Making MAX More Reliable

Working toward an average of 90% on-time performance

We’re focused on making MAX better — and that means providing more reliable service, safely. On average in 2015, about one in every five trips was delayed. We know how frustrating this can be for our riders — you’ve got places you need to be and it’s our responsibility to help get you there on time. That’s why we’re addressing many of the areas that affect our system’s on-time performance, including maintenance, training and partnerships.

Our long-term goal is to raise on-time performance to 90 percent.

How we’re doing

MAX is a very complex system that operates about 22½ hours a day with a fleet of 145 vehicles. Right now approximately one-third of MAX delays involve events beyond our immediate control, like cars blocking the tracks or passengers in need of medical attention. The other two-thirds, however, fall within our direct control, including trains with mechanical issues, signals malfunctioning, stuck switches or many other operating issues.


On-time performance

MAX is considered “on time” if it departs the station no more than 1 minute early and no more than 5 minutes late.

On Time Performance

Incidents by month

Select a month to view delays or disruptions.
* delay or disruption caused by TriMet

 

Delays and disruptions caused by TriMet:

Mechanical issues
Network issues
Signal issues
Switch issues

 

Other delays and disruptions:

Extreme heat
Police activity
Collisions between autos and trains
Autos blocking tracks
Fire activity
Collisions between trains and pedestrians
Passenger medical issues
Overhead hazards
Steel Bridge lifts
Wires down near tracks
Bridge Pedal
Collisions blocking tracks
Steel Bridge work

Delays and disruptions caused by TriMet:

Mechanical issues
Network issues
Signal issues

 

Other delays and disruptions:

Extreme heat
Police activity
Autos blocking tracks
Flooding
Collisions between autos and trains
Fire activity
Overhead hazards
Power outages

Delays and disruptions caused by TriMet:

Mechanical issues

 

Other delays and disruptions:

Fleet Week activity
Police activity
Extreme heat
Overhead wire obstructions
Collisions between trains and pedestrians
Autos blocking tracks
Passenger medical issues

Delays and disruptions caused by TriMet:

Mechanical issues
Switch issues
Signal issues
Derailments

 

Other delays and disruptions:

Police activity
Autos blocking tracks
Power outages
Demonstrations
Collisions between autos and trains
Fire activity

Delays and disruptions caused by TriMet:

Mechanical issues
Signal issues
Switch issues

 

Other delays and disruptions:

Collisions between autos and trains
Police activity
Fire activity
High winds
Passenger medical issues
Collisions between train and pedestrians

Delays and disruptions caused by TriMet:

Mechanical issues
Switch issues
Signal issues

 

Other delays and disruptions:

Passenger medical issues
Police activity
Autos blocking tracks
Collisions between autos and trains
Overhead wire obstructions
Demonstrations
Steel Bridge lifts
Fire activity

Delays and disruptions caused by TriMet:

Mechanical issues
Switch issues
Signal issues

 

Other delays and disruptions:

Autos blocking tracks
Collisions between autos and trains
Passenger medical issues
Police activity
Steel Bridge lifts
Snow/ice
Steel Bridge lifts
Gas leaks

Delays and disruptions caused by TriMet:

Mechanical issues
Switch issues
Signal issues
Power issues
Bus blocking tracks
Derailment

 

Other delays and disruptions:

Autos blocking tracks
Snow/ice
Demonstrations
Police activity
Collisions between autos and trains
Steel Bridge lifts
Passenger medical issues
Collision between bicycles and trains
Power outages

Our plan to improve

1

Track improvements

Some segments of the MAX system have been in use for 30 years. In some areas, rail needs to be replaced or the material under the tracks needs to be upgraded. In the coming years, we will replace problematic switches and make other track adjustments to reduce the number of disruptions, delays and precautionary slow zones.

We’ve completed two major projects so far along 1st Avenue and at the Rose Quarter. We’ll begin work on SW Morrison/Yamhill and the Steel Bridge in 2017. Other smaller projects and ongoing maintenance work over the next five years will also contribute to better MAX reliability.

2

More support for frontline employees

Our ever-growing transit system means we have a lot of new operators, and it can take time to get comfortable with the rhythm and intricacies of operating a train on a complex system. We’re expanding our coaching and training of operators, including having dedicated trainers work one-on-one with operators to focus on on-time performance while safely providing service.

We’re also adding staff in our Operations Command Center to give added support and direction to operators, helping them keep trains moving at an optimal level.

3

Reducing mechanical issues

We’re reviewing and improving processes to better identify and predict mechanical issues before MAX trains go out in service. As a part of the normal vehicle break-in process, our maintenance team is working with Siemens, the manufacturer of our new MAX vehicles, to develop and install modifications to improve overall dependability.

As MAX trains run as many as 22 hours a day, issues will arise, but we want to lessen the time it takes to get vehicles rolling or out of the way after an incident. To improve on that, we’re making adjustments like routing major mechanical-related calls to technical standby staff and looking at ways to improve our response time when signals or other trackway systems malfunction.

4

Better coordination with partners and emergency responders

We’re working with partners, like the City of Portland, to find ways to shorten disruptions that block MAX, such as when trees fall in the right-of-way. We’re also reaching out to emergency responders to get trains moving quicker after an incident, and to clear emergency vehicles from the tracks in a timely manner.

We’re also analyzing where cars frequently trespass into the right-of-way and become stuck, to determine if additional signs or barriers might lessen these disruptive incidents.

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