Transit Signal Priority (TSP) enables the bus’s on-board computer to communicate with the traffic signal system without any action taken by the bus driver. The TSP system allows the traffic signal network to shorten red lights and extend green lights to give buses an advantage and keep them on a reliable schedule. Pace passengers are able to get to their destinations on time.
TSP allows buses that are running late to get back on schedule and improve travel times. However, Pace buses are always given a lower priority than emergency vehicles, and the traffic signal system only changes signal light times for buses if the change does not significantly interfere with other traffic. The engineering work required to implement TSP also provides for improved overall traffic flow on the corridor, even when a bus isn’t present, because of the interconnection of signals and timing improvements. In all, these technologies greatly improve the travel experience for bus drivers and auto drivers alike.
Pace’s regional TSP program, with support from IDOT and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), shortens travel times by up to 20% on bus routes in Harvey, South Holland, Dolton, Waukegan, Berwyn and Cicero. TSP equipment was installed along Milwaukee Avenue in Spring 2019 and is in service on the Pulse Milwaukee Line.
While the Pulse buses share the road with general traffic, technology gives Pulse buses an advantage. To shorten travel times on the Pulse service and make it an efficient and reliable travel option for passengers, Pace has implemented a transit signal priority (TSP) system along the Milwaukee Line and will do so on all of its planned Pulse lines.
Learn more about the Pulse Service.