Tag Archives: public transit traffic signal prioritization

Dedicated traffic signals provide faster ride

BRT signal with a vertical bar on a green traffic light. The system senses an approaching sbX vehicle, allowing cross-traffic signals to remain red until it has cleared the intersection.

One of the newer additions noticeable to motorists and pedestrians on the nearly completed sbX corridor are signal lights with a white horizontal bar on top and a white vertical bar below.

The specialized signals are found at various intersections between  E and 10th streets and Hospitality Lane and Tippecanoe Avenue, allowing the 60-foot-long bus rapid transit (BRT) vehicles to travel the corridor in significantly less time than if they were to operate under normal signalization.

Through this system, known as traffic signal prioritization (TSP), the sbX coach sends out a signal received along the corridor. That information is transferred to the city’s traffic control center. Timing is adjusted to keep traffic and the bus moving, said Joe Meidl , a project manager with Griffith/Comet, the joint venture contractor for the construction phase of the sbX project. “It keeps the bus and the general traffic in its direction moving and prevents idling, causing better traffic flow.”

BRT signal with a horizontal bar on a red traffic light. The sbX coach does not have to wait long to enter the intersection once it pulls away from the station.

Locally, The TSP method used by sbX is comparable to the one used in the City of Santa Monica, Meidl said. TSP, along with dedicated lanes that separate the vehicle from the general traffic and fewer stations than fixed-route service (one per mile, on average) contributes to fewer stops and a faster ride.

– David Rutherford
David.Rutherford@omnitrans.org 

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