Implementing Transit Signal Priority (TSP) can improve bus running times by 2 to 18 percent.
Made Public Date
10/09/2009

13

Nationwide
United States
Identifier
2009-00613
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TCRP Report 118: Bus Rapid Transit Practitioner's Guide

Summary Information

The Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 118: Bus Rapid Transit Practitioner's Guide supports transportation professionals by identifying and assessing the costs, impacts, and effectiveness of bus rapid transit (BRT) components. The Guide covers running ways, stations, vehicles, operating strategies, ITS applications, and branding. ITS applications focus on transit signal priority, transit automatic vehicle location (AVL), security, vehicle guidance, fare payment, and traveler information.

Surveys were conducted with selected transit agencies that implemented or planned to implement BRT systems. Information was collected on ridership, capital and operating costs, community acceptance, associated land-use development, funding support, support for system expansion, improved mobility, quality of service, travel time, comfort, dwell time, reliability, convenience, safety, security, improved frequency, and wait time. The survey data were compared to previous related research (TCRP Report 90) and updated findings were input into the Practitioner's Guide.

FINDINGS

Researchers examined measured/estimated impacts of transit signal priority (TSP) on travel time, reliability (schedule adherence), operating costs, and general traffic. The table below excerpted from Exhibit 4-39 and Exhibit 4-40 details findings from several cities in the U.S. and abroad. The benefits of TSP vary depending on type and degree of application.

EXHIBIT 4-39 Reported Initial Estimates of Benefits to Buses from Traffic Signal Priority

Location
% Running
Time Saved
% Increase
in Speeds
% Reduced
Intersection Delay
Anne Arundel County, MD
13-18
-
-
Bremerton, WA
10
-
-
Chicago: Cermak Road
15-18
-
-
Hamburg, Germany
-
25-40
-
Los Angeles: Wilshire-Whittier Metro Rapid
8-10
-
-
Pierce County, WA
6
-
-
Portland, OR
5-12
-
-
Seattle: Rainier Avenue
8
-
13
Toronto
2-4
-
-

Sources: TCRP Report 100 (2003); TCRP Report 90 (2003); TRR 184 (2003)

EXHIBIT 4-40 ITS America's Summary of TSP Benefits and Impacts

Location
Transit
Number of Intersections
TSP Type
Strategy Benefit/Impact
Portland, OR: Tualatin Valley Hwy
bus
10
Early green, green extension Bus travel time savings = 1.4-6.4%. Average bus signal delay reduction = 20%.
Portland, OR:
Powell Blvd
bus
4
Early green,
green extension,
queue jump
5-8% bus travel time reduction. Bus person delay generally decreased. Inconclusive impacts of TSP on traffic.
Seattle: Rainier Ave at Genesee
bus
1
Early green,
green extension
For prioritized buses:
  • 50% reduction of signal-related stops.
  • 57% reduction in average signal delay.
13.5% decrease in intersection average person delay. Average intersection delay did not change for traffic. 35% reduction in bus travel time variability. Side-street effects insignificant.
Seattle:
Rainier Ave (Midday)
bus
3
Early green,
green extension
For TSP-eligible buses:
  • 24% average reduction in stops for eligible buses.
  • 34% reduction in average intersection delay.
8% reduction in travel times. Side-street drivers do not miss green signal when TSP is granted to bus.
Europe
bus
5 study
sites
Various 10 seconds/intersection average signal delay reduction. 40-80% potential reduction in transit signal delay. Transit travel times in England and France reduced 6-2%. 0.3-2.5% increase in automobile travel times. 1- to 2-year payback period for installation of TSP.
Sapporo City, Japan:
Rt 36
bus
Unknown
Unknown 6.1% reduction in bus travel time. 9.9% increase in ridership .
Toronto
Street-car
36
Early green,
green extension
15-49% reduction in transit signal delay. One streetcar removed from service.
Chicago:
Cermak Rd
bus
15
Early green,
green
extension
7-20% reduction in transit travel time. Transit schedule reliability improved. Reduced number of buses needed to operate the service. Passenger satisfaction level increased. 1.5 seconds/vehicle average decrease in vehicle delay. 8.2 seconds/vehicle average increase in cross-street delay.
San Francisco
LRT & Trolley
16
Early green,
green extension
6-25% reduction in transit signal delay.
Minneapolis:
Louisiana Av
bus
3
Early green,
green extension,
actuated transit phase
0-38% reduction in bus travel times depending on TSP strategy. 23% (4.4 seconds/vehicle) increase in traffic delay. Skipping signal phases caused some driver frustration.
Los Angeles: Wilshire and Ventura Blvds
bus
211
Early green,
green extension,
actuated transit phase
7.5% reduction in average running time. 35% decrease in bus delay at signalized intersections.

Source: Overview of Transit Signal Priority (2002).

Notes:
Previous research can be found in:
TCRP Report 100 Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual 2nd Edition, Washington, DC, 2003
http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/tcrp/tcrp100/part%200.pdf

TCRP Report 90 Bus Rapid Transit Volume 1: Case Studies in Bus Rapid Transit, Washington, DC, 2003
http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/tcrp/tcrp_rpt_90v1.pdf

"Evaluation of Service Reliability Impacts of Traffic Signal Priority Strategies for Bus Transit," Transportation
Research Record 1841. Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, DC, 2003, pp. 23-31.
http://trb.metapress.com/content/74u08g2542u71754/?p=b64f5425f91646a0aeb1e4bc1afe6a82&pi=2

An Overview of Transit Signal Priority. Intelligent Transportation Society of America, Washington, D.C., July 2002.

TCRP Report 118: Bus Rapid Transit Practitioner's Guide

TCRP Report 118: Bus Rapid Transit Practitioner's Guide
Publication Sort Date
01/01/2007
Author
Kittelson & Associates, in association with Herbert S. Levinson Transportation Consultants and DMJM-Harris
Publisher
Transit Cooperative Research Program, Transportation Research Board

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