In New York City, there are several parody sites on just how bad some train lines are. You can even get a late note from the Metropolitan Transit Authority for when the trains get you to work hours late. But in Switzerland, late trains are unacceptable: the fact that only 87.5% of trains arrived within three minutes of their scheduled arrival time has the country up in arms. Jason Karaian at Quartz reports:
Most countries apply a looser definition of being “on time”, and even then they struggle to match Swiss levels of efficiency. Around 90% of British trains ran on time over the past 12 months, although this means within five minutes of schedule for short journeys and 10 minutes for longer ones; only 83.7% trains were on time in the past month. By a five-minute standard, short-haul trains in Germany arrived on time 91.9% of the time in November (the latest figures), but less than 70% on longer routes. Sweden has reported big gains in punctuality in recent years, thanks in part to redefining the on-time window for some trains from five to 15 minutes.
A commenter on that Quartz story says that the Swiss are so serious about their punctuality that announcements go something like this:
Actual announcement in a Swiss train: "Our train currently has a delay of 1 minute and 34 seconds. We apologize for the inconvenience."
According to Karaian, the Swiss media is very displeased by the late-ness. New Yorkers couldn’t be reached for comment, as they are all still waiting on the L train platform.