The Virginia Railway Express achieved its best On-Time Performance record in history this year, shattering the previous record set two years ago, Dale Zehner, CEO of the company, said on Monday.
VRE reported an On-Time Performance of 92.6 percent this year, 2.7 percent higher than the previous record of 89.9 percent posted in 2009. VRE performance numbers are based on data collected from January to November.
The company also served a record number of passengers this year, providing more than 4.6 million passenger trips, Zehner said.
On-Time Performance was at more than 90 percent for eight months this year. October was the best month for the VRE as On-Time Performance for that month was 98.2 percent. Trains were delayed by a total of only 155 minutes for the entire month, officials said this week.
A train is considered on time if it reaches its final destination within five minutes and 59 seconds of its scheduled arrival time. The standard measure, used throughout the commuter rail industry, has been the standard since VRE’s inception in 1992.
"This is the second year in a row that VRE has improved on-time reliability while also seeing an increase in ridership,” VRE Operations Board Chairwoman Sharon Bulova said. “Our entire workforce and railroad partners deserve credit for achieving this prestigious milestone.”
Each year, VRE customer surveys show On-Time Performance as a top concern for riders. “Trends indicating improvement in the area of On-Time Performance are always welcome because it means that we are doing things right and bringing a great product to our customers,” Bulova said.
Zehner said he attributes the record-setting year to the investments in VRE’s fleet, better maintenance practices, contract operator Keolis Rail Services Virginia and the 150 Keolis and VRE employees.
The VRE's railroad partners—CSX on Fredericksburg line, Norfolk Southern on the Manassas line and Amtrak in the District—also contribute to the company's successes, Zehner said.
VRE officials said the company is entering its 20th year of service and remains committed to improvement.
VRE operates 30 trains on the Fredericksburg and Manassas lines, servicing the core business district in the mornings and returning to the suburbs in the evening. Since its inception, VRE has made more than 49 million passenger trips.