And you wonder why people call their local train operators names like CityFail and Adelaide Retro.
95% performance on a 5 minute margin is nothing to brag about, even bus operators can hit that if they have competent management who invest in their drivers' training.
This would have to be a contender for the dumbest thing I've ever read on this site, it would seem that those stories about Dubai existing in an alternate reality are true.
The point is that when people look at a timetable they are looking to find out when the trains are running in reality, and they value confidence in the system much more than saving a couple of minutes here and there. The timetable is not the place for printing fantasies about how much faster they could become at some point in the future, that sort of stuff has plenty of opportunity to get out there via posters and press releases websites and project pitches without infecting timetables.
The only thing dumb is people who say its dumb. It would appear 5min is a fairly common bench mark for Australian time networks. Especially if there is DOO that also must assist passengers, mixing with freight services, LX's and dated network design. Run a grade seperated metro with no other services on routes much shorter than what our networks have, things are different. Some U-bahn Metro lines in Europe I caught were less than 10 stations long. In SA, you have a Gawler express missing 18 stations!!! and most of our networks have many suburban lines exceeding 40km. In Europe these are usually called regional services. Adelaide runs from terminus to city terminus. Most of the rest of the countries suburban networks run suburban terminus to suburban terminus meaning the train set services over 30 stations over a route 60-100km long. 95% within 5min, probably isn't all that bad.
Yes, the easiest way to improve your on time performance is to pad it out, like Cityrail did a few years back, you can go from zero to hero in one time table issue and yes ontime and slightly longer journeys maybe popular. But add 5min to each way my daily commute, 500 trips per year or 1250min or 250hr or over 10days a year of my life which after sleeping, work etc is time away from my home life, family kids, hobbies, kicking the dog etc. I'd rather 88% reliability on a 5min faster timetable where the 88% places pressure on the operator and owner to resolve the unreliability.
In some cases the permanent padding is more than validated. ie in Cityrail's case the track speed's to achieve the timetable never existed and I don't believe the red rattlers had speedo's so who knew. It only became an issue after speedos were fitted to trains and later the introduction of the data logger to hang the driver by. So yes fair enough.