Bus Signal Priority Based on GPS and Wireless Communications

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 - 9:15am

About the Event

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 utilize sensors to detect buses at a fixed or at a preset distance away from the intersection; signal priority is then granted following a preprogrammed time delay after detection. This research takes advantage of the GPS systems installed on Minneapolis buses in order to develop a signal priority strategy which considers the buses’ timeliness with respect to its schedule, its number of passengers, and its location and speed.


Chen-Fu Liao, Minnesota Traffic Observatory, University of Minnesota