Buses performance data
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.
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.
The following reports summarise performance statistics (based on a variety of criteria):
Annual Network Performance Summary - 2020-21
Quarterly Network Performance Summary - Quarter 1 2021-22
Long Term Trend Performance Graphs - to end of 2019-20
Bus service usage: passengers and kilometres operated by route, 2020/21
Bus User Survey (2014)
Good and Improved routes by Borough - (No longer being produced)
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
Network - All Day Types & All Hours - to P05 2021-22
Network - Mon to Fri AM Peak (07.00 to 10.00) - to P05 2021-22
Borough - All Day Types & All Hours - to P05 2021-22
Borough - Mon to Fri AM Peak (07.00 to 10.00) - to P05 2021-22
Route - All Day Types & All Hours - to P05 2021-22
Route - Mon to Fri AM Peak (07.00 to 10.00) - to P05 2021-22
Factors Affecting Performance
Quarter 1 2021/22: 01 April 2021 to 25 June 2021
Performance across all metrics for Quarter 1 was more in line with the norm for the first time since the Covid19 pandemic began to have such a major impact in Mar-2020. Performance was worse than the previous quarter as Covid restrictions began to be lifted, bringing more passengers back to the network and increasing disruption on the roads.
Bus services had been reduced during Q1 of the previous year but were back to normal levels by the start of Q3 2020/22. The percentage of the service that was operated was lower than Q1 last year being far less impacted by Covid restrictions and subject to industrial action at a major bus operator which caused significant additional staff losses. Traffic losses were treble the amount of Q1 last year but still better than the last pre-Covid Q1 in 2019/20. The lost kilometres due to mechanical reasons were better than a year ago and similar to pre-Covid levels.
Until 2017/18, 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 in Q1 except for outer NW London which has fallen back to pre-pandemic levels.
The dual Covid19 impacts of reduced passenger numbers and less traffic disruption had a large boosting effect on reliability in 2020. Thus, Q1 was significantly worse compared with Q1 a year ago and was close to the pre-pandemic level in Q1 2019/20 when EWT had been achieving some of the best ever results. Before the start of the pandemic inner London EWT had been improving whilst Outer London had recorded a deterioration. Covid restrictions brought about significant improvements across all areas of London during 2020/21 and the return to more normal levels during Q1 has also been similar across all areas of London. Punctuality of low frequency services also saw a similar boost due to the Covid19 impacts in 20/21 with Q1 21/22 falling back to pre-Covid levels. Night buses departing on time remains better than pre-Covid levels in Q1.
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.