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Center Identification Number: 416-04

Project Title: Effectiveness of Bus Signal Priority

Principal Investigator:

Shireen Chada, ITS Research Associate
(813) 974 5307
Email: chada@cutr.eng.usf.edu

Institution: 

National Center for Transit Research (NCTR)
Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR)
University of South Florida
Tampa, Florida

FDOT Project Manager:

Mr. Gene Glotzbach Deputy State Traffic Operations Engineer, FDOT
(850) 414 7620
Email: gene.glotzbach@dot.state.fl.us

I. Project Objective

This study will assess the effectiveness of bus signal priority (BSP) with a view to making recommendations on how to optimize its performance for transit vehicles and minimize impacts on non-transit vehicles. This information will be used to develop baseline information relating to characteristics of BSP that will be useful to transit planners and traffic engineers throughout the state and across the nation. Some of the issues that will be addressed in this study include, but will not be limited to:

  1. The perceptions held by traffic engineers on BSP.
  2. Under what conditions and circumstances is traffic operation least affected?
  3. What are the different approaches/technologies that are being used for BSP throughout the country? What are the pros and cons of each method?
  4. A benefits assessment of BSP for a pilot corridor - performance monitoring (prior to BSP) and benefits assessment (following BSP).

II. Project Abstract

Bus signal priority is an issue of debate, both among the traffic engineers and transit planners. This study will address all the implications of BSP thus giving a more objective analysis of the advantages and disadvantages. It will attempt to provide missing information to transit planners and traffic engineers across the nation as they become more involved in the deployment of BSP. This study will also provide a performance monitoring (prior to BSP) and benefits analysis case study (following BSP) for a selected corridor in Florida.

III. Task Descriptions

The Effectiveness of Bus Signal Priority project will consist of the following tasks:

Task 1 - Assessment of Bus Signal Priority

The perceptions held by traffic engineers on BSP. Under what conditions and circumstances is traffic operation least affected? What are the different approaches/technologies that are being used for BSP throughout the country? What are the pros and cons of each method? The principal investigator (PI) for this project will prepare and transmit a project memorandum letter to CUTR-NCTR and the FDOT project manager to summarize and signify the completion of this task.

Task 2 - Bus Signal Priority Benefits Analysis

A benefits assessment of BSP will be addressed in this task. The project staff will perform a thorough search of site evaluations conducted anywhere in USA or Canada for BSP. Based on the experiences of one appropriate previously conducted site evaluation a suitable site will be selected for evaluation most probably in Miami, Florida. Performance monitoring (prior to BSP) and benefits analysis (following BSP) for the selected corridor will be performed. The elements (delay, queue etc.) and the number of intersections that will be evaluated for the selected corridor will be based on the findings of the initial part of this task. CUTR will work closely with the transit agency that implemented the BSP to complete and document a full benefits analysis (pre and/or post BSP). The PI will prepare and transmit a project memorandum letter to CUTR-NCTR and the FDOT project manager to summarize and signify the completion of this task.

Task 3 - Final Report

The PI will prepare a draft final report to document the results of tasks 1 and 2 and will submit to CUTR-NCTR and the FDOT project manger. Following receipt of any review comments, the PI will consolidate the findings of the first two tasks into a Final Report to USDOT, FDOT and CUTR-NCTR. Six (6) copies will be provided to USDOT, thirty (30) copies will be provided to FDOT, five (5) copies will be provided to CUTR-NCTR and one digital copy will be posted on the CUTR-NCTR website.

IV. Student Involvement

Graduate students will be used to assist with BSP benefits analysis.

V. Relationship to Other Research Projects

As mentioned previously BSP is an issue of debate, both among the traffic engineers and transit planners. This study will address all the implications of BSP thus giving a more objective analysis of the advantages and disadvantages. We intend to share the findings of this study with other transit agencies across the country that are in the process of implementing BSP. For example, the Los Angeles County, Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

VI. Technology Transfer Activities/Peer Review

The results of this analysis will be provided to USDOT, FDOT and CUTR-NCTR through three separate project memoranda and a final report. Copies of the final report will also be provided to the participating transit agency.

VII. Potential Benefits of the Project

The findings of this project will provide much needed transit related information as the nation sets to implement BSP. The findings that are documented and recommendations that are put forth in this report may lead to more effective BSP implementation.

VIII. TRB Keywords

Bus signal priority, traffic signal priority, traffic signal pre-emption, signal pre-emption, benefits assessment of bus signal priority, BSP.

       

National Center for Transit Research at the Center For Urban Transportation Research University of South Florida 4202 E. Fowler Ave., CUT100 Tampa, FL 33620-5375 (813) 974-3120 (813) 974-5168 www.nctr.usf.edu Comments: webmaster@cutr.eng.usf.edu