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Los Angeles Signal Priority System Should Be a Model for U.S. Transit Systems

Signal priority is a way to create faster, more regular bus service by adjusting length of stoplights for buses.
May 25, 2017, 10am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Metro Rapid Bus
By Tupungato

The signal priority system reportedly used in Los Angeles County should be a model for cities that want to speed up their public transit around the country, argues Kyle Ryan writes in Active Transportation Alliance. "Seventeen years ago, when Los Angeles County decided to give its buses priority at traffic signals, the buses experienced huge gains in speed and reliability," Ryan writes. The system senses buses coming to a stoplight and can adjust the length of red and green lights.

Cities like Chicago could use this type of system, not only to speed up public transit commutes, but also to space out buses more evenly. "Buses are dispatched every 3-10 minutes and can be instructed to slow down or speed up to avoid bunching with other buses," Ryan argues. This system means less waiting time at bus stops and shorter commute time, making transit more equitable for those not moving in cars. 

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Published on Monday, May 22, 2017 in Active Transportation Alliance
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