Transit On-Time Performance

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San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

Target: 85% on-time performance

Result: 52.3% on-time performance

On-time performance is a leading indicator of service reliability and is inscribed in the City Charter as an SFMTA service standard. On-time performance measures the percentage of actual arrival times that are between one minute early and four minutes late at designated points along transit routes.


Note: January and February 2017 on-time performance, gaps, and bunching data cannot be reported due to a network issue resulting from the phase-out of the 2G cellular network. This network issue limited NextBus predictions and prevented systemwide on-time performance data from being collected.

On-time performance is most valuable as a measure of customer experience for bus routes with less frequent service (i.e. routes that run less frequently than every 20 minutes). For less frequent routes, customers are more likely to check a printed schedule before heading to a bus or rail stop. Since most Muni passengers ride lines that are scheduled to run frequently, the percentage of transit trips with bunching or gaps is a more accurate measure of customer experience on those routes, since what is most important for customer experience is that the time between buses and trains (“headway”) is regular and close to the headways in the schedule. Measures of bunching and gaps show how Muni is performing on providing regular, reliable service on frequent lines.


Muni on-time performance was 1.2 percentage points lower in fiscal year 2017-18 compared to the previous year. This is the continuation of a downward trend from fiscal year 2016-17, when performance was 2 percent lower than fiscal year 2015-16. In fiscal year 2015-16, on-time performance improved by 3 percentage points over the previous year, likely due to service increases in Spring 2015 and 2016 and improved operator staffing. Transit staff continue to use arrival data to assist in making running time adjustments that will result in improved running times and schedule adherence. Muni Forward capital projects, such as the 14-Mission Rapid Project, have been implemented to improve travel speed, reliability, and safety. Muni Forward projects as well as the procurement of a new, reliable fleet have had an impact and should support improvement to on-time performance.

How Performance is Measured

Time point arrival data from the NextBus system are used to compare actual versus scheduled arrival times. An arrival is considered on time if it is between one minute early and four minutes late.

The number displayed on the scorecard page represents a fiscal year average of the values in the chart above.

Additional information


Please visit DataSF for the scorecard data.