Transit Signal Priority project in New York City named as ITS America award finalist


An innovative project aimed at speeding up bus services in New York City (NYC) has been named a national award finalist by the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America).

The project is a collaboration between smart mobility technology provider Global Traffic Technologies (GTT), engineering firm Greenman-Pederson Inc. (GPI), ITS equipment provider Transcore, the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT), and the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The project uses GTT’s industry-leading Opticom Transit Signal Priority (TSP) system to allow buses to request a green light at intersections, with the TSP equipment being deployed on nearly 6,000 MTA buses and at 13,000 NYCDOT-controlled intersections in the city.

The award will be presented next month in Detroit at the annual meeting of ITS America. The Best of ITS awards will highlight the most impactful partnership projects across the USA in the last year. On June 4, the finalists will present their projects to state DOT delegates, who will then vote for the best project. Victor Darias, GTT’s vice president of strategic sales for the eastern region, will pitch the project alongside Mark Yedlin, GPI’s director of simulating modeling services.

Darias and Yedlin will explain how GTT and GPI worked together to develop, test and deploy a centralized TSP solution. The project started as a pilot program along NYC’s second-busiest bus route; SBS M15. GPI used advanced traffic modeling simulations to estimate travel time savings and traffic impacts from the TSP technology. GTT developed and deployed a software-based TSP program that makes use of existing network connectivity to communicate between buses, the central advanced traffic management system, and to signalized intersections throughout the city. The pilot project was a huge success, reducing bus travel times an average of 18%, and the TSP technology is now being deployed on many more routes across the MTA network.

“Bringing an essential transportation technology to the largest bus network in the USA has taken years of collaboration, coordination and testing,” noted Darias. “Every project that we’re part of involves some type of partnership, but the sheer scale and complexity of New York City make this project incredible. The project epitomizes our approach to creating smart city solutions. GTT and GPI were able to develop a solution that protected the MTA’s existing investments, leveraged previously deployed communications networks, and helped allay concerns about how TSP would impact other vehicular and pedestrian traffic. We took the time to ask the right questions and listen to everyone’s needs and concerns. The result is a scalable solution that is having an immediate positive impact in New York.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).