I received the following email from former MBTA employee Bob Stoetzel providing some insight into how the MBTA prepares the monthly on-time performance reports. Bob said we could share this information.
As Commute-a-holic and I have mentioned, neither of us have been able to find the March 2008 on-time performance stats. Who knows - perhaps the latency of the March report is tied to staffing changes at the MBTA. If anyone comes across the March on-time performance report, feel free to email us at either worctrainrider AT gmail.com or commuteaholic AT gmail.com.
Here is Bob's email:
I am surprised by the MBTA's delay in making commuter rail on-time performance for March, 2008 available to the public. As the person who was formerly responsible to provide this information to the General Manager's Office, as well as to Secretary Cohen, I was required to have on-time performance for the month available by the close of business of the first business day of the new month, accompanied by text that highlighted specific impacts, both positive and negative, to on-time performance during the month.
My interest in this information is two-fold. First, I am very interested in obtaining this information out of personal curiosity as I am no longer associated with the commuter rail information. Second, I am also aware of the complexity of determining the accurate on-time performance on the Worcester Line as it was my experience that many outbound trains (and a smaller number of inbound trains) were not being reported by MBCR crews to MBCR dispatchers. It was therefore necessary to obtain train delay information directly from CSX dispatchers. This information was then compared to the data provided by MBCR with necessary corrections made prior to submitting the "official" numbers.
As a subscriber to your very informative blog, I am awaiting your posting of this information as, as you know, the MBTA does not provide this information on its website and MBCR does not make it available until they post it at North Station, South Station, and Back Bay Station.I am encouraged by what I assume to be performance improvements on the Worcester Line, As I advised you previously, a large reason for these improvements has been the continued focus on the line by CSX personnel. This is extremely critical due to the upcoming track work. The extensive efforts in New York, Jacksonville, and, most critically, on-site with the track crews were the primary reason for the minimal service interruptions from the trackwork in March; efforts which, as usual, were not highlighted by MBTA and MBCR press releases.