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Overview of Transit Signal Priority Program in King County. Prepared by Transit Signal Priority Unit. Transit Speed & Reliability Program.

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Overview of Transit Signal Priority Program in King County

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overview of transit signal priority program in king county

Overview ofTransit Signal Priority Programin King County

Prepared by

Transit Signal Priority Unit

transit speed reliability program
Transit Speed & Reliability Program

The Speed & Reliability Program at King County Metro makes capital improvements designed to improve transit performance. Most projects are in partnership with local cities, and are coordinated with larger projects. Typical improvements include:

  • Bus zones: upgrades, relocations, consolidations and bus bulbs
  • Trolley overhead modifications
  • Roadway improvements: HOV/BAT lanes, parking removal
  • Intersection improvements: turn radii, queue jumps
  • Traffic signals: timing and signal phasing, and

Transit Signal Priority

goals for transit signal priority tsp
Goals for Transit Signal Priority (TSP)
  • Increases amount of “green” time at intersections for selected bus trips
  • Decrease average travel time
  • Decrease variation in travel time
  • Reduce signal related delay
  • Minimize impact on general traffic
tsp operating philosophy
TSP Operating Philosophy
  • Conditional priority rather than hand pre-empt
  • Maintain signal coordination
  • Concept of “green time” as a scarce resource led to

Transit Priority Request System

background on tpr system selection
Background on TPR System Selection
  • Functional specifications developed by Regional Oversight Committee (ROC)
  • Used negotiated Procurement process: price consideration but no low bid selection process
  • Contract awarded to McCain Traffic for system development, integration and testing
  • 99% read accuracy required
  • Final contract closeout scheduled for December 2001
tpr field components
TPR Field Components


TPR Generator


Reader Cabinet

Tag Interface Unit for Dynamic Data

tpr tag interface unit tiu
TPR Tag Interface Unit (TIU)
  • Supplies route/run from AVL system to TPR system
  • Dynamic data enables trip level discrimination
  • TIU is interim arrangement until full feature “Smart Bus” is available
  • TIU does not supply data relocated to passenger schedule
tpr transponder tag
TPR Transponder “Tag”
  • Amtech slot tag
  • 904-921 MHz “spread spectrum” band
  • Field disturbance device
  • 128 bit data packet:
    • system – run
    • agency – trip
    • vehicle ID – class
    • driver ID – lateness
    • route – ridership
  • No input by driver required
tpr antenna
TPR Antenna
  • Log-Periodic (pictured)
    • unobtrusive
    • suitable for most applications
  • Yagi (not pictured)
    • Used for longer range applications
tpr reader
TPR Reader
  • Functions:
    • Detect tag
    • Acquire tag and validate data
    • Transfer data to interface unit
tpr request generator specifications
TPR Request Generator -specifications
  • Compact size
    • 8.5” wide, 8” deep
    • 5.25” tall
  • Serviceable
    • Connections at front panel
  • PC-104 bus
    • Environmentally rugged
    • Modular
    • Off-the-shelf components
tpr generator functions
TPR Generator - Functions
  • Interfaces with traffic controller
  • Determines if bus is eligible for priority
  • If eligible, places a request for priority to traffic controller
  • Stores and logs priority settings
conditional priority requests
Conditional Priority Requests
  • Issued by TPR Generator
  • Request based upon
    • Time of Day
    • Frequency of Request
    • Vehicle ID
    • Bus Direction
    • Route Information
    • Lateness (Future)
    • Ridership (Future)
tpr data files
TPR Data Files
  • Settings
    • Time of Day plans (TOD)
    • Eligible Vehicle Tables (EVT)
  • Logs
    • Operations Logs
    • Transponder (Tag) Logs
roles and responsibilities in initial tsp implementation
Traffic Jurisdictions

Participate in selection, approval and design of TPR installations

Approve the TSP Operating Plan

Establish transit priority control strategy that will be implemented

Insure that its traffic control system has the required functionality

Transit Agency

Propose location for TPR equipment and develop draft TSP Operating Plan

Support traffic engineer in evaluation/selection of TSP. compatible traffic control equipment

Lead final design effort or approve final PS and E documents for TPR system

Roles and Responsibilities in Initial TSP Implementation
roles and responsibilities in initial tsp implementation continued
Traffic Jurisdiction

Establish frequency with which buses can request priority

In future, further discriminate calls based on passenger loads and schedule adherence

Set “budget” for green time for buses within signal timing plans

Transit Agency

Determine which vehicles/trips will be eligible for performance

After initial activation, monitor system performance and request adjustments from traffic engineer as needed

Update transit operation plan if required.

