After the Bay Citizen blew the whistle on inflated on-time performance stats, the SFMTA has announced that the actual on-time rate is 57.2%, down from July’s 60.2%. Cancelled runs, for example the 113 on Sept 10th, lower the deployed number of buses and trains available for the schedule. To compensate, line managers space out buses and trains, decimating the schedule and driving down the on-time rate.
The three main issues with bus and train tardiness are the lack of available drivers due to a low driver graduation rate versus attrition, tight controls on over-time spending, and one of the oldest fleets in the nation. The SFMTA is in the process of hiring new part-time drivers, a new batch every 6 weeks, to start filling in missed runs, as well as buying new buses and overhauling mid-life buses.