greater Greater Washington is partnering with WMATA to help them improve their communication and engagement with customers. Last year, we launched MetroGreater, a crowdsourced contest to pick small projects Metro could implement quickly which would improve the rider experience. That project was sponsored by Metro and because it was so successful (more than 1,000 people sent in ideas!), we’re working with Metro again.

Our intent is to help riders learn about and use the MyTripTime tool, collect their thoughts about what could be improved, and crowdsource on-time performance data.

Metro benefits because we’re spreading the word about MyTripTime, which is a useful tool. GGWash and our community of readers benefit because we can build a database of a sample of riders’ on-time performance metrics.

The challenge seeks to recruit a cohort of riders who will commit to sharing their MyTripTime scores with us over the course of several months and give feedback about the MyTripTime tool, which we’ll share with WMATA to recommend improvements. The challenge also encourages riders to set a personal on-time performance target. We’ll track actual and target on-time performance data of participants over the course of several months, making the database public on this website.

Ultimately, the MyTripTime challenge creates a space for engaged riders to learn more about one data point related to their regular Metro rides and provide feedback that can improve the MyTripTime tool and future customer tools WMATA develops.

What do you have to do to participate?

Participating in the MyTripTime challenge is really easy. But you will need a registered SmarTrip card to participate.

  • Step 1: Set up a profile on whatsmytriptime.com, including baseline information about your current MyTripTime on-time scores, and an on-time target score (5-10 minutes)
  • Step 2: Once per month for the next 3-6 months, log into whatsmytriptime.com and update your on-time performance scores from MyTripTime.
  • Step 3: Share your thoughts about the MyTripTime tool by completing a short survey in the spring of 2018.

Along the way, GGWash will send you periodic emails with information about your on-time performance data, progress toward your target, and how you compare to other riders in the cohort.