MDOT MTA's mission is to provide safe, efficient, and reliable transit service across Maryland with world-class customer service. One way we are driving toward this goal is by tracking performance indicators that directly relate to the customer experience. With this in mind, two key metrics in determining our success are ridership and on-time performance (OTP).
Prior to the launch of BaltimoreLink, OTP for MDOT MTA’s core bus service was struggling at 59.5%. With the implementation of BaltimoreLink, including associated infrastructure improvements such as dedicated bus lanes and transit signal priority installation, OTP has risen to a high of 79.4% in February 2020.
Internally, MDOT MTA is leveraging a data-driven approach and utilizing real-time GPS information to build better schedules that help deliver top quality service for our riders. Rather than relying on anecdotes, we’re using accurate performance data to become more reliable than ever before.
This performance website is an important step in MDOT MTA creating more transparency for our riders. The public now has access to the same data that MDOT MTA utilizes when developing schedules, planning routes, and monitoring service.
It is important to note that bus route performance can vary greatly depending on traffic, time of day, weather, and a host of other factors. An individual route’s performance on a single day is not indicative of the route's overall OTP.
On Time Performance by Mode
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, measured against scheduled timepoints. Click here for archived bus OTP using schedule and headway adherence.
Bus (CityLink, LocalLink, Express BusLink) On-Time Performance
MobilityLink On-Time Performance
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%.
Metro SubwayLink On-Time Performance
Light RailLink On-Time Performance
MARC On-Time Performance
Commuter Bus On-Time Performance
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.
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.
On Time Performance by Route
Look up on-time performance by route. Select the route and date range then hit submit for results. Note that large data ranges may result in slow queries.
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 ridership ranges from 5 million to 6 million rides per month. June 2016 stands as a high watermark with roughly 6.8 million rides. Ridership saw growth in spring 2019 with decreases in the summer months when schools were on break.
Bus (CityLink, LocalLink, Express BusLink) Ridership
Bus ridership by route by month is available from the following form. Select the route(s) along with the month and year to see results.
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.
Metro SubwayLink Ridership
Light RailLink Ridership
Commuter Bus Ridership
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.
Abbreviations, Terminology & Notes
The following list describes abbreviations and terms, and provides notes to clarify language used on this web page.
- Mode - A type of transit service. MDOT MTA has six modes (Local Bus, Metro SubwayLink, Light RailLink, MARC Train, Commuter Bus, and MobilityLink).
- 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.
- OTP (On-Time Performance) - A measure of how often service arrives on time. MDOT MTA uses the measure of two minutes early to seven minutes late when determining whether a local bus is on-time. For Commuter Bus and Express BusLink, early arrivals to drop-off zones are viewed as on-time.
- Timepoint - A stop that with an explicitly scheduled arrival time.