Yesterday, we wondered whether WMATA’s shift in how the 90, 92, and 93 buses operate has made any measurable improvements in service. Instead of operating on a fixed schedule where the buses are expected to arrive at certain times, WMATA moved to a “headway-based” schedule where buses are just expected to arrive at regular intervals. The change was supposed to reduce bunching and long waits.
WMATA spokesman Dan Stessel says the it “appears to be going quite well,” with good feedback from drivers and riders, and a measurable increase in on-time performance (OTP). Stessel says: “There’s been roughly a 25 percent increase in OTP on the 90 [bus] since the change, and an OTP improvement of more than 35 percent on the 92.” Prior to the switch, he says that on-time performance was at 47.6 percent for the 90 bus, and 51.6 percent for the 92. By November, it had increased to 73.0 percent for the 90 and 78.32 percent for the 92.
Stessel credits some of the success to street supervisors who watch the buses and make adjustments when necessary, and adds that WMATA hopes to implement the new scheduling on other bus lines.
Some commenters have said it’s still pretty bad, though I’ve noticed an improvement when I do take the 90. Have you?