Transit Signal Priority (TSP)

Sustainability Issues

A well-functioning transit system is a essential component of any major city. However, in cities with narrow streets and high level of traffic volume like NYC, buses or other transit vehicles often trapped in busy intersections, resulting in traffic congestion and excessive air pollution emitted by standstill vehicles. According to a mobility report issued by NYC government, in n central business districts like Midtown Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn, and Jamaica Queens average travel speed for buses are often 4 mph or less. Prioritizing traffic signal at busy intersection for buses could lead to higher travel speed of buses and therefore improve overall efficiency and service quality of the transit system.

Technology: Transit Signal Priority 

  • Transit Signal Priority (TSP) is a set of operational improvements for traffic lights that use technology to reduce dwell time at traffic signals for transit vehicles
  • Such a technology includes a detection system and a priority request generator aboard transit vehicles (or in centralized location)
  • As TSP equipped transit vehicles approach corridors, a signal will be sent by the priority request generator wirelessly to the traffic light control system
  • As the system receives the priority signal from transit vehicles, a set of pre-set strategies will be utilized to either hold green lights longer or shorten red lights until the transit vehicle pass the intersection
  • The same system could also be utilized to prioritize traffic signal for emergency vehicles like ambulances and fire trucks

Stakeholders 

  • Department of Transportation
  • Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • Municipal government
  • Traffic signal providers

Deployment 

  • Identify intersections and corridors with highest traffic volume
  • Launched a pilot program to upgrade traffic signal system and install priority request generator in some transit vehicles (especially BRTs)
  • Evaluate effectiveness of the system and improve shortcomings
  • Employ the system in all transit vehicles and corridors to improve transit efficiency

 

Source:

https://www.transit.dot.gov/research-innovation/signal-priority

https://www.transitwiki.org/TransitWiki/index.php/Transit_signal_priority_(TSP)

UNI: MH3730

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One thought on “Transit Signal Priority (TSP)

  1. TSP can be coupled with Adaptive Signal control as well, to achieve even greater congestion mitigation benefits. In this way, all the volume of all users of roads, from bikes, to peds to private vehicles to transit vehicles are assessed in real time and the traffic signals are adjusted accordingly. This has substantial benefits to quality of life and speed of mobility in the city. The basics of Adaptive are similar to TSP in that the infrastructure has greater awareness (through sensors) of activity around it, allowing for better coordination.

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