Passenger-Centric Performance Metrics for the New York City Subway

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, place - urban, mode - subway/metro, operations - capacity, operations - performance, planning - methods


New York City Transit (NYCT), additional platform time (APT), additional train time (ATT), performance


Like many transit agencies, New York City Transit (NYCT) has long relied on operations-focused metrics to measure its performance. Although these metrics, such as capacity provided and terminal on-time performance, are useful internally to indicate the actions needed to improve service, they typically do not represent the customer experience. To improve its transparency and public communications, NYCT launched a new online Subway Dashboard in September 2017. Two new passenger-centric metrics were developed for the dashboard: additional platform time (APT), the extra time passengers spend waiting for a train over the scheduled time, and additional train time (ATT), the extra time they spend riding a train over the scheduled time. Unlike similar existing metrics, NYCT’s new methodology is easily transferable to other agencies, even those without exit data from an automated fare collection system. Using a representative origin–destination matrix and daily scheduled and actual train movement data, a simplified train assignment model assigns each passenger trip to a train based on scheduled and actual service. APT and ATT are calculated as the difference in travel times between these two assignments for each individual trip and can then be aggregated based on line or time period. These new customer-centric metrics received praise from transit advocates, academics, other agencies, and the press, and are now used within NYCT for communicating with customers, as well as to understand the customer impacts of operational initiatives.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by SAGE, copyright remains with them.