BATON ROUGE, La. – The Capital Area Transit System is holding itself to a higher, more efficient standard when it comes to measuring performance in 2018, changing the timeframe for a bus to be considered “on time” from a 10-minute window to a five-minute one, which is the nationally recognized standard.
For several months CATS has been reporting on-time performance for both the 10-minute and five-minute arrival window. Starting with statistics from 2018, which are reported monthly at CATS board meetings, only the 5-minute figure will be used.
“This may seem like a small change to some people, but for CATS it means we are holding ourselves to a higher standard, not just internally, but publicly as well,” said CATS CEO Bill Deville. “The public may see our on-time performance number drop, not because our performance is worsening, but because we are now holding ourselves accountable to the industry standard. As we work to enhance our service, we must measure ourselves based on what our peer agencies across the country are doing.”
On-time performance for January 2018 was 66.7 percent, meaning buses arrived within the 5-minute window. This is slightly below the average rate of five-minute on-time performance was 67.9 percent for 2017.
A number of internal and external factors contribute to CATS buses arriving “on time.” Internal factors, such as having adequate staffing levels, maintaining buses properly and keeping a newer, younger fleet can help reduce trip cancellations and ensure buses arrive on time. External factors like traffic and severe weather that are out of CATS’ control can lead to buses arriving outside their scheduled times.
Rates of on-time performance when CATS measures on a 10-minute window were in the 85 percent to 87 percent range in 2017. CATS has a strategic goal of reaching 80 percent on-time performance on its routes, based on the shorter timeframe, which would mean overall the system is operating more efficiently.