Sun Metro’s cold hard numbers

I wanted to check up on how the Brio service was doing so I went to the Sun Metro web site looking for the  director’s quarterly report to the board (the board members are the city council members).  The last presentation was at the board meeting of April 14, 2015.  Item 12 on the agenda was:

 Presentation and discussion on the Fixed Route Performance Indicators for FY15 2ND QTR for period ending on February 28, 2015.

Unlike their prior quarterly report presentations there was no posting of the report for the public to view.

I decided to look at the national transit database web site.  Sun Metro is required to submit their information to this database.  Unfortunately their 2014 annual reports have not been published yet so I looked at 2013 compared to 2012.

The web site publishes a comprehensive manual that explains what each of their terms means.  One term that required some research was “unlinked trips”.   According to the manual every time a person steps on a bus the unlinked trips number increases by one.  If someone must transfer from one bus to another in order to get to their destination, that would count as two unlinked trips.

How are we doing?

For 2012 sun metro reported that passengers road the busses for 86,715,454 miles.  In 2013 their number was 65,226,810 or roughly a 25% drop.

Unlinked trips in 2012 were reported at 16,655,904 bus boardings compared to 12,710,270 in 2013.  That is about a 24% drop.

In 2012 their operating expense per passenger mile was reported at $.55 and in 2013 it was $.70 or about a 28% increase in cost per mile.

In 2012 their operating expense per unlinked trip was $2.82 and in 2013 it was $3.52.

You don’t need to be a chief performance officer to understand these numbers.

Maybe someone familiar with the situation can explain to us why they had such a dramatic decrease in their ridership numbers.

We deserve better


8 Responses to Sun Metro’s cold hard numbers

  1. synical hipster doosh says:

    In my opinion, the numbers offered by the previous City administration are all suspect.


  2. ManintheMoon says:

    How about a bus system that can get you from point A to point B in a reliable timely manner. This has always be Sun Metro’s big issue in that if you have a job and have to travel any distance on Sun Metro just cannot do it on an everyday basis.


  3. Researching all that data wasn’t necessary. At any given time, the Brio buses carry 2-3 passengers. The Metro, not much better.

    The city should have invested in the smaller buses not double buses or even the Metro. The ridership is just not there. Another failed program. The trolley is an even more stupid idea!

    Traffic jams are mostly as a result of texting, extremely slow drivers and rubber necking. Sitting at traffic light as it changes, extremely slow driving or clogging the lane, there will be a driver texting.


    • Reality Checker says:

      Totally agree. Lots of people also still talking on handheld phones because the city decided long ago not to enforce that law or make the people pay the fines. Also people jaywalk constantly all up and down Mesa, but then the city acts concerned when someone gets hit. The city thinks the solution is to build overhead bridges or underpasses, which is idiotic considering that people often jaywalk between cars 20 yards from a crosswalk.


  4. Haiduc says:

    To answer your question regarding why the decrease:
    You need have to have a job to go to….


  5. The buses need to run on time. Sun Metro owns no clocks.


  6. James says:

    Maybe 2012’s numbers were all wrong. When I brought some reporting issues to the attention of Sun Metro’s contracted management, their response was, “the feds only audit us every three years.” Shortly after that the contracted employee making the statement was moved and the City eliminated my position.


    • Uncle Sam says:

      File a whistle-blower complaint. We’ll send you a check after we throw a few people in jail and make the city repay the federal funds.


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