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50 along the route. Along the other light rail and streetcar lines, Agency, also meet on an annual basis to develop updated only the E streetcar line has any continuous signal priority; 5-Year Capital Improvement Plans, including transit prefer- other lines have just a few intersections with signal priority. ential treatment improvements. For the sections of the light rail and streetcar system oper- In 2007, SFMTA initiated a Transit Effectiveness Program ating in shared lanes there are several locations where board- (TEP) to identify improvements in the management and ing islands have been developed in the street to board and operation of MUNI services and facilities to improve travel deboard passengers. Most of these islands are located near time, reliability, and overall service accessibility. The program side, ranging in length from 40 to 140 ft. Many of the islands includes the designation of a rapid route system that includes are not long enough to allow one or more doors of a second all rail lines plus the development of new limited stop and BRT car on a train to align with the island, thus requiring passen- service in certain bus corridors (see Figure 39). A cornerstone gers to board and alight from the street. Several islands also of the program is the development of further transit priority have a restricted width (4 to 6 ft) owing to the restricted street improvements on the surface rail and bus system. A part of this cross sections. program will include a major expansion of TSP, including the replacement of the current optical infrared bus detection sys- Bus bulbs are provided at scattered locations throughout tem with a GPS or another more advanced system. The pro- the city. Most bulbs have been developed at near-side stops, gram also includes the development of added boarding islands and some have enhanced passenger amenities included. on the surface rail system and bus bulbs, and potentially relo- cating certain existing boarding islands to be more compatible Seventeen of the 32 sections of exclusive lanes are desig- with added signal priority for surface rail operations. nated for all day use by buses, another four for use between 7 a.m. and 6 or 7 p.m., and the rest only during peak periods The TEP is incorporating a thorough review and modifi- (typically 7 to 9 a.m. in the morning and 3 or 4 p.m. to 6 or cation of bus and rail stop locations to facilitate transit oper- 7 p.m. in the afternoon). All of these lanes are marked by side ations in the city. This includes stop consolidation on new of street and overhead signage, with no use of overhead lane limited stop routes, and moving certain stops to provide bet- use control signals. ter overall stop spacing and to provide added opportunities to apply TSP. The TEP has its own division within the Depart- ment of Parking and Traffic at SFMTA. Staff interacts with Transit Priority Organization the other divisions in scoping transit priority treatments asso- ciated with its program. The current Transit Preferential Streets Program at SFMTA is housed under the Street Management Section within the MTA Planning Division. This program is responsible for identifying SEATTLE, WASHINGTON new and improved preferential treatments on the city street History system, through field review and added studies, and develop- ing an updated capital improvement program to advance TPS In 1993, King County Metro established its Transit Speed and application. Within the Department of Parking and Traffic Reliability Program. Now in its 16th year, it has been responsi- there is a separate "SFgo" section that provides assistance with ble for scoping and coordinating the development of more than scoping and implementing TSP treatments, whereas the Spe- 200 transit priority treatments on the street system within King cial Projects/Street Use section is involved in special events County, including TSP (using radio frequency tag/wayside and associated special priority treatments. reader technology), special signal phasing, queue jump/bus bypass lanes, curb extensions, and stop consolidation and relo- Three committees provide input on the planning, design, cation. The program's most recent budget for FY 2009 was and implementation of transit preferential treatments within $25.5 million. SFMTA. First, there are bi-weekly staff meetings between the Traffic Engineering and MTA Operations groups to re- There have been several studies over the past ten years con- view short-term issues and needs with respect to improving ducted by or for Metro to identify the effectiveness of TSP rail and bus operations on the city street system. Every month, implementation in the Rainier Avenue South, Aurora Avenue there is a broader MTA Street Management Committee North, and First Avenue South corridors, and to identify poten- meeting that includes the Traffic Engineering, Transit Oper- tial bus priority strategies in other corridors. ations, Service Planning, Transportation Planning, Police, and Parking Enforcement Groups to review street operations, transit preferential treatment needs, and implementation Current Focus issues. Every two weeks there is also a meeting between MTA Planning and Traffic Engineering and the City Planning, Today the Speed and Reliability Program is comprised of Public Works, Police, and Fire Departments. These groups, ten staff in its technical work group: four Traffic Engi- in addition to the San Francisco County Transportation neers, two Senior Project Managers, two Information System

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FIGURE 39 SFMTA TEP recommended network (Source: SFMTA).

