Metra Posts Schedule Reports Online

For the first time, Metra released its on-time train records online

By Rosie Powers
|  Thursday, Jun 23, 2011  |  Updated 2:55 PM CDT
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For the first time in its 36-year history, Metra has published records on its website sharing the efficiency of its commuter lines.

The monthly, 17-page records date back to January and list data for each of Metra's 11 commuter lines. The reports show the percentage of on-time schedules, listings of delays and why they occurred, the number of delays by date, and the average length of delays in minutes for each line.

"We'll use these reports to keep track of the trains and identify areas where there might be problems that we need to look at, or where we might need to change things," said Metra spokesman Michael Gillis.

So far, March proved to have the most on-schedule trains, with 96.8 percent of its scheduled routes measured to be on time. February was the least, with 89.8 percent. System-wide delay times for February averaged around 21.8 minutes.

The data only considers trains "late" if they are six minutes delayed or more.

According to the data, the most efficient of the Metra lines is the Electric District line. The Electric BI route was the most on-time route from February-April, in March measuring to be on time 99.2 percent of the time.

The least on-time train route was the Heritage Corridor, on time 77.2 percent of the time in February.

Gillis said the reports are an effective way of providing Metra commuters with information about their route while at the same time "increasing transparency" at the agency, a goal of new Metra Chief Executive Officer Alexander D. Clifford.

"If the reports help us increase our on-time performance by keeping track of which trains need to be addressed, then that's a benefit to our customers," Gillis said.

Metra's May monthly report has yet to be posted.

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