PCAC Testimony – Sept 25, 2010 – Delayed and Canceled Train Data


Good morning, my name is Ellyn Shannon, I am the Sr. Transportation planner for the PCAC.  My role there is to be PCAC’s rider advocate on MTA capital projects.

Today PCAC applauds the efforts of the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad to provide riders with data on their delayed and canceled trains.  The PCAC has long advocated for the MTA to provide more meaningful metrics that better inform the rider perspective.  The improvements announced today in your monthly Operating Reports follow a dialogue conducted over the past six months between the PCAC, the MTA, and its commuter railroads.  We’d like to thank, Charlie Monheim, Donna Evans, Bob MacLagger, Ray Kenny and Joe Calerone.  We would especially like to thank the operations departments of both railroads who put the information together in such a cohesive manner. It will be of value not only to riders, but also researchers, economists, policy makers and elected officials and even the MTA itself.

The PCAC is currently finalizing research focusing on the need to develop passenger based statistics that better convey the impact delayed and canceled trains have on riders. The PCAC will release a research report outlining its findings and further recommendations within the next month.

The PCAC regards this as a substantial initial step.  In addition to empowering riders through giving them better information about train delays and cancellations, these data will be analyzed by advocates, economists and policymakers to inform decisions about the need to invest in the MTA’s infrastructure.

For the past six months one of the areas we have focused on at the PCAC is the need for the MTA to present more meaningful rider metrics.  Particularly regarding delayed, cancelled and terminated trains, issues that have substantial impacts on riders.
We met with Charlie Monheim, who was very supportive and we had detailed discussions with both railroads.  Today I am happy to say we greatly appreciate the hard work and talent of both transportation Departments.

The new database on the MTA website will give riders the ability to make more informed commuting decisions.

In my role – I am very interested in watching how the delayed, canceled and terminated train numbers will change over the next two capital programs with the importance investments that are under way.  The MTA will need to measure how far it comes with projects like East Side Access coming on line and Metro-North into Penn station.

The metrics will provide an important baseline for that created these new pages and the new web page. that puts the metrics in the hands of the rider.  The information on late and canceled trains will be of value not only to riders, but also to researchers, economists, policy makers, elected officials and even the MTA.  Adjusted pages in today’s operating reports. We are also very pleased with the new web page data base which gives riders the ability to make more informed commuting decisions.

In my role   I am very interested in watching how these baseline numbers will change as projects like Metro North into Penn Station and East Side Access come on line.  I have high hopes!!

Next month the PCAC will be releasing its report on Passenger Based Metrics where we will be making further recommendations… We hope you will stay tuned!!!