Public transportation officials and operators are always busy providing service, and seldom able to find time to take a close look at their service performance unless there are budgeting problems or reports show glaring issues.

As the saying goes ‘a stitch in time saves nine,’ it is prudent for the leadership of public transportation agencies to monitor key metrics on a regular basis that can help them avoid bigger issues later on. The same metrics also help them understand strengths and weaknesses in their operations in order to set up plans for mitigating or encouraging improved business functions. The areas of high interest are: 1) driver productivity 2) vehicle utilization 3) management/staff productivity and most importantly 4) customer satisfaction.

Key performance indicators (KPI) for public transportation agencies involve, among other things, route planning and scheduling. While there is no hard and fast rule that you should consider in choosing certain metrics over others, each agency prioritizes their metrics based on certain uniqueness they bring to the region. What matters to one routing agency may not matter to another. To dive deeper in this topic, one should zero in on the metrics that matter the most to their organization, these are the metrics that you will act upon. Avoid tracking every metric including the ones that don’t have much impact on operations – data gathering becomes a tedious operation and will lead to non-collection of data.

We don’t claim to know what the exact metrics are for your fleet dashboard as each agency is unique. However, we can offer critical guidance based on our experience in the industry and by evaluating the metrics used by 200+ agencies and hundreds of private operators that use QRyde’s Transportation scheduling software. We have built hundreds of KPI dashboards and we understand the transformative power of metrics to help drive clinical optimization in cost and service level.

Why should one measure metrics?

How can fleet KPIs drive meaningful business results? The key metrics you are measuring on your transportation dashboard are based on real-time performance data and one can easily identify the negatives and positives happening in each business function. For transportation fleets that operate in advance booking mode, they have to plan and schedule routes and for those agencies, there are opportunities to reduce cost between 15-20%. Looking annually, these numbers can help you optimize your operations and plug gaps in your operations – helping you increase efficiencies on an annual basis.

KPI indicators may not help in cost saving directly however, these numbers tell you a story of what you are doing right and what you are going wrong. Each transportation agency that does scheduling and routing, measures different metrics ranging from safety, compliance and service, but cost saving is the fundamental metric that you should start measuring.

Let’s measure your fleet performance:

When deciding on the metrics that you need on your dashboard, start with the transportation dispatch room.

Reducing operational expenses and the carbon footprint, improving the customer experience, can be some of the goals that you want to achieve by measuring the transport key performance indicators. If there is a discrepancy in one of the key metrics then there is a chance that will maximize the performance of another unrelated metric. Understanding the balance in setting it up makes a huge difference

KPI’s for your fleet dashboard:

Before you start measuring these KPI’s, you need to understand these KPI’s are relevant to different roles.

  1. Dispatchers and drivers.
  2. C level executives
  3. Logistics staff and managers.

At the dispatcher level, with the help of real-time data, one should be able to analyze planned performance vs. actual performance on the road. When we make efficient plans to optimize fleet operations and drivers do not follow them, the performance does not improve, and this is where monitoring metrics help. For example if the average dwell time for one driver is consistently high when compared with others – an examination is worth it. If a driver consistently bypasses the ‘schedule’ and performs the stops in a different sequence it’s important to ask why didn’t the driver follow the route sequence?

As a logistic executive, your objective should be to measure the KPI’s on a strategic level such cost per mile, revenue per mile, on time performance, etc.

C level executives need to measure KPIs which will improve performance at the enterprise level and for a longer duration of time.

Here are a few transportation KPI’s that needs to be followed on each level

    Dispatchers and Drivers:

    ● Planned vs. actual performance

    ○ Miles driven
    ○ Drop sequence
    ○ Number of stops made
    ○ Time at each stop
    ○ Arrival and departure times

    ● Safety-related metrics

    ○ DOT reportable safety incidents
    ○ Speeding incidents
    ○ Harsh acceleration or braking incidents
    ○ DOT violations

    ● Compliance-related metrics

    ○ Available hours of service (HOS)
    ○ HOS violations
    ○ Unassigned mileage by vehicle

    C level Executives:

    ○ Transportation cost as a percent of company revenue
    ○ Recordable safety incidents over time
    ○ On-time delivery over time
    ○ CO2 emissions over time

    Logistics Executives:

    ○ Cost-per-mile
    ○ Revenue-per-mile
    ○ Cost-per-stop
    ○ Revenue-per-stop
    ○ Miles per gallon
    ○ Vehicle idle time

    There are several transportation key performance indicators mentioned here and it varies from agency to agency based on the strategy they follow and their performance goals. At some point in time, one should look at all of these metrics. Your KPI dashboard is what will help you align better with you company’s objectives and you can use all your metrics to transform your operations.