Performance Dashboards FAQ

Welcome to CapMetro’s new Performance Dashboards. On this page, you will find frequently asked questions about the dashboards in general and for each specific dashboard. The dashboards are still in development so you can expect improvements to the Safety, Route Performance, and Zone Performance dashboards over the next few months. You can also expect to see on-going improvements related to the addition of other branded services and other key performance metrics so come back regularly to see the progress.

Q:  What are the Performance Dashboards?

A:  As part of CapMetro’s continuing commitment to transparency, the Performance Dashboards provide monthly summary information to the board of directors and to the public in a more efficient manner. The dashboards give access to useful data in a number of business areas to help you better understand how our organization operates.

Q:  Are the dashboards accessible to all community members?

A:  The new dashboards are more digitally accessible than ever before to make the information more usable and accessible to all members in the community, including those with disabilities. Along with many improvements that allow for the visually impaired community to access the dashboards via a screen reader, a table display option has also been provided to see the data directly and work around any technical limitations we found in being completely accessible.

Q:  How do I see the numbers for individual bars in the charts?

A:  The new dashboards have a feature built into all of the charts to let you see the data behind the individual elements shown in a visualization. If you let your mouse pointer hover over any point in a vertical or horizontal bar, the detail for the bar will be displayed in a pop-up comment. The feature allows you to see the detail for one element at a time. If you want to see the data for multiple elements, you can use the View as Tables display option to see all of the data at once.

Q:  What Performance Metrics are you tracking?

A:  We are tracking Ridership at the systemwide, service, and route levels. We are tracking Reliability with both On-Time Performance (OTP) and Mean Distance Between Failure (MDBF). We are also tracking a number of metrics for Financial Revenue and Expenses and metrics for Safety and Security events.

Q:  What CapMetro services are you reporting?

A:  Currently, we are reporting on performance metrics for the following branded services:

  • Bus, which includes all local routes, flyer routes, UT Shuttles, E-Bus and Night Owl
  • Express, which includes all 900 routes
  • Rapid, which includes all 800 routes
  • Rail, which includes the Red Line (Route 550)
  • Access, which includes ADA transportation

Integration of the Pickup, BikeShare, and RideShare services is still in development and will be included in the performance reporting over the next few months.

Q:  Where can I get the raw data for each dashboard?

A:  All files used to develop the Performance Dashboards can be downloaded from the Texas state government's statistical database.

Q:  How often is the data updated?

A:  Process automation was added to help improve the timeliness of performance reporting. The Performance Dashboards will be updated with new data in the middle of the following month.”

Q:  Why isn’t the data reported throughout the month?”

A:  Because of our commitment to integrity, the data goes through a validation and audit process. After the close of a month, the data is reviewed for accuracy and completeness before it is released.

Q:  Who can I report errors to?

A:  If you feel there is an error in any dashboard, please submit your comment to our  Customer Service team. Your concerns will be directed to the appropriate department and answered accordingly.

Q:  What is the definition of Ridership?

A:  The NTD statistic measuring ridership is unlinked passenger trips, which equals the number of riders that board public transportation vehicles. Riders are counted each time they board a vehicle, no matter how many vehicles they use to travel from their origin to their destination. Personal care attendants and companions on MetroAccess trips are counted as riders. Riders are counted whether or not they pay a fare.

Q:  Where does your data come from?

A:  Ridership data comes primarily from automatic passenger counters (APCs) installed in our vehicles. For certain situations where APCs are not effective, the data comes from manual counts by the operator.

Q:  How do you define On-Time Performance?

A:  On-time performance is the percentage of trips that operate on time, given the following definitions:

  • Bus, Express and Rail are operated according to a fixed schedule and feature designated timepoints along the routes. On-time performance for these services is measured as the percentage of actual departure times that are less than six minutes late and not prior to scheduled departure times.
  • Rapid is operated on a headway-based schedule. A headway is the distance between buses operating on the same route, measured in minutes. On-time performance for this service is measured as the percentage of actual arrival times that are within the headway interval plus a difference of less than five minutes or 50 percent of the headway, whichever is less, from the preceding bus.
  • Access uses appointment schedules based on negotiated pick up times and a 30-minute window. On-time performance for this service is measured as the percentage of trips where a customer is picked up between 15 minutes before and less than 15 minutes after the negotiated time.
  • Pickup performance is based on the time of request and a 15-minute window. On-time performance for this service is measured as the percentage of trips where a customer is picked up between the request time and less than 15 minutes after the time of request.

