C/CAG ANNOUNCES THE SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF ITS TRANSIT SIGNAL PRIORITIZATION PILOT PROJECT LED BY SSV WITH SAMTRANS IN EAST PALO ALTO USING LYT TECHNOLOGY
Working with a powerful coalition of public and private stakeholders, LYT’s TSP solution improved transit bus flow along one of the region’s busiest corridors
Santa Clara, Calif., – August 23, 2022 – City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County (C/CAG), Sustainable Silicon Valley, SamTrans, City of East Palo Alto and LYT, a leader in intelligent connected traffic technology solutions, announced today it has successfully completed a pilot project for Intelligent Transit Signal Prioritization (iTSP).The project saw an overall positive impact for improved transit performance in the East Palo Alto community, and complete results of the project will be presented to the East Palo Alto City Council on September 20.
The efficiency of local transit has a direct impact on transit dependent communities such as East Palo Alto which is designated as an Equity Priority Community in part due to the number of Zero-Vehicle Households (9% have no vehicle, as compared to 6% Countywide). Without iTSP, buses stop at traffic signals 70% of the time. With iTSP deployed at key traffic intersections, the pilot demonstrated that buses spent less time idling and got riders to their destinations faster and more efficiently.
With over $178,000 of funding from City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County (C/CAG), Sustainable Silicon Valley (SSV) formed a coalition of public and private stakeholders including San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans), City of East Palo Alto and LYT, to deliver intelligent transit priority along congested arteries in transit-dependent communities. The City of East Palo Alto is a place where such improvements in transit speed and reliability are most needed and can potentially improve the quality of life for residents.
For the pilot project, the coalition deployed LYT’s Artificial Intelligence-powered Transit Signal Priority (TSP) technology, called LYT.transit, on a corridor consisting of four signalized intersections in East Palo Alto. This corridor is a subsection of SamTrans route 281 and includes the following intersections:
- University Ave. & Bay Rd.
- University Ave. & Runnymede St.
- University Ave. & Bell St.
- University Ave. & Donohoe St.
The iTSP deployment on University Ave. yielded a significant positive impact on several key performance indicators. TSP reduced northbound intersection delays by 45% and southbound intersection delays by 19%. These reductions translate to 18% and 7% reductions in travel time for northbound and southbound respectively.
As SamTrans completes the upgrade of its CAD/AVL system, they will collect
iTSP data to inform where they can produce operation efficiencies, advise scheduling changes, and drive TSP deployments to be able to meet improved transit service goals.
“Our solutions keep transit vehicles moving for a more reliable and consistent rider experience, while minimizing the impact to other road users. Better transit helps to build better communities and increases the quality of life for all residents. We’re excited about the results we saw during our pilot in one of the area’s most congested corridors,” said Tim Menard, CEO and Founder of LYT. “Traffic management systems driven by Artificial Intelligence and machine learning principles are now benefitting entire regions and transforming cities into places where people can live, work, and move more freely.”
The ability to evaluate new technologies in a real world context is key to understanding how these systems will perform and scale. “We want to keep transit on the cutting edge of the latest technology,” said SamTrans Board Chair Pete Ratto.”iTSP has shown itself to be a great tool in
accomplishing that goal.”
A sustainable approach to technology deployment is also key to unlocking value for the long term. “Reliable transit is essential for our community as East Palo Alto residents currently own cars at a much lower rate than the county average. LYT’s pilot helped demonstrate the feasibility of implementing a transit signal priority system in East Palo Alto that benefits our community and can be beneficial across jurisdictions,” said Lisa Gauthier, East Palo Alto Vice Mayor and C/CAG Board Member.
Developing and maintaining partnerships with local communities, agencies and non-profits allows rapid identification, evaluation and funding of worthwhile projects. “C/CAG is excited about this project, as it serves as another strong example of what’s possible when you merge creative and collaborative problem solving with technology,” said Davina Hurt, Belmont City Councilmember and Chair of the C/CAG Board. “C/CAG is committed to supporting nimble pilot projects, and leverages those lessons learned to help advance the county’s mobility and clean air goals.”
Bringing cities, agencies and tech together around some of the big challenges facing under-represented communities is itself a powerful tool. “SSV is recognized for creating unique partnerships and we are pleased to identify a solution for a systemic transit issue in East Palo Alto with LYT’s innovative technology and introduce SamTrans to an AI-powered TSP solution that scales for for wider deployment,” said SSV Board Chair Andrew (Drew) Clark.
LYT is a cloud-based software platform that uses state-of-the-art connected vehicle and machine learning technologies to prioritize the flow of vehicles in a city and across a corridor. By optimizing public transport, emergency and other vehicles it enables shorter travel times, less congestion, improved air-quality and more reliable mass transit.
The LYT/SSV team will present the project findings in a Special Presentation to the City of East Palo Alto City Council at the September 20th, 2022, City Council meeting.
C/CAG works on issues that affect the quality of life in general; transportation, air quality, stormwater runoff, airport/land use compatibility planning, hazardous waste, climate planning, energy and water resource strategies, and solid waste and recycling. C/CAG operates as a Joint Powers Authority and has membership that includes each of the 20 cities and the County in San Mateo County. (https://ccag.ca.gov/)
SamTrans operates 70 routes throughout San Mateo County. Funded in part by a half-cent sales tax, the San Mateo County Transit District also provides administrative support for Caltrain and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. SamTrans has provided bus service to San Mateo County customers since 1976.
LYT is an intelligent connected traffic technology provider that offers a cloud-based platform that orchestrates today’s Intelligent Transportation Systems. LYT’s AI-powered machine learning technology enables a suite of transit signal priority and emergency vehicle preemption solutions that utilize pre-existing vehicle tracking sensors and city communication networks to dynamically adjust the phase and timing of traffic signals to provide sufficient green clearance time while minimally impacting cross traffic. LYT is headquartered in Silicon Valley and serves municipalities across the US. Learn more at LYT.ai.
SSV is a nonprofit “think and do tank” that has a well-deserved reputation for coalescing Silicon Valley residents, government, agencies, leading tech companies, and start ups around tough sustainability issues such as equity and transit. With support from C/CAG, SSV formed a coalition of private/ public partners for the intelligent Transit Signal Priority project, and successfully led the pilot project, creating a blueprint for future investments in regional bus systems.
Andrew (Drew) Clark
Sustainable Silicon Valley