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Coordination of IVI and Transit Signal Priority and Transit Evacuations

Dr. Li Zhang, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Mississippi State University

Prior research indicated that transit agencies around the nation are taking the responsibility of evacuating citizens with special needs and those without cars. Evacuation time is critical to people with medical needs and can be critical for all evacuees if resources are limited. In those cases, the transits need to make as many runs as possible in the shortest possible time. Transit Signal Priority (TSP) is an operational strategy that provides for traffic signal controllers to react to the impending arrival of transit and emergency vehicles and to prioritize the vehicles through the intersection by the traffic signal control. Therefore, TSP should provide for shorter evacuation time and increase evacuation time reliabilities as well. While TSP systems have been in existence for a number of years, implementations in metropolitans and medium size cities in the US, no TSP development of research in Transit Evacuations has been reported. On the other hand, in recent years, it is more encouraging that under US DOT’s Intelligent Vehicle Initiate (IVI) program, Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) will provide a means for data to flow between vehicles and the infrastructure, including traffic signal controllers and transit vehicles. It will be possible that the priority calls to the traffic signals could be made from evacuation transit visa the DSRC link. If there is a railroad grade crossing, IVI might send trains information to reroute which may be beneficial if the railroad grade crossing is closed for rail traffic. This project is proposed to explore the coordination of the TSP, IVI and transit evacuation time.