Placing detectors and deploying Transit Signal Priority (TSP) should be done to maximize benefits for transit vehicles while minimizing delay for other vehicles.
Authors: Dowling, Richard G. and Aaron Elias
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) uses TSP for light rail and buses at many of their intersections throughout the city. While the Utah Department of Transportation is implementing TSP in two of their corridors around Salt Lake City. The first corridor uses TSP for bus rapid transit (BRT), and the second corridor is using TSP on a section of the light rail system. Below are some of the lessons learned during the process of implementing a TSP system:
- Remain patient with the infrastructure. All systems have flaws and it is important to understand the system.
- Placement of TSP activation detectors is important, ensure any priority maximizes benefit to transit vehicles while minimizing delay to others.
- Not all signals need the same amount of priority. A more balanced approach for all users could be allowing less priority at major intersections and more at minor intersections. The theory was that a little more delay for the transit vehicle at major intersections is fine if they will move faster through the minor ones.
- Do not forget about the associated maintenance. There is more than the initial capital cost of the system. If a system is not maintained, it will not work.
To find out more about the SFMTA and Utah Department of Transportation TSP implementations, click here.