Staff Report #5 – Re: 2018 Annual Service Performance Report – Specialized Transit Service

Staff Report #5

May 21, 2019

To All Members of the Accessible Public Transit Service Advisory Committee

Re: 2018 Annual Service Performance Report – Specialized Transit Service


That the report be NOTED and FILED.


The 2015-2018 Business Plan, London Transit’s vision is: “The valued and trusted mobility choice for Londoners”. The vision is supported by the mission statement, “Moving Londoners – progressively, reliably and affordably”. The vision and mission statements give direction to five congruent and competing strategic outcomes, namely:

  • An integrated, affordable and valued mobility choice
  • An engaged, diverse and respectful workplace
  • Demonstrated fiscal accountability
  • Being open, transparent and understood
  • Effective utilization of infrastructure

Service performance is measured in terms of fiscal accountability (efficiency), service (effectiveness and quality), and communication (accuracy and quality of information provided).

Specialized Transit Service – Efficiency

The following table provides a summary of ridership and revenue service hours actual to budget performance for 2018. Actual ridership and service provided, as well as the related measures were consistent with budget expectations.

2018 Ridership and Service Hours – Actual versus Budget

Description Actual Budget Amount Better (Worse) Percent Better (Worse)
Revenue service hours (000’s) 145.2 144.1 1.1 0.8 %
Ridership ( 000’s) 329.4 352.5 (23.1) (6.6)%
Rides per revenue service hour 2.3 2.7 (0.4) (14.8)%

The following table provides comparisons in the various ridership and service hour measures over the past four years.

Ridership and Service Hour Comparisons – 2015 through 2018

Description 2015 2016 2017 2018 % Change Over Period
Revenue service hours (000’s) 116.2 122.6 134.8 145.2 25.0%
Ridership (000’s) 273.0 286.7 306.1 329.4 20.7%
Rides per revenue service hour 2.3 2.3 2.3 2.3
Registrants 6,390 7,445 8,215 8,990 41.1%

As indicated in the table above, there have been improvements in all measures over the four year period 2015 through 2018, with the exception of the rides per revenue service hour which remained constant. The improvements in all other areas are the result of the implementation of the service improvements in each of the years as part of the multi-year operating budget. Of note, the registrant base for the service grew at almost double the rate of the service hours that were added over the period.

Voice of the Customer

As indicated in Staff Report #3, dated May 21, 2019, in 2018, the Voice of the Customer survey was extended to include the specialized service. This report will provide analysis for both customer contacts, received via email, telephone etc., and results from the Voice of the Customer survey.

Impressions of the Specialized Service

This area of the Voice of the Customer survey measures satisfaction levels with LTC service including measures ranging from the convenience of the service to the cost of the service. The table below sets out the percent of survey respondents that agreed or strongly agreed with statements regarding the service for the three years of the survey.

Voice of the Customer Perceptions – 2018 Survey

Service Statement 2018
Trips available at the time needed 72%
Booking a trip is easy and convenient 51%
Vehicles arrive within 30 minute window 84%
Time on vehicle is reasonable 88%
Vehicles are clean 96%
Vehicles are comfortable 88%
Vehicle lifts are in good working order 99%
Drivers safely secure my mobility device 96%

The move to a new booking system in 2018 and the time required for both customers and call takers to adjust in all likelihood had a negative impact on the rating for the ease of booking a trip. While the number of telephone lines was increased as part of the upgrade, there continues to be a rush first thing in the morning as customers try to get through to secure their desired trips. This will continue to be the case as long as the demand for trips outweighs the availability.

In addition to the Voice of the Customer surveys, customer satisfaction levels with service performance are measured through tracking both the number and nature of customer contacts received via email, social media and phone. When considering these numbers, it is important to recognize that not all contacts are investigated and as such, cannot all be confirmed as accurate. Contacts that are serious in nature or those in which the customer requests a response are all investigated.

