Setting Targets

When GGWash first wrote about MyTripTime when it launched in the summer of 2016, many riders in our community had on-time scores that were really low, some as low as 45%.

Of course, this was during SafeTrack maintance updates and closures. Now, more than a year later, we hope on-time scores have improved.

But if your on-time score is still below your expectations, we want you to challenge WMATA to meet your personal target. What's a realistic target? How should you choose?

How are other systems performing?

Here's snapshot of the train on-time performance standards for metro systems in other major cities across the country. Note that these scores are not calculated using the same metrics as the MyTripTime score. But, they can help provide context for how Metro stacks up to other systems across the country. 

  • MBTA (Boston) – 87% reliability (as of December 13, 2017)
    MBTA's "reliability" score for their subway system reflects the percent of riders who don't wait longer than the scheduled time between trains. It doesn't take into account the impact of other factors including overcrowded trains or bus shuttles. 
  • BART (San Francisco) – 87% average on-time performance (As of April 2017)
  • Metro (Washington, DC) – 69% average on-time performance for rail service (Jan-Mar 2017)
  • MTA (New York) – 63.2% on-time performance (Jan-Mar 2017)
    Here's a cool graphic showing line by line changes in on-time performance from 2007-2017.

Metro should be reliable, safe, and affordable. We should expect to get from our point of origin to our destination on time, with a small margin of error. When compared with peer Metro systems in the country, it’s clear Metro could do better. But, it also wasn’t as bad as New York’s system during the first quarter of this year.

So what’s a reasonable on-time target score?

If you’re expecting a 100% on-time score, it’s probably not going to happen. If your score is 50%, an improvement to 90% is unlikely. Consider a target within 5-10% of your current on-time score.