Will the MTA retire its subway on-time performance metrics?

Per a report from Dan Rivoli of the New York Daily News, the MTA is discussing the possible retirement of the agency’s subway on-time performance data. The agency is thinking about placing an emphasis on evenly spacing trains, as opposed to sticking to a strict train schedule. However, while considering this option, it is important to consider how this switch would actually be implemented, and how the new metric would be measured.

While considering the switch, you would first have to consider different measurement procedures. One possibility would be to utilize the new ATS, CBTC, and ISIM-B signaling systems to get raw train data. The agency could identify certain track circuits or locating devices that are adjacent to station entrances and exits. Then, you could “log” each time a train travels over the device, and schedule headway times, say “a train must exit South Ferry every 5 minutes”, instead of a having a formal schedule. It is unclear at this time how seriously the MTA is considering this change in reporting procedures, but it is key to continue providing the public with actionable monthly operating reports.

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