Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's latest performance report shows several key indicators moving in the right direction as the system advances its multi-year WMATA Forward rebuilding effort.
The latest Vital Signs Scorecard will be presented this May 10 to the WMATA Board of Directors Customer Service and Operations Committee.
Compared to the same quarter last year, WMATA on-time performance remained steady or improved. Despite more planned trackwork and rebuilding, on-time performance rose 0.5 percent to 89.8 percent in the first quarter.
Escalator availability rose to 89.1 percent for the quarter, up from 87.4 percent during the same period last year, outperforming 2011 as a result of improved preventive maintenance practices and faster response time for repairs.
Safety continues to improve with fewer customer injuries (1.74 per million trips) and fewer employee injuries (five per 200,000 hours).
Parking crime was down 53 percent for the three-month period of December 2011 through February 2012 and hit an unprecedented low in February with a rate of .78 crimes per million riders.
Due in large part to on-the-spot arrests by plain-clothes MTPD officers targeting individuals who snatch electronic devices, the crime rate increased to 7.69 crimes per million passengers. Between December and February, MTPD made 128 arrests for snatch theft and pickpocketing, up from 14 similar arrests during the same period last year.
While the report shows improvement in many categories, it also identifies areas where additional focus is needed. In particular, persistent door problems have hampered rail fleet reliability. WMATA is advancing installation of new door relays in the 2000-, 3000- and 6000-car fleets, a step that is expected to improve door reliability. Meanwhile, testing continues on door control mechanism for a long-term solution to address door problems.