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Rules twisted for Swedish trains to raise punctuality

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Train punctuality improves, but it’s a matter of definition

Trafikverket, the Swedish Transport Administration, says that the on-time rating for Swedish trains improved in 2012, when 97 out of every 100 departures were on schedule compared to 87 out of every 100 the previous year. But it also tripled the time limit for what counts as a delay, from five to 15 minutes, The Local reports. This change of definition appears to be the main reason behind the improvement. Now, a train can be up to 15 minutes late without being registered as late.
In January, the administration had reported that “punctuality in train traffic improved somewhat last year. New figures show that 96.9% of departures were on schedule.”
The 15-minute barrier is not a standard measure of lateness for train services in the rest of Europe, according to media reports. Instead, the administration’s acting CEO, Caroline Ottosson, said that the 15-minute limit was chosen because “Sweden is a big country. Many trains travel long distances and so we have chosen 15 minutes.”
The Local
[pictured: Public transport, Stockholm; photo by Melker Dahlstrand/imagebank.sweden.se]

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