Roles and Responsibilities in Initial TSP Implementation - continued
roles and responsibilities in initial tsp implementation continued24
Traffic Jurisdiction

Optimize signal timing prior to initial implementation of TSP.

Assist in testing and acceptance of TPR system

Assist in evaluation and adjustment of initial TSP settings

Transit Agency

Lead the testing and acceptance effort for all new TPR installations

Provide system integration support

Lead effort to evaluate and adjust initial TSP settings

Roles and Responsibilities in Initial TSP Implementation - continued
roles and responsibilities in tsp operation ongoing
Traffic Jurisdiction

Coordinate future changes in signal timing that impact TSP intersections with transit agency

Review all proposed TSP. adjustments; accept and implement, or modify, or reject

Participate in the TSP Regional Oversight Committee

Support continued development of TSP. Functionality in traffic control system

Transit Agency

Responsible for ongoing TSP system evaluation

Propose adjustments to TPR settings set by city or to TSP traffic control strategies employed by city

Convene regular meetings of a TSP Regional Oversight Committee composed of users to guide continued system development, including enhanced functionality.

Roles and Responsibilities in TSP Operation - ongoing
roles and responsibilities in tpr maintenance ongoing
Traffic Jurisdiction

Owns and maintains all TPR equipment in the street, including communication links

Responsible for power for street equipment

Coordinates repairs with transit agency in agreed upon response time

Maintain TPR equipment consistent with configuration management plan

Transit Agency

Owns and maintains all aspects of the TPR system from the modem back to the server.

Maintain system access for all participants; serves as network administrator

Monitor system and notify traffic jurisdictions when field equipment is not functioning

Responsible for developing and implementing a configuration management plan

Roles and Responsibilities in TPR Maintenance - ongoing
tsp development considerations
TSP Development Considerations
  • Expect a steep learning curve with local traffic engineers; TPR/traffic control system integration is very labor intensive and highly technical
  • TPR design is a highly interactive process;
    • adjustments in bus stop spacing/ location may be required to make TSP feasible
    • availability of interconnect, poles and power are limiting factors; city’s ability/willingness to provide interconnect significantly impacts cost
    • Rf field surveys are required to site and order TPR equipment
tsp development considerations continued
TSP Development Considerations - continued
  • Few local consultants are familiar with TPR system design requirements
  • Need to insure that existing traffic control cabinets have space for TPR equipment
  • Need to secure commitments that traffic engineer will “exercise” TSP in a manner that makes a TPR investment worthwhile
  • O and M issues should be resolved as part of the up front project planning/financing
overview of tsp system development
Overview of TSP System Development
  • Community Transit, Everett Transit and King County Metro will all utilize Rf-based bus detection developed by McCain; Pierce Transit will use Opticom
  • Metro KC is prepared to administer the TPR Management System for King County
  • O and M principles/expectation have been established for all active TSP projects sponsored by King County Metro
overview of tsp system development continued
Overview of TSP System Development - continued
  • City of Seattle and King County have operating experience with initial installations; King County is funding a Traffic Technician for the City of Seattle to support new TSP installations over the next 2 years
  • KC Metro has a contract with Econolite to add improved TSP functionality to the AC2 controller; deliverables are due in July, 2002
  • City of Seattle is leading effort to improve TSP functionality in the Eagle and PEEK controllers
  • Bellevue has added TSP functionality to their Computrans traffic control system and will first apply it to a two intersection demonstration that is under development
overview of tsp system development continued31
Overview of TSP System Development - continued
  • King County has put a TPR parts contract in place with McCain Traffic; McCain Traffic has agreed to supply this equipment to any public agency for the same terms.
    • Equipment prices and escalation factors are set for a period of3 years.
    • King County will insure that the parts list is kept current
    • All pricing has been subject to a FTA compatible cost/price analysis
    • Agencies must exercise this option within the constraints of their own purchasing rules and regulations.
  • King County has a new contract with McCain for enhancements to the TPR system; new functionality will be added in modules over a period of two years. Development priority will be given to those modules that can improve TSP performance.
project design issues
Project Design Issues
  • Renton TSP
  • First Ave S TSP