NEW YORK — While serving a record number of passengers, the MTA Long Island Rail Road achieved a best-ever On-Time Performance (OTP) of 95.14 percent in 2008, breaking the previous record of 94.07 percent set in 2007 by more than a full percentage point.
The 95.14 percent OTP is the best since modern record keeping began in 1979. The LIRR reached the 95.14 percent milestone in 2008 while operating 245,933 trains – which is 1,368 more trains than last year.
“This is the second year in a row the LIRR has improved our on-time reliability, while seeing increases in ridership,” said LIRR President Helena Williams. “Our entire workforce – 6,800 strong – deserves credit for reaching this goal. A great railroad is like a great orchestra. All the players, all the sections have to perform at their peak to produce great music. We know that being on time is music to our customers’ ears and I am thankful for the dedication shown by all of our employees.”
Further analysis shows the LIRR also achieved a record 95.43 percent OTP during the AM Peak period in 2008 (previous record of 94.28 percent was set in 2007), with 51 of the morning rush hours achieving 100 percent On Time Performance. The annual Off-Peak performance also set a record 95.32 percent (previous record 94.64 percent in 2007). The PM Peak OTP was 93.87 percent with 28 afternoon rush hours operating at 100 percent.
A train is considered on time if it reaches its final destination within 5 minutes and 59 seconds of its scheduled arrival time. The standard measure, used throughout the commuter rail industry, was adopted by the LIRR in 1979. That year the LIRR posted an OTP of 83.42 percent and began an upward climb of improved performance through the decades.
Senior Vice President of Operations Raymond Kenny noted that continued improvements in the work performed by the employees of the Mechanical Department have resulted in fewer breakdowns and new records being set in equipment availability, which directly impacts On Time Performance.
“To meet the schedule and improve performance, you have to have the trains available each day,” Kenny said. “This has helped us achieve the record On Time Performance we experienced in 2008.”
Executive Vice President Albert Cosenza also credited the LIRR’s track and signal crews.
“They make sure that critical communication equipment and the Railroad infrastructure – the running rails – are in good repair,” Cosenza said. “The work they do occurs behind the scenes. Most customers are unaware of their contributions, but their efforts are critical to producing the record On Time Performance we set in 2008.”