Metro Transit Service Reliability Measures Assessment

Principal Investigator(s):

Chen-Fu Liao, Researcher, Mechanical Engineering

Project summary:

Metro Transit currently use one measure of service reliability for all bus routes. Buses within 1 minute early to 5 minutes late are deemed to be on-time. Buses outside that range are identified as either early or late. Metro Transit has an overall goal that bus service will be on-time 87.6 percent of the time. A different service reliability measure is used for light rail service. Trains within 4 minutes of scheduled time are deemed to be on-time. Metro Transit has goals of 95 percent and 90 percent on-time for the Blue Line and Green Line services, respectively.

Within the transit industry, there are several other measures of service reliability. Some examples are excess wait time and headway variation. These measures are often used on high-frequency services as a measure of how customers experience the service as they wait for the next bus or train.

The objective of this project is to explore different measures of transit service reliability, determine which ones are applicable to Metro Transit services, and provide a proof of concept of how these measures could be applied using available Metro Transit operations data.


Project details:

  • Project number: 2016050
  • Start date: 01/2016
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Planning and Economy
  • Topics: Transit planning