Buses performance data

Measuring performance

We measure network performance by comparing the number of kilometres a route has done in the last quarter.

We compare each quarter to the same quarter of the previous year, rather than the last quarter of the same year. This is because factors affecting performance, like traffic conditions, can vary depending on the time of year, so this system makes it possible to identify underlying trends.

Scheduled kilometres may not be met because journeys are cancelled or suspended due to:

  • Traffic congestion
  • Staff availability
  • Engineering problems or mechanical breakdown

Quality of service indicators (QSI) are used to monitor service reliability.

Customer satisfaction

We ask a sample of passengers to give a score out of 100 on a wide range of bus service features, based on the journey they have just made. Passengers are carefully selected each quarter to represent all bus passengers in London.

Recent figures can be found in the latest quarter summary document below.

Defining the passenger journey

A passenger journey is defined as one ride on a single vehicle - not a bus trip from A to B as this may include more than one bus ride.

Statistics include all London Buses' contracted services but exclude any non-scheduled kilometres, London Service Permit routes and other special services.

Bus speeds reports

We monitor the speeds of buses to understand the impacts of changing road network conditions. Bus speeds include time spent stationary (for example at traffic lights and at bus stops). Bus speeds are available for the entire network, by borough, and by route.

  • All data is in miles per hour
  • All AM data is taken for Mondays to Fridays, School and Non School days, between 07:00 and 10:00
  • At Route level, some routes may be appear twice. This is because a service change happened during a period. A service change may include a change to a route structure, contract or operator

Factors affecting performance

Quarter 2 2023/24 (24 June 2023 to 15 September 2023)


Bus Network Performance for Quarter 2 was better than Q1, but some results were worse than the same quarter last year and performance was also worse than the last pre-pandemic Q2 in 2019-20.

The percentage of scheduled services that were operated was higher than Q1; Q2 normally produces the best performance of the year due to seasonal impacts including the school summer holidays when less disruption is expected. Nevertheless, performance was worse than the pre-Covid baseline with higher losses in all categories. Staff sickness/absence and shortage of drivers remains higher than historic expectations as does mechanical losses which during Q2 were particularly impacted by hot weather in early September. Other issues impacting performance in Q2 included Blackwall Tunnel Approach works, Wireless Festival, Hampton Court Flower Show, Pride and Wandsworth & Putney bridge closures.

Until 2017, average bus speeds had been in consistent decline. The deterioration had been reversing over the previous two years, although speeds remained much slower than in 2014. The Covid pandemic restrictions saw bus speeds increase significantly in 2020 and whilst these began to fall back at the start of 2021, they remained slightly higher than pre-pandemic levels throughout 2022/23. However, Q1 saw overall bus speeds close to pre-pandemic levels and that has also been evident for Q2. Bus speeds in inner NW, outer NE and outer SW London have fallen below pre-pandemic levels.

The dual Covid impacts of reduced passenger numbers and less traffic disruption had a large boosting effect on reliability in 2020-21 and to a lesser extent in 2021-22. In 2022-23 the network reliability performance had deteriorated beyond the pre-Covid baseline and this has continued in 2023-24 to date. Q2 EWT performance was better than Q1 due to seasonality as outlined above and was the same as Q2 last year. Before the start of the pandemic, inner London EWT had been improving whilst outer London had recorded a deterioration. Covid restrictions then brought about significant improvements across all areas of London. In Q2 all areas of London were worse than pre-pandemic levels. Punctuality of low frequency services also saw a similar temporary boost due to Covid impacts after which performance deteriorated. Q2 performance was worse than pre-pandemic levels and worse than Q2 last year. Night bus performance had returned to more normal levels at a faster rate than day routes and in Q2 the percentage of night buses on-time was below pre-pandemic levels but better than the same period last year.


International Bus Benchmarking Group

London is a member of the International Bus Benchmarking Group (IBBG), an international knowledge sharing network of bus companies. It was established in 2004 and is facilitated by Imperial College London.

Benchmarking is a continuous systematic process for evaluating the products, services, processes or organisations that are recognised as representing best practice for the purpose of organisational improvement. A blend of operational and customer metrics are used to track the performance of the bus network.

Every year, a review of buses performance monitoring is evaluated internally and presented to TfL's Independent Investment Programme Advisory Group (IIPAG) by Imperial College London to justify expenditure and ensure quality of service provided to passengers.

Demand-responsive bus performance

In 2019-20 we ran 2 service trials in Sutton and Ealing to explore how demand-responsive buses could:

  • Complement current public transport services
  • Reduce car dependency

We suspended and closed the trials in spring 2020 because of Government advice on non-essential travel.