The Myth of On-Time Performance

I received a comment from Karem Allen in Durham that belongs in its own thread: 

A friend asked me if I knew why there would be an empty bus following closely to a full bus and my anwer was — so the empty one would be able to jump ahead and pick up riders.

He told me at one time they could leapfrog and be able to help the other drive but are now strangled in policy.
He told me that if a Driver gets 2 early’s in a month he is suspended.  So instead of jumping ahead and taking the riders and let the full one continue the empty one will hang back so as to not be early and of course the stop is empty of people.

Is this still in force?

I did not think buses were on a schedule to be early anyways.

There are a few things going on here worth talking about.

First of all, there is nothing wrong with buses playing leap-frog to handle passengers when they are bunched.  This can even out the load and the buses actually make better time going down the street.  Sometimes, however, the following driver will let the poor sod in the first bus take all the load.  Not fair, but it happens.

Having said that, the TTC does have a fetish for on time performance that can have bizarre results from the customers’ point of view.  This is driven by a measure, reported monthly to the Commission, that was introduced by former CGM David Gunn:  what proportion of all trips operated within 3 minutes of their scheduled times.  This sounds laudable, but like many corporate targets, it skews the very process it is intended to measure. Continue reading