City of Arcadia and Connected Signals Partner to Improve and Enhance Mass Transit
June 25, 2019 — The City of Arcadia, California and Connected Signals, Inc. today announced the introduction of new “smart” signal priority systems for the city’s mass transit system. The program, launched yesterday in the City, integrates Arcadia’s existing systems and incorporates Connected Signals’ patent pending vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology to improve mobility. The technology reduces traffic signal delays, and uses artificial intelligence to anticipate users’ arrivals at signalized intersections and then request priority, thereby providing more efficiency and a smoother transit experience.
Connected Signals is providing Arcadia with a proprietary, cloud-based solution, Transit Signal Priority (TSP). TSP works on hardware already outfitted in the buses, and it operates along the city’s fixed bus routes to reduce trip time by improving a bus’s ability to get in the “green wave,” either by extending a green light or by having a signal return to green more quickly.
Arcadia had specific parameters for the project. In order to eliminate the need for capital outlays and to minimize maintenance expenses going forward, the City preferred a software-only solution. The City also wanted to address what LA Metro calls First/Last Mile, providing and facilitating safety and experiential improvements for the first/last mile of a commuter’s journey as they approach or depart a station.
“We developed this solution by focusing on the City of Arcadia’s desire to keep initial and maintenance costs low, and to ensure that the system architecture remained easy to maintain and use,” said Matt Ginsberg, co-founder and CEO of Connected Signals. “We were able to enhance our existing V2I technology to provide secure two-way communication and coordination between Arcadia’s Traffic Management System and the TSP app.”
“Working with Connected Signals has been terrific,” said Kevin Merrill, principal civil engineer with the City of Arcadia. “It’s hard to formulate exactly how things worked with them, but there was just so much synergy at the first meeting. They just seemed to know what we wanted to do; they knew our vision – almost like they read our minds – and how to help us get there, even bringing some ideas to the table. And as we’ve worked together, we feel the fit is even better — they are extremely responsive to our questions and requests.”
Traditional approaches to TSP require the installation of new hardware at every supported intersection, usually at significant cost in time and money. Connected Signals’ system uses only existing infrastructure, including the cellular network and cloud computing, to provide services at much lower cost and with much shorter lead times. Connected Signals’ approach is also expansible to a wide range of other services, including pedestrian priority, EMS preemption, cyclist detection and prioritization, and HOVE prioritization. All of these features can be provided by deploying new software, without requiring hardware installation or changes. Finally, the fact that no new hardware is installed means that long-term maintenance costs are significantly lower than for traditional systems.
“Arcadia is a forward-thinking city. Improving their citizens’ quality of life is definitely a priority for them. It has been a pleasure partnering with them to provide technology that encourages the city’s residents to use more eco-friendly methods of transportation,” said David Etherington, Connected Signals’ president, co-founder, and project lead. “Kevin is a source of great ideas, but also eager to adapt to new ideas that could produce still better outcomes. That made the project a real collaboration and helped us get to what we all think is an exceptional result.”
“Connected Signals brought on board a team that had the technical skills and ability to accomplish what we were thinking about,” concluded Mr. Merrill. “This project has proceeded smoothly and has exceeded our expectations through all phases – from our original meeting, through to development, testing, and finally, deployment They said they could do it, and they performed. That’s admirable, and it’s a great quality in a company you partner with.”
The collaboration began in June 2018 and was supported by a grant from Los Angeles Metro Net Toll Grants program.