The MBTA commuter rail has never been more punctual, according to figures released Thursday.
The Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad reported a contractual On Time Performance of 97.2 percent in April, surpassing the 95 percent benchmark set by the MBTA.
The T accounts for factors outside the commuter rail's control, including medical emergencies, shared use of infrastructure with other railroads and extreme weather, according to the MBCR, which operates the commuter rail.
“Everyone at MBCR is extremely pleased that our employees’ hard work, diligence and continual focus on improvement is delivering excellent results to our customers,” said Hugh J. Kiley Jr., MBCR General Manager. “MBCR’s team of 1,900 skilled railroad professionals could not be prouder that the tireless work they undertake every day to provide the public with a consistently high level of service is benefiting customers across Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The level of OTP performance is a testament to the dedication and perseverance of all of our employees.”
Between May 2012 and April, contractual on time performance exceeded 95.7 percent, and the commuter rail has met or exceeded the 95 percent benchmark for the past four years and eight of the past 10 years, according to MBCR Spokeswoman Rhiannon D'Angelo.
"The excellent level of service in April capped a seven-month stretch marked by harsh winter weather conditions and impacts caused by Hurricane Sandy," D'Angelo said.
Further planned track work, including signal upgrades on the Fitchburg line and laying down a second track along the Haverhill line to permit greater maneuverability of trains, is underway and expected to improve commuter rail service in the future, she said.