Transit Signal Priority Pilot Project
Contact: Alton Staff, Planning Manager
StaffAR@muni.org (907) 343-8230
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
People Mover will begin a pilot project testing Transit Signal Priority (TSP) on two bus routes within Anchorage on March 17, 2010 after receiving Assembly approval March 16, 2010. The project is a collaborative effort between People Mover, the Municipality of Anchorage’s Traffic Department, and the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Civil Engineering Department.
Developed in the mid-1990s, TSP uses the same mechanisms that emergency vehicles utilize to gain priority of a traffic signal. One major difference between priority for emergency vehicles and buses is that emergency vehicles receive high priority while buses receive low priority at traffic signals. In addition, there are rules that restrict a bus to only receive an early or an extended green light. TSP does not automatically give a bus priority at a traffic signal.
One of the main objectives of TSP is to reduce bus travel time. Currently, TSP is being utilized in many locations throughout the United States, including Multnomah County, Oregon and King County/Kitsap County, Washington. Buses using TSP in these locations experience less delay, thus decreasing travel time, which equates to an increase in schedule adherence and ideally, increased ridership. With increased ridership, there will be less traffic congestion as more people choose to ride the bus.
Testing and implementing TSP in Anchorage is another step toward making the public transportation system more efficient. The initial pilot project includes the testing of TSP on Routes 7 and 9. After the data is collected, it will be analyzed and summarized in a report. From this and subsequent studies, a decision will be made on whether or not TSP will be used on People Mover buses in the future.
People Mover maintains a fleet of 55 buses that travel over two million miles a year. Fourteen regular transit routes serve the Anchorage and Eagle River areas.