Improving the Application of Transit Signal Priority Using the NTCIP 1211 Standard

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, infrastructure - vehicle, infrastructure - bus/tram priority, infrastructure - traffic signals, planning - standards, ridership - commuting, technology - intelligent transport systems


U.S. Federal Transit Administration, Transit traffic, Traffic signal priority systems, Traffic signal preemption, Standards, Smart traffic control, RTI, Road transport informatics, Research projects, Preemption (Traffic signals), IVHS, ITS (Intelligent transportation systems), Intelligent vehicle highway systems, Intelligent transportation systems, Computer network protocols, Case studies, ATT, Advanced transport telematics


The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is sponsoring a research project regarding incorporating National Transportation Communications for Intelligent Transportation Systems Protocol (NTCIP) standards to improve transit signal priority system (TSP) applications. This article outlines the changes necessary to address strategic traffic signal control issues such as TSP. The FTA researchers developed case studies for the application of TSP that would incorporate various sources of information, using the NTCIP 1211 standard message framework to make an informed decision at the traffic signal control level. The ability to implement and maintain TSP under the NTCIP 1211 standard lies in the ability to provide the following processes, which are detailed in this article: "smart" requests generated by the transit system; "smart" decisions made by the traffic control system; and feedback mechanism between the systems.