Metro grades itself and says things are improving

It might not seem so to Metro riders — with broken escalators and elevators throughout the system, rush-hour delays and longer waits for trains with endless weekend track work — but Metro officials say they’re doing better.

At least that’s what the transit agency’s internal report card says.


Washington Post

Metro officials are expected to present the information to the board at Thursday’s monthly committee meetings.

Metro’s “Vital Signs” report, an analysis the agency does of its own internal performance on trains, buses, and escalators and elevators, showed its on-time performance for buses was up 2 percent. That, Metro officials said in its presentation materials, exceeds the agency’s target “for the first time in at least three years.”

On its rail system, Metro said its on-time performance was 92 percent for the first three months of the year. Officials said that was higher than their target of 90.5 percent and was due to stopping work on tracks during the weekdays and improving the reliability of some of its aging rail cars.

Escalators, always a concern with riders ,are doing better, according to the agency’s internal statistics. Officials say escalator availability was at 92 percent in March and was “better than the target for the fifth consecutive month.”

Metro said its escalator numbers improved because it added 18 new mechanics to its team and started using a new program that “immediately notifies maintenance staff that an escalator is down,” according to an e-mail from Metro spokesman Dan Stessel.

Dana Hedgpeth is the Washington Post’s lead reporter in covering the Metro rail and bus systems in the D.C. region and the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) that runs them.
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Dana Hedgpeth | May 7, 2013