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52 professionals, one Project Assistant, and one Supervisor. will improve bus travel time by at least 10% on these routes. In There are five areas where this staff provides services: exchange, Metro commits to adding 5,000 transit service hours per year for each core route along the improved corridor(s) that 1. Partnerships on corridor-level improvement projects achieves the travel time savings. Metro reserves the added ser- led by others, where county participation is identified vice hours at the time of the agreement, and the service is added through interagency agreements. after the traffic improvements are complete. Metro also will 2. Traffic operations analysis/technical support to King help cities identify the types of improvements that are likely to County Metro's Transit (Operating) Division. achieve sufficient travel time savings and the traffic field data 3. Speed and reliability project initiatives, including scop- collection or operations models that will be used to measure ing both spot improvements and corridor-level solu- the savings. tions. Spot improvements that are completed in the pre- vious six months are highlighted in a bi-annual report. Most of the 20 cities within King County share core ser- 4. Regional TSP development, testing, and acceptance of vice connections with one or more jurisdictions, and the 10% new signal priority installations, operations and main- transit speed improvement must be measured along the entire tenance agreements with local jurisdictions, and re- corridor. Thus, cities considering speed and reliability part- engineering of the transit priority request technology. nerships have been encouraged to include other cities in their 5. Special ITS assignments, which have included manag- agreement with Metro. The speed improvement must be in ing a real-time bus information demonstration and the both directions along a route, for 12 core hours of weekday design of a real-time bus monitoring system for the Seat- operation: three hours in both the a.m. and p.m. peak, and six tle CBD, providing technical support for a new on-bus hours between these peaks. ITS system, providing support to King County Roads for the selection and installation of their central traffic con- Metro's primary evaluation tool to assess transit speed trol system, and participation in national Transit Com- improvements is the traffic operations software known as munication Informational Protocol and National Trans- Synchro. When cities submit their proposals for evaluation, portation Information Communication Information they must supply models for the applicable weekday a.m. and Protocol Standards committees for TSP. p.m. peak and off-peak conditions for the applicable street segments. These models must be based on traffic counts King County Metro has entered into several intergovern- obtained within the past three years and signal timing plans mental agreements in recent years related to transit preferen- that have been optimized within the past three years. Using tial treatment implementation on the roadway system in the current data, Metro staff then supplies transit travel times and county. Appendix C includes the blanket agreement covering transit travel time variability along the length of each route overall King County and city of Seattle participation in this being evaluated by time of day and direction of travel, which program. Also included in Appendix C is a sample agreement will serve as the baseline for computing the 10% travel time between King County and a smaller city, the city of Shoreline, savings. Metro will proceed and run the Synchro model, with- related to the design, construction, operations, and mainte- out and with the identified travel time improvements, and nance of transit preferential treatments in the Aurora Avenue evaluate the results. Corridor. The Shoreline agreement includes an interesting payback provision that requires the city to reimburse a pro- A checklist has been developed by Metro for use by cities in rated portion of the initial $1 million contribution by Metro reviewing the applicability of their proposal(s) (see Figure 40). to the project if the city were at any time over the next 15 years A sample Speed and Reliability Partnership Agreement is to cease the restricted use of the bus lanes planned for the found in Appendix C. project. Effectiveness of Transit Signal Priority System Speed and Reliability Service Partnerships and Planned Enhancements King County Metro has adopted a 10-year transit service The evaluation studies conducted for the Rainier Avenue improvement plan, called Transit Now that has as its corner- South, Aurora Avenue North, and First Avenue South corri- stone the development of new BRT service in five corridors, as dors revealed a peak-hour bus travel time savings ranging well as extensive service improvements on its local and express from 5.5% to 8%, with bus delay decreases ranging from 23% bus system. A key strategy in this implementation effort is enti- to 34%. Average person delay during peak hours decreased tled Speed and Reliability Partnerships. These arrangements from 2% to 13%. In the Aurora Avenue North corridor, bus between King County and any of the 20 cities within the county travel time variability was reduced by 39% to 50%. Based on contain eligible core service connections in Metro's system, field observations and simulation modeling, TSP as imple- including Rapid Ride corridors. The cities agree to complete mented had minimal impacts on queue lengths on side streets changes to traffic operations and facilities within five years that and left-turn lanes on the major street.

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53 checklist_speed_reliability.doc FIGURE 40 King County Metro Speed and Reliability Partnership Criteria (Source: King County Metro).

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54 The King County Metro Transit Speed and Reliability 39th Street intersection associated with an evaluation of bus Program has developed a Transit Signal Priority Interactive priority treatments along Route 5 in north Seattle. Model to be used in estimating the impact on transit oper- ations of implementation of TSP at an intersection. The model With the implementation of the Rapid Ride program, Metro can identify the vehicle and passenger travel time savings per is reassessing its TSP strategy and looking at new technology trip and for the entire analysis period for particular signal con- and operating options that would give buses a greater degree troller settings to institute transit priority. Figure 41 presents of priority at signalized intersections. This includes assess- an example worksheet developed for the Fremont Avenue/ ment of both a "conservative" and an "advanced" approach. FIGURE 41 King County Metro TSP Interactive Model--Example spreadsheet [Source: Route 5 Evaluation Final Report, DKS Associates (30)].