Date of Award

Summer 2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil Engineering

Committee Director

Mecit Cetin

Committee Member

Asad Khattak

Committee Member

Jaewan Yoon

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.E542 M34 2010


Transit Signal Priority or TSP is an operational strategy that facilitates the movement of transit vehicles such as buses, light rail or streetcars, through traffic-signal controlled intersections. The benefits of TSP operations include improved schedule adherence and improved transit travel times with minimal impact to normal traffic operations. New advances in Global Positioning Systems, detection and communication, and control strategies have helped overcome many problems with early systems and increased interest in implementing TSP for Light Rail Transit (LRT) and other transit operations. The increased capabilities of these advanced systems have led to a dramatic increase in operational and planned TSP deployment across the U.S.

In this study a portion of the new Tide Light Rail Transit (LRT) System in Norfolk, VA is modeled and evaluated. There are four intersections in this network that are in conflict with the Tide transit line. In order to model and evaluate the TSP operations, a micro-simulation model for the network is created in VISSIM. By using the Ring Barrier Controller (RBC) emulator within VISSIM, the control logic for TSP and No TSP scenarios is created. Since the overall goal of this study is to assess the operational benefits of TSP strategies and to compare it with a No TSP scenario, several measures of effectiveness are collected from the VISSIM output including delays and average queue lengths. Numerous simulation runs are performed under low and high traffic demand scenarios to test how the TSP strategy performs in comparison to the No TSP option.

The results show that for low volume traffic, delay is decreased in most of the intersections and average queue length is decreased in all of the intersections. On the other hand, for high volume traffic, delay is reduced in all of the intersections though average queue length is increased in only one intersection.


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