People Mover Tests TSPTransit Signal Priority Pilot Project
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 which, the data collected 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 more than 2 million miles a year. Fourteen
regular transit routes serve the Anchorage and Eagle River areas.
Posted: March 17, 2010
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