Evaluation of transit signal priority and optimal signal timing plans in transit and traffic operations

Satyanarayana Muthuswamy, William R. McShane, Janice R. Daniel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

25 Scopus citations


Transit signal priority (TSP) systems have been in place for several years. Traffic simulation models are frequently applied to evaluate the benefits of such treatments before implementation. These benefits can take several forms, including reduced travel time for transit customers, improved schedule adherence, and reduced operating costs for the transit provider. This paper reports a case study that highlighted and embodied the following issues: (a) if signal timing is optimized, the TSP may provide only incremental benefits and not be a cost-effective investment; (b) if signal plans are not updated as often as needed, TSP may provide a way of adapting the base signalisation, providing much of the benefit of signal plan updates; (c) side-street traffic does not always suffer because of TSP, nor does main-street nonbus traffic; (d) some critical intersections, with heavy competing volumes, may need to be dropped from the TSP plan to have no excessive adverse impact on the cross street, which may itself be an arterial; and (e) bus travel time reductions can result in fewer buses needed to serve the demand at the same level of service and thus reduce bus transit operating costs. Simulation was an important and cost-effective tool in this case study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTransit Marketing, Bus, and Paratransit
PublisherNational Research Council
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9780309104616
StatePublished - 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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