SEPTA Releases YTD On-Time Performance Information

Earlier this month, SEPTA release details on its on-time performance on regional rail. Unfortunately it doesn’t provide data for specific rail lines, just an overall number.

The data came with background information that explains how the on-time performance declined when the defect was discovered in the Silverliner V fleet and they had to be taken out of service, etc.

The on-time performance is now back over 90% and SEPTA has reinstituted a committee to monitor performance and make suggestions on how to improve the system.

Here is the background information:

As recently as 2013, Regional Rail on-time performance (OTP) was above 90% consistently for all Lines and offered the levels of service reliability expected by our customers. At the beginning of Calendar 2014, starting with severe weather episodes in January, OTP began to slip – a trend that continued into 2015. In 2016, Regional Rail service began moving back closer towards the 90% mark and then the Authority faced a series of significant events – Silverliner V fleet defect, the onset of Slippery Rail season, the recent Transit Service Interruption and full scale rollout of Positive Train Control – that disrupted service and schedules. A railroad like ours with a unique run-through arrangement in Center City (no terminals) and the numerous single track sections that trains are operated through is sensitive to conditions like these. The OTP dropped sharply to numbers that we never wanted customers to experience.

After asking ourselves some hard questions and taking steps to realign and reinvigorate our Regional Rail Department, we have a program working to turn OTP around. Schedule changes essential to this turnaround were implemented in December of 2016, January of 2017, April of 2017 and new schedules will go into effect on Sunday, September 10, 2017.

Improving service reliability is our business commitment to customers but we will never make any change that sacrifices on safety. Through this comprehensive Regional Rail Service Improvement Program we are working to create the balance to enhance reliability and ensure the safety of our customers and employees.

The table below represents the monthly summary of our On-Time Performance Report. We continue to focus on the issues that have had the most significant impact on service. With the deployment of Positive Train Control now substantially complete, the efforts to adjust schedules and service is improving OTP across our Regional Rail network, as demonstrated by the 90% rate reached in August. This is the level of service reliability that we are working to sustain through further schedule refinements (new timetables went into effect Sunday, September 10, 2017).

SEPTA On Time Performance Committee

With On Time Performance (OTP) now reaching the 90% goal range, Regional Rail will be reinstituting its On-Time Performance Committee. This group will systematically analyze and review current delay and schedule issues to improve individual train performance and overall service OTP; as well as look at future plans and schedules in anticipation of the delivery of the new ACS 64 locomotives and multi-level rail cars.

Does this data line-up with our readers’ experience riding regional rail? Let us know in the comments.