Q:  What is a mechanical failure and why is it part of a reliability measure?

A:  A mechanical failure occurs when any vehicle component or system isn’t working properly and causes a vehicle to be unable to complete its scheduled service without repair. The failure may require the vehicle to return to the shop, a mechanic sent out to the vehicle, or the vehicle to be towed back to the shop for repair. The Mean Distance Between Failure metric identifies the frequency of those service interruptions and provides a look into how often customers are affected by a mechanical failure.

Q: What criteria were used to provide Safety data?

A: The Safety Performance Dashboard meets the National Transit Database and Federal Railroad Administration reporting requirements:

For bus and paratransit service, reportable events include either planned or unplanned events but do not include occupational safety events occurring in administrative buildings. They do include:

  • Fatalities - involving customers (either on board our vehicles or at our facilities), operators, bicyclists, pedestrians and other vehicle occupants.
  • Injuries requiring transport away from the scene for medical attention.
  • Total property damage greater than $25,000.
  • Tow-away of any motor vehicle.
  • Smoke, Fire Evacuations for life-safety reasons. 

For commuter rail, a reportable event is a train accident that involves one or more trains that have sustained combined track, equipment and/or structural damage in excess of $10,700; rail passenger injuries and illnesses; injuries and/or fatalities to either trespassers or non-trespassers; highway grade crossing accidents.

Q: Why are public transportation agencies required to report accidents and incidents to the NTD

A: Congress  established the NTD in 1974 to be the primary source for information and statistics on transit systems in the United States. Statute requires that recipients or beneficiaries of grants from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) submit data to the NTD. Approximately 850 transit providers currently report to the NTD. Each year, NTD performance data is used to apportion more than $5 billion to transit agencies. FTA submits annual NTD reports to Congress summarizing transit service and safety data.

Q: How do you calculate vehicle collision and passenger injury rates for Safety?


Number of NTD reportable collisions DIVIDED BY TOTAL NUMBER OF MILES X 100,000 Total Number of Service Miles= Vehicle Collision Rate
MetroRailNumber of FRA reportable collisions DIVIDED BY (6 X 32000) X Total Miles= Rail Vehicle Collisions
Number of NTD reportable passenger injuries DIVIDED BY TOTAL RIDERSHIP X 100,000 Total Ridership for Service= Passenger Injury Rate
Number of NTD reportable passenger injuries DIVIDED BY TOTAL RIDERSHIP X 10,000 Total Ridership for Service= Passenger Injury Rate

These formulas are standardized by the FTA.

Q: If you are only reporting NTD incidents, then why does the NTD database differ from your dashboard?

A: For this dashboard, CapMetro decided to report only NTD vehicle collision and passenger injuries. The NTD database includes incidents that are not considered a collision or a passenger injury on a vehicle.

Q: Why doesn't the Route Incident Rate chart display any data when I select MetroAccess from the drop-down menu?

A: MetroAccess  is a demand-response service that does not have dedicated routes.

Q: Why does the Safety Dashboard show “NO DATA FOR SELECTION” when I choose a particular route from the drop-down menu?

A: This happens when the route you selected does not have any incidents for the selected period. 

Q: What is your fiscal period?

A: CapMetro's fiscal year begins on October 1 and ends on September 30.

Q: What is Other Revenue?

A: Other revenue includes advertising revenue, fees generated at our employee child care and wellness centers, interest income, lease income and other smaller revenue sources.

Q: What does FY and YTD stand for?

A: FY stands for fiscal year and YTD stands for year to date.

Q: What is the difference between operating expenses and capital expenses?

A: Operating expenses fund the day-to-day operation of CapMetro, such as staff salaries or fuel for vehicle, for example. In contrast, capital expenses fund facility improvement projects, infrastructure projects and major equipment purchases.

Q: What is the difference between Operating and Non-Operating Revenue?

A: Operating revenue is comprised of fare revenue, freight railroad revenue and other revenue resulting from the agency's core business. Non-operating revenue includes sales tax receipts, operating or capital grants, investment and other income.

Q: Is the data the same as in the monthly financial reports?

A: Yes, the data presented here agrees with monthly financial reports.

Q: What period does the Sales Tax represent?

A: Sales tax receipts are provided monthly by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.