In 2016, several new categories were added to provide for better clarity with respect to the various types of contacts, as such, 2015 data is not provided given it is not comparable to the remaining years. Service performance complaints measured both in terms of total contacts as well as per 1,000 riders have been trending upward since 2016. The table below sets out a breakdown of the number of service complaints over the three year period by category, as well as a percentage change in each category over the period.


Total Service Performance Complaints by Category 2016-2018

Complaints – Service 2016 2017 2018 % Change
Accessibility  1  2 7 600%
Early Schedule  3  5  2 -33%
Late Schedule  10  13  22 120%
Missed Passenger  6  10 10 67%
No Show  28  57 58 107%
Routing  5 12 6 20%
Service received 53 136 153 189%
Trip Availability 14 16 10 -29%
Warning Letter Response 7 12 71%
Total 127 251 280 120%
 Per 1,000 riders  0.44  0.82  0.85 92%

The top category of complaints over the period has remained “service received”, which includes issues such as length of trip, drop off locations, pick up locations, as well as others complaints that may encompass more than one of the categories listed in the table above.

The second highest category over the period is “no show”. On the specialized service, a driver waits at a pickup location until five minutes past the time that was booked with the customer. Once five minutes has passed, the driver confirms with the trip assigner that it is ok to leave. This policy is in place in order to mitigate the negative impacts that customers running extremely late, or those that have decided not to travel but have not cancelled their trip can have on the on-time reliability of the service. When this occurs, the event is recorded as a “no-show”, which, should a customer continually exceed the average number of no shows in consecutive months, can result in suspension from the service. Contacts counted in this category are reflective of customers calling to challenge or provide rationale for a no show. A feature of the new scheduling system, launched in late 2018, it is ability to have the scheduling system send an automatic reminder to customers of trips they have booked.

Impressions of Driver Performance

Another area of the specialized service measured by the Voice of the Customer surveys covers Driver performance expectations. As set out in the table below, survey respondents indicated a high level of satisfaction with Driver performance.

Voice of the Customer Perceptions

Service Statement 2018
The drivers are friendly 93%
The drivers are helpful 93%
The drivers operate the vehicle safely 93%

Consistent with service related contacts, customer contacts (complaints and compliments) regarding Driver performance are also tracked and trended. Performance results for 2016 through 2018 with respect to Driver complaints are set out in the following table. When comparing the number of complaints from previous years, either in total or by category, it is important to remember that ridership and service levels have also increased. The total complaints per 1,000 riders provide a normalized indication of the level of escalation in complaints year over year.

Total Operator Complaints by Category 2016-2018

Complaints – Operator Performance 2016 2017 2018 % Change
Driving Unsafe 22 21 30 36%
Attitude/Treatment 71 75 103 45%
Total 93 96 133 43%
Per 1,000 riders 0.3 0.3  0.4 24%

As indicated in the table, in total, complaints in 2018 increased over 2017. The extensive amount of construction projects in London in 2018 resulted in a number of locations being intermittently difficult, impossible to service with specialized transit (in which case drivers will drop customers as close to their final destination as possible), which resulted in an increase in complaints with respect to drivers not providing a consistent service. This issue was particularly problematic in and around the construction relating to Dundas Place given there are a number of popular destinations for specialized transit customers in and around that area that were inaccessible during the majority of the construction period.

In the case of complaints alleging a significant Driver performance issue, all information is forwarded to the contractor for investigation and follow-up. All contacts received relating to the specialized service are followed up on by administration.

Driver performance compliments are also tracked and trended, and while down very slightly in 2018 as compared to 2016, remain relatively consistent with the three year average. The chart below sets out the trend in Operator compliments over the period of 2016 through 2018.

Total Operator Compliments by Category 2016-2018

Compliments – Operator Performance 2016 2017 2018 % Change
Driving Unsafe 1 1 0 -100%
Attitude/Treatment 19 14 18 -5%
Total 20 15 18 -10%
 Per 1,000 riders 0.07 0.05 0.05 -22%

Recommended by:

Christopher Murphy, Supervisor, LCTB

Concurred in by:

Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager