Optimising the public transport priority at road intersections

Optimising the public transport priority at road intersections

For access to this article, please select a purchase option:

Buy article PDF
(plus tax if applicable)
Buy Knowledge Pack
10 articles for £75.00
(plus taxes if applicable)

IET members benefit from discounts to all IET publications and free access to E&T Magazine. If you are an IET member, log in to your account and the discounts will automatically be applied.

Learn more about IET membership 

Recommend Title Publication to library

You must fill out fields marked with: *

Librarian details
Your details
Why are you recommending this title?
Select reason:
IET Intelligent Transport Systems — Recommend this title to your library

Thank you

Your recommendation has been sent to your librarian.

A lot of effort is put into improving the efficiency of transportation and the optimisation of the current traffic situations. Nevertheless, this will not be sufficient to deal with the increasing number of road users. Public transportation is an appealing economical solution, although its quality is dependent on the efficiency of traffic lights and congestions. The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of public transport (PT) priority on the performance of a single road intersection with two two-way crossing streets and a dedicated tram line. In this perspective, the authors set up a microscopic simulation experiment to evaluate different PT priorities. The study is applied to a road intersection in Ghent (Belgium) and all relevant inputs are based on real-life data. Overall, the total travel time of all actors advocate for traffic light control regulations that accommodate regular road users at the expense of PT and contradict the current priority settings of the signal control system. However, the passenger-dependent travel times give a slightly nuanced view advocating a delayed priority or even no priority for PT vehicles only during the evening peak.


    1. 1)
      • 1. Statistics Belgium: ‘Opnieuw een toename van het voertuigenpark in België’, 2016.
    2. 2)
      • 2. Mobiliteitsbedrijf Stad Gent: ‘Nieuw circulatieplan vanaf 03/04/17’, 2016.
    3. 3)
      • 3. Ahmed, F., Hawas, Y. E.: ‘An integrated real-time traffic signal system for transit signal priority, incident detection and congestion management’, Transp. Res. Part C, Emerg. Technol., 2015, 60, (1), pp. 5276.
    4. 4)
      • 4. Fadaei, M., Cats, O.: ‘Evaluating the impacts and benefits of public transport design and operational measures’, Transp. Policy, 2016, 48, (1), pp. 105116.
    5. 5)
      • 5. Diakaki, C., Papageorgiou, M., Dinopoulou, V., et al: ‘State-of-the-art and -practice review of public transport priority strategies’, IET Intell. Transp. Syst., 2015, 9, (4), pp. 391406.
    6. 6)
      • 6. Oguchi, T., Mitsuyasu, A., Oshima, D.: ‘An evaluation study on advanced public transport priority system using traffic simulation’, Int. J. Urban Sci., 2017, 21, (1), pp. 4353.
    7. 7)
      • 7. Zlatkovic, M., Martin, P.T., Stevanovic, A.: ‘Predictive priority for light rail transit: university light rail line in Salt Lake County, Utah’, J. Transp. Res. Board, 2011, 2259, pp. 168178.
    8. 8)
      • 8. Nelson, E., Bullock, D.: ‘Impact of emergency vehicle preemption on signalized corridor operation’, Transp. Res. Rec., J. Transp. Res. Board, 2000, 1727, (1), pp. 111.
    9. 9)
      • 9. Hounsell, N., Shrestha, B.: ‘A new approach for co-operative bus priority at traffic signals’, IEEE Trans. Intell. Transp. Syst., 2012, 13, (1), pp. 618.
    10. 10)
      • 10. Kim, S., Park, M., Chon, K.: ‘A bus priority signal strategy for regulating headways of buses’, J. Eastern Asia Soc. Transp. Stud., 2005, 6, pp. 435448.
    11. 11)
      • 11. Deng, T., Nelson, J.D.: ‘Recent developments in bus rapid transit: a review of the literature’, Transp. Rev., 2011, 31, (1), pp. 6996.
    12. 12)
      • 12. Bhattacharjee, S., Goetz, A.: ‘Impact of light rail on traffic congestion in Denver’, J. Transp. Geogr., 2012, 22, pp. 262270.
    13. 13)
      • 13. Zlatkovic, M., Stevanovic, A., Martin, P.T., et al: ‘Evaluation of transit signal priority options for future bus rapid transit line in West Valley City, Utah’, J. Transp. Res. Board, 2012, 2311, pp. 176185.
    14. 14)
      • 14. Oliveira-Neto, F., Loureiro, C., Han, L.: ‘Active and passive bus priority strategies in mixed traffic arterials controlled by scoot adaptive signal system. Assessment of performance in Fortaleza, Brazil’, Transp. Res. Rec., J. Transp. Res. Board, 2009, 2128, pp. 5865.
    15. 15)
      • 15. Ma, W., Liu, Y., Yang, X.: ‘A dynamic programming approach for optimal signal priority control upon multiple high-frequency bus requests’, J. Intell. Transp. Syst.: Technol., Plan., Oper., 2013, 17, (4), pp. 282293.
    16. 16)
      • 16. Skabardonis, A., Geroliminis, N.: ‘Real-time monitoring and control on signalized arterials’, J. Intell. Transp. Syst.: Technol., Plan., Oper., 2008, 12, (2), pp. 6474.
    17. 17)
      • 17. Hood, W., Hicks, T., Singer, L.I.: ‘Light rail preemption of traffic signals: a question of balance’. Proc. of the Seventh National Conf. on Light Rail Transit, Baltimore, Maryland, 1995, pp. 285293.
    18. 18)
      • 18. Christofa, E., Papamichail, I., Skabardonis, A.: ‘Person-based traffic responsive signal control optimization’, IEEE Trans. Intell. Transp. Syst., 2013, 14, (3), pp. 12781289.
    19. 19)
      • 19. Christofa, E., Skabardonis, A.: ‘Traffic signal optimization with application of transit signal priority to an isolated intersection’, Transp. Res. Rec., J. Transp. Res. Board, 2011, 2259, pp. 192201.
    20. 20)
      • 20. Lin, Y., Yang, X., Chang, G.-L., et al: ‘Transit priority strategies for multiple routes under headway-based operations’, Transp. Res. Rec., J. Transp. Res. Board, 2013, 2356, pp. 3443.
    21. 21)
      • 21. Kim, W., Rilett, L.: ‘Improved transit signal priority system for net- works with nearside bus stops’, Transp. Res. Rec., J. Transp. Res. Board, 2005, 1925, pp. 205214.
    22. 22)
      • 22. Ezzat, A. A., Farouk, H. A., El-Kilany, K. S., et al: ‘Optimization using simulation of traffic light signal timings’. Proc. of the 2014 Int. Conf. on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management Bali, Bali, Indonesia, 2014, pp. 14281433.
    23. 23)
      • 23. Martori, J. R., Thorson, O.: ‘System for tramway priority at traffic lights, volume 7 of advances in transport’ (Wit Press, Southampton, 2000), pp. 12051213.
    24. 24)
      • 24. Stevanovic, A., Stevanovic, J., Kergaye, C.: ‘Optimizing signal timings to improve safety of signalized arterials’. 3rd Int. Conf. on Road Safety and Simulation, Indianapolis, USA, 2011.
    25. 25)
      • 25. Vujic, M., Mandzuka, S., Greguric, M.: ‘Pilot implementation of public transport priority in the city of Zagreb’, Promet-Traffic Transp., 2015, 27, (3), pp. 257265.
    26. 26)
      • 26. Wahlstedt, J.: ‘Evaluation of the two self-optimising traffic signal systems utopia/spot and ImFlow, and comparison with existing signal control in Stockholm, Sweden’. IEEE Int. Conf. on Intelligent Transportation Systems-ITSC, New York, 2013, pp. 15411546.
    27. 27)
      • 27. Chin, Y. K., Yong, K., Bolong, N., et al: ‘Multiple intersections traffic signal timing optimization with genetic algorithm’. 2011 IEEE Int. Conf. on Control System, Computing and Engineering (ICCSCE), Penang, Malaysia, 2011, pp. 454459.
    28. 28)
      • 28. Chen, S., Sun, D. J.: ‘An improved adaptive signal control method for isolated signalized intersection based on dynamic programming’, IEEE Intell. Transp. Syst. Mag., 2016, 8, (4), pp. 414.
    29. 29)
      • 29. Guo, Y., Ma, J.: ‘An improved actuated signal control of intersection based on VisVAP’. 6th Int. Conf. on Sensor Network and Computer Engineering (ICSNCE 2016), Xi'an, China, 2016, pp. 123128.
    30. 30)
      • 30. Kaczmarek, M., Rychlewski, J.: ‘Tram priority traffic control on complex intersections’, IFAC Proc. Vol., 2006, 39, (12), pp. 416420.
    31. 31)
      • 31. Polgar, J., Tettamanti, T., Varga, I.: ‘Passenger number dependent traffic control in signalized intersections’, Period. Polytech.-Civ. Eng., 2013, 57, (2), pp. 201210.
    32. 32)
      • 32. Salimifard, K., Ansari, M.: ‘Modeling and simulation of urban traffic signals’, Int. J. Model. Optim., 2013, 3, (2), p. 172.
    33. 33)
      • 33. Janssens, D., Declercq, K., Wets, G.: ‘Onderzoek verplaatsingsgedrag vlaanderen 4.5 (2012–2013)’, 2014.
    34. 34)
      • 34. Derakhshan, F., Shahpasandi, N.: ‘Design and implementation of an urban traffic control system for public transport using multi-agent systems’, Int. J. Comput. Sci. Netw. Secur., 2016, 16, (10), pp. 7077.
    35. 35)
      • 35. Nash, A. B., Sylvia, R. D.: ‘Implementation of Zürich’s transit priority program’ (Mineta Transportation Institute, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192-0219, 2001).

Related content

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address