Research Reports

Bus Signal Priority Based on GPS and Wireless Communications Phase I - Simulation Study

Principal Investigator:

Chen-Fu Liao, Gary A Davis

July 2006

Report no. CTS 06-07

Projects: Bus Signal Priority Based on GPS and Wireless Communications

Topics: Modes, Traffic Modeling and Data, Traffic Operations

The Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan transit agency has installed Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment in transit vehicles for the purpose of monitoring vehicle locations and schedules in order to provide more reliable transit services. This research project evaluates the potential use of vehicle-mounted GPS to develop a Transit Signal Priority system that improves the efficiency of transit.

Transit Signal Priority (TSP) for transit has been proposed as an efficient way to improve transit travel & operation. Bus signal priority has been implemented in several US cities to provide more reliable travel and improve customer ride quality. Current signal priority strategies implemented in various US cities mostly utilized sensors to detect buses at a fixed or at a preset distance away from the intersection. Signal priority is usually granted after a preprogrammed time offset after detection. The proposed study would take advantage of the GPS system on the buses in Minneapolis and develop a signal priority strategy which could consider the bus' timeliness with respect to its schedule, its number of passengers, location and speed.

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