Metropolitan Transportation Authority - Staten Island Railway


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NYS Comptroller


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Metropolitan Transportation Authority - Staten Island Railway
On-Time Performance

Issued: September 15, 2015
Link to full audit report 2015-S-56

To determine whether Staten Island Railway trains run on time and On-Time Performance (OTP) is reported accurately and completely. The audit covers March 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Staten Island Railway (SIR) operates one train line between Tottenville and the St. George Terminal, where customers can connect with the Staten Island Ferry (Ferry) to Manhattan. SIR trains run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Organizationally, SIR reports to MTA-New York City Transit’s Department of Subways (Subways).

SIR operates its trains similar to a commuter railroad and publishes its schedule on the MTA website. The schedule is designed to accommodate the Ferry, which is operated by the NYC Department of Transportation. The minimum service frequency is every 15 minutes during rush hour periods, every 30 minutes for non-rush (mid-day and evening) periods, and every hour for overnight service.

A SIR train is on time if it arrives at its destination not more than six minutes after the scheduled arrival time. Train performance data is entered into a computer system at the SIR Rail Control Center. OTP is calculated by dividing trips arriving on time by total scheduled trips. SIR reports weekday OTP data to the MTA Board’s Transit and Bus Committee (Committee) each month. SIR’s OTP goal is 95 percent.

Key Findings

  • The 7-Day OTP With Boat percentage was below the goal (of 95 percent) during 11 of the 13 months we examined. During those 11 months, OTP ranged from 84.64 percent to 94.36 percent. The Weekday OTP Without Boat percentage was below the goal for eight of the 13 months ranging from 85.11 percent to 94.32 percent. We also found that Weekday OTP With Boat was below the goal during 11 of the 13 months ranging from 82.89 percent to 94.47 percent.
  • SIR OTP is also reported to the public through MTA’s website, which has a “Performance Dashboard” that includes SIR’s OTP Without Boat percentages. The Dashboard does not disclose that certain train delays, including those that are Boat-related, are omitted from SIR’s published OTP percentages. Consequently, the public is not fully informed about the extent to which SIR trains do and do not arrive at their destinations on time.

Key Recommendations

  • Revise the definition of SIR OTP on the MTA website so that it clearly indicates that certain data is excluded from published OTP calculations and percentages.
  • Maximize transparency and accuracy of data pertaining to actual OTP by reporting OTP statistics with Boat to the Committee and the public.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Carmen Maldonado
Phone: (212) 417-5200; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236