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instantcoffee69 t1_j1zbeok wrote

> MobilityLink had an on-time performance rate of 92.6% in September, the most recent month for which the data is available, according to numbers provided by MTA, part of the Maryland Department of Transportation. That’s down slightly from 94.7% in August but up from the lowest point of the year, which was 73.3% in March. >A ride is considered “on time” if a driver arrives within 30 minutes of the assigned pickup window. A passenger is considered a no-show if they are not at their pickup location within five minutes of vehicle arrival. >MTA spokesperson Veronica Battisti said in an email a “reasonable wait” is expected of paratransit riders just as bus or light rail riders might have to wait at stations.

If you got a 30min window and aren't 100% that's terrible. But in there defense, that's exactly how MTA treats people riding the bus.

City needs better, much more frequently, more reliable transit. For everyone.


aresef OP t1_j1zbm9d wrote

A counterpoint is that riders on MobilityLink have to be at their pickup location within five minutes of vehicle arrival as opposed to 15 for WMATA’s Metro Access. (I know this because that’s what my girlfriend uses to get to work and other places.)


lucasbelite t1_j1zrcxm wrote

Most Paratransit and I believe even MetroAcess is also 5 minutes from Vehicle arrival. The 15 minutes is a window before and after the requested time. So if your time is 9:00, you have to be ready from 8:45 to 9:15. If the vehicle arrives at anytime, you have 5 minutes or it's a no-show. I'd be shocked if any Paratransit vehicle that is ridesharing can wait 15 minutes for every passenger because the whole route would break apart. But I often find people get confused about windows. I work in Software and Transportation.

Edit: Yep, just looked it up. Pretty standard.

Pick Windows > Pick-Up Windows When trips are scheduled, MetroAccess assigns a pick- up window, which is a time period during which the customer is scheduled to be picked up for their trip. These windows are 30-minutes long, and allow for traffic and other delays.

> Customers should be ready at the beginning of the pick-up window. For example, if a customer schedules a trip for 8:00 a.m., the pick-up window is from 7:45 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. The customer should be ready for pick-up at 7:45 a.m. Customers typically receive a courtesy phone call upon vehicle arrival and should be prepared to display a valid MetroAccess ID card and pay the exact fare before boarding the vehicle (if the fare has not been prepaid via EZ-Pay).

Customer No-Show and Late > Cancellation Policy No-Shows Upon arrival within the pick-up window, drivers are required to wait five minutes for customers. Within that five minutes, customers must present themselves for boarding. A “no-show” occurs when a customer does not present themselves for boarding within five minutes of the vehicle’s arrival (within the 30-minute pick-up window).

Customer Guide to MetroAccess - WMATA (Page 12)

Although they may wait longer if they BOTH have contact with the rider and if they are still on-site and it doesn't make them late to their next stop. If they had to wait 15 minutes it would ruin ontime performance and wait times, which is the metric they focus on and the article says is lacking. They also might have been lenient during the Pandemic, which is what would happen if you have a surplus of drivers and scarce amount of trips.


StrikingExamination6 t1_j21wz8p wrote

If you are the 6th person in the pickup queue, and each rider ahead of you is 5 minutes late, your ride is now 25 minutes late. Unless MobilityLink gets a sudden influx of new vehicles and drivers, there is no way to easily solve this problem


lucasbelite t1_j22f3ij wrote

OP of this thread says you should be allowed to be up to 15 minutes late. They clearly don't know what goes into Paratransit service. The average Paratransit trip is something like $80/trip in a lot of areas, no matter how far you go. Because there is a lot of curb to curb, door to door, hand to hand, sensitivity training and a lot that goes into the service. When people think retail customer service is a horrible experience for a job, try transportation.

And you're correct, there are only a few ways to improve on-time performance, the main focus, and that's:

  • Get more drivers and vehicles, very costly - it already costs $80 dollars a trip. If paratransit riders take 4 trips a day, they are already costing something like $320/day. Shortage of resources is only a problem if they are rejecting trips and already meeting capacity. Anyways, they aren't forgotten, a lot goes into it. Maybe there's a driver shortage? No idea. Or maybe like the article says, it was snowy. They literally used shit weather to use as an anecdote that the service is bad. Sloppy journalism. Of course it's difficult to predict a schedule when it's booked in advance and a snow storm all of a sudden impacts it. Because most trips are standing order/subscription. A lot of Paratransit operations just cancel all reservations, which is probably what they should have done before stranding them, but then again, I don't know the exact context.

  • Completely enforce the no-show policy, which means your vehicle will leave after five minutes with no exceptions. But OP says they should be able to be up to 15 minutes late after the vehicle arrives. Makes no sense. Or,

  • The most realistic option. Use an algorithm that uses realistic traffic time and route the trips efficiently. A lot of operations have negotiated times or can be a lot more accurate about pickup times to reduce lateness from the driver or from the rider. Some systems use as the crow flows/haversine to schedule times. Additionally, they can get a lot of notifications about their schedule in real-time, so you're not late or miss your exact time. But you still need to be ready during the window because traffic and rider behavior is unpredictable when doing door to door.

That would improve on-time performance and wait times.


420EdibleQueen t1_j20nlnr wrote

They couldn’t get much worse. A few years back my oldest was using mobility to get back and forth to school. She called her dad panicking because the ride was late, the pickup window kept getting pushed back, it had gotten dark and a snow storm rolling in with her waiting for them. We were both on the way home and calculated who could get there faster to get her. It was him. I sat in traffic on the phone with mobility giving them a piece of my mind. Over 3 hours past her original window and they were still saying another 30 minutes at least.


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Velghast t1_j1zc38c wrote

MobilityLink drivers are savage, they eat car mirrors for breakfast.