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Metro's poor on-time performance

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As noted in the Chronicle, Metro buses are only on-time 59% of the time. That means they're late 41%! That seems like quite a lot. I wonder how the train does.

The article notes that Dallas buses are on time 92% of the time. Here are some other cities I found numbers for:

Chicago: 78.1% on-time.

San Francisco: 70.1% on-time.

New York: 68.9% on-time.

Los Angeles: 68-71% on-time.

(source)

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David F. Feeley, the agency's senior vice president of operations blamed the shortfall on the way Metro measures its travel times.

According to Metro staff, the agency calculates its on-time performance through on-board devices that count passengers and time of arrival at each stop. The agency collects data for each stop, not simply at the start and end of each route. If one bus along a route, for instance, experiences a delay because of a parked train, subsequent stops also will be behind and recorded as late arrivals.

LOL brilliant!

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I think that's the right way to measure it. As a rider, a late bus is a late bus, no matter the reason. I suppose buses could drive faster to make up for lost time, but that might be a lot to expect.

Edited by N Judah

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I think that's the right way to measure it. As a rider, a late bus is a late bus, no matter the reason.
concur. and with the data they have already gathered, they should be able to develop a fairly realistic schedule. Edited by musicman

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As a semi-frequent Metro rider (42, 40, 52, and 82) I can gurantee you this could be solved by

a) re-routing the busses around train crossings

B) COH building EVERYONE better routing around train stops.

The inner city train crossings are just ridiculous.

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I don't really classify Metro as "on-time" or "not on-time" when I'm waiting for it, because the timetables basically cannot be relied on AT ALL as to when the bus will arrive. The only thing the timetable is useful for is determining the frequency that the bus passes.

Light rail, on the other hand, is extremely reliable, and has only let me down once when a pedestrian walked in front of the train and it had to shut down for an hour.

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I don't really classify Metro as "on-time" or "not on-time" when I'm waiting for it, because the timetables basically cannot be relied on AT ALL as to when the bus will arrive. The only thing the timetable is useful for is determining the frequency that the bus passes.

Light rail, on the other hand, is extremely reliable, and has only let me down once when a pedestrian walked in front of the train and it had to shut down for an hour.

I've noticed a lot of cities have given up on bus timetables and instead have time ranges marked "every 7 minutes" or "every 12 minutes" or something similar.

A couple of cities I've been in have the buses on satellite tracking so when you're waiting at a bus stop you can look on your phone and see that "Bus #2267 Route 151 will arrive in 3 minutes, followed by Bus #8109 Route 157 in 11 minutes." It's very handy, and even more so if you haven't left home yet and can estimate how long it takes to walk to the bus stop.

I've seen pictures where in some cities electronic displays are actually incorporated into the bus shelter telling you which bus is next and how long. I think it was Paris or somewhere. I haven't seen them in America yet except on subways.

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concur. and with the data they have already gathered, they should be able to develop a fairly realistic schedule.

Or increase frequency of buses on those routes. That would help.

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Or increase frequency of buses on those routes. That would help.

but with their current funding situation, it's not realistic.

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I've seen pictures where in some cities electronic displays are actually incorporated into the bus shelter telling you which bus is next and how long. I think it was Paris or somewhere. I haven't seen them in America yet except on subways.

They have this on one of the "rapid transit" metro lines west of the med center. I saw it when I was trying to catch a flight a few weeks ago. I'll have to try and remember what the corner was. I think it was on Holcombe...

Edit: Its called Quickline. But it just says "Coming Soon" on the Metro site...

Edited by kylejack

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They have this on one of the "rapid transit" metro lines west of the med center. I saw it when I was trying to catch a flight a few weeks ago. I'll have to try and remember what the corner was. I think it was on Holcombe...

Edit: Its called Quickline. But it just says "Coming Soon" on the Metro site...

Holcombe and Kirby. They're on both sides of Holcombe. They weathered Ike well too, whereas the Stop 'n Go lost its gas station canopy.

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but with their current funding situation, it's not realistic.

I've always wondered why the city doesn't ban cars on certain thoroughfares. That would increase ridership.

I mean, if you couldn't DRIVE down Westheimer, but had to park at a central station and use buses along that strip that ran every 1-2 minutes, I bet you'd get a lot of takers.

(Radical concept I'll prolly get stoned for even mentioning, but hey ... why not think outside the box).

In fact, take it one step further and make travel into the city on certain major freeways the same way. But Metro better have their acts together if they even try a stunt like this.

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Holcombe and Kirby. They're on both sides of Holcombe. They weathered Ike well too, whereas the Stop 'n Go lost its gas station canopy.

Correct, I got pics of that. ;)

post-4616-1230141085_thumb.jpg

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I've always wondered why the city doesn't ban cars on certain thoroughfares. That would increase ridership.

I mean, if you couldn't DRIVE down Westheimer, but had to park at a central station and use buses along that strip that ran every 1-2 minutes, I bet you'd get a lot of takers.

not selling cars would increase ridership too. where is metro going to get the money to run 30 buses an hr vs the 4 they run now?

you proposal is just too much trouble for too little benefit. people would end up driving anyway and park on the adjacent streets which is what a large portion does now.

Edited by musicman

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not selling cars would increase ridership too. where is metro going to get the money to run 30 buses an hr vs the 4 they run now?

you proposal is just too much trouble for too little benefit. people would end up driving anyway and park on the adjacent streets which is what a large portion does now.

What Houston really needs is Ciclov

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not selling cars would increase ridership too. where is metro going to get the money to run 30 buses an hr vs the 4 they run now?

you proposal is just too much trouble for too little benefit. people would end up driving anyway and park on the adjacent streets which is what a large portion does now.

Houstonians walk .. get real. They'd hop on that bus in a heartbeat.

But I agree with you that Metro would prolly muck it up.

What Houston really needs is Ciclov

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Getting Houstonians, en mass, to do anything remotely physical. Forget it.

You might be surprised, bring your bike to the Critical Mass ride starting at Tranquility Park at 7 PM this Friday, and every last Friday of the month. ;) We had about 100 last time.

Edited by kylejack

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You might be surprised, bring your bike to the Critical Mass ride starting at Tranquility Park at 7 PM this Friday, and every last Friday of the month. ;) We had about 100 last time.

Getting a bike in the next two weeks so will definitely take you up on the offer. Would love some advice offline or PM?

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Getting a bike in the next two weeks so will definitely take you up on the offer. Would love some advice offline or PM?

Yeah hit me up in PM.

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They have this on one of the "rapid transit" metro lines west of the med center. I saw it when I was trying to catch a flight a few weeks ago. I'll have to try and remember what the corner was. I think it was on Holcombe...

Edit: Its called Quickline. But it just says "Coming Soon" on the Metro site...

I just drove by the 'Quickline' stops. The one on the north side of Holcombe has working displays telling you when which bus will arrive (How many minutes). Cool.

Somebody needs to get a picture of these stops. The design is pretty out there, but I like them - futuristic, yet retro.

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Somebody needs to get a picture of these stops. The design is pretty out there, but I like them - futuristic, yet retro.

I like the little speedy looking bunny. :)

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I've seen pictures where in some cities electronic displays are actually incorporated into the bus shelter telling you which bus is next and how long. I think it was Paris or somewhere. I haven't seen them in America yet except on subways.

London has this system at most bus stops, and it's quite helpful. Sometimes it's off by a couple of minutes, but my experience has been that it's generally pretty accurate.

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