The Maryland Department of Transportation's Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) is implementing a business-like approach to managing and delivering safe, efficient and reliable transit service across Maryland with world-class customer service. One way we are driving toward this vision is by measuring key performance indicators to ensure accountability for results. Those metrics are:

  • Ridership
  • On-Time Performance

This web page will engage our riding public by providing key performance indicators for MDOT MTA service and cultivate public interaction regarding our service. MDOT MTA's goal is to create a high-quality transit system that provides exceptional service to riders who depend on the MDOT MTA for daily living and who view MDOT MTA's services as a great alternative to private transportation. Again, we are striving to become an exceptional organization that delivers safe, efficient and reliable transit with world-class customer service delivered by employees who care and are committed to excellence.

We greatly value your comments and/or suggestions regarding this web page. Please feel free to contact us at or (410) 539-5000 (toll free: 1-866-RIDE-MTA [1-866-743-3682]), Monday through Friday from 6am - 7pm. Just mention the "Performance Improvement Website" in your comment. Thank you!

Changing Maryland for the BetterClick on logo to find more information on the Governor's Office of Performance Improvement.


MDOT MTA measures the number of rides it provides in a metric called "Ridership." This metric is important because it allows the agency to understand how decisions and actions impact ridership levels. This data enables MDOT MTA to effectively make changes based on demand for our service, such as connecting riders to a new job center.

The local bus system has experienced multiple months of ridership growth with numbers ranging from 5 million to 6 million rides per month. June 2016 stands as a high watermark with roughly 6.8 million rides. Ridership has increased steadily throughout 2018 with decreases in the summer months when schools were on break.

The following graphs describe ridership for Metro SubwayLink, Light RailLink, MARC Train, and Commuter Bus. While Local Bus accounts for roughly 2/3 of all MTA ridership, the rail systems are the second most used modes averaging over 2 million rides per month.

MobilityLink ridership remains steady over the last couple years with a high point of 184,368 riders in April 2018. Call-A-Ride volume has increased slightly since January 2016.

Ridership Goal: Improve existing service to help increase ridership on all MTA modes.

Ridership Improvement Plan: Continually improve the customer experience by increasing on-time performance, and the overall level of MTA customer service. Additionally, focus on connecting more people with jobs and opportunities in the region by meeting the changing needs of new and current job centers and residential developments.

On Time Performance

On-Time Performance (OTP) is a key measurement tool for MDOT MTA that tracks how often the various transit modes are running on schedule, which reflects the reliability of our service. Meeting our OTP goals is essential for maintaining customer satisfaction and increasing ridership.

CityLink, LocalLink and Express BusLink by month. CityLink bus performance is measured against headway; LocalLink and Express BusLink are measured against schedule.

Metro SubwayLink on-time performance usually fluctuates between 93% and 97%. Light Rail on-time performance tends to fluctuate between 93% and 97%. MARC Train on-time performance typically falls between 87% and 93%.

Commuter Bus

MDOT MTA started using GPS trackers in March 2018 to calculate Commuter Bus on-time performance. Prior to that, on-time performance was calculated using contractor self reporting. This graph omits the contractor self reported data to avoid appearances of equivalency.

OTP Goals:
Core Bus - 80%
Light Rail - 95%
Metro Subway - 95%
MARC Train - 93%
Mobility - 92%

OTP Improvement Plan: Improving Local Bus OTP will be the main focus to better serve the largest number of riders. Data driven analysis guides the decision making process when it comes to improving OTP.

Abbreviations, Terminology & Notes

The following list describes abbreviations and terms, and provides notes to clarify language used on this web page.

  1. Headway - A measurement of the distance or time between vehicles.
  2. Mode - A type of transit service. MDOT MTA has six modes (Local Bus, Metro SubwayLink, Light RailLink, MARC Train, Commuter Bus, and MobilityLink).
  3. Ridership - A measure of passenger trips on a mode. The industry term is "unlinked-passenger-trips." It should not be confused with the number of people who ride MDOT MTA's service because a single person tends to ride the system multiple times a day. Likewise, because MDOT MTA does not track people as they move through the system, a person who transfers from one bus to another is counted as two distinct rides. This is in line with how transit systems report ridership across the nation.
  4. OTP (On-Time Performance) - A measure of how often service arrives on time.