Sandy Springs

Streamlining Suburban Transit

The City of Sandy Springs in partnership with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) bus service will pilot Transit Signal Priority (TSP) technology using bus location data published through an application program interface (API) instead of communicating with a unit on board the bus.

TSP would improve the existing transit system without needing new infrastructure and the results of this study will guide the implementation of TSP throughout the region.

The project plans to improve mobility, maximize the transit system and improve walkability and sense of place in the Perimeter and Roswell Road areas without the need for extensive infrastructure investments such as bus-only lanes or expensive hardware and radios. Specifically, Sandy Springs will test TSP on MARTA bus route 5 which connects the Dunwoody and Lindbergh MARTA rail stations and operates with 15-minute headway. Beside the technical and functional integration testing this project will perform, the city will evaluate the actual impact on the on-time performance and travel times of the buses along this route as well as any additional impacts on other elements of the transportation network such as impacts to vehicular traffic at impacted intersections.

Dr. Michael Hunter, Professor and Dr. Kari Watkins, Frederick Law Olmsted Associate Professor, at Georgia Tech School of Civil and Environmental Engineering are partnered with Sandy Springs on the project to study and understand the impacts of the transit signal priority system using published bus location data. The study will collect data with transit signal priority in place and buses running without transit signal priority. The testing will take place in spring 2020 and focus on congested periods. The research component will conclude during the first year of the project, but may have recommendations for future areas or research and application as follow-up steps. The results of the study will also guide the implementation plan.

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