Fleet management system as actuator for public transport priority

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1 10th ITS European Congress, Helsinki, Finland June 2014 TP 0226 Fleet management system as actuator for public transport priority Niels van den Bosch 1, Anders Boye Torp Madsen 2 1. IMTECH Traffic & Infra, Imtech ITS, p.o. box 2542, 3800 GB Amersfoort, Netherlands Tel , Fax , 2. City of Copenhagen, Traffic Department, Islands Brygge 37,2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark Tel , Abstract Copenhagen aims at being the first CO2 neutral Capital in the World by The City Council has taken important steps towards achieving this. As the transport sector counts for approximately 30 % of the total amount of all emissions, inevitably, the transport sector must contribute to the CO2 reduction. ITS and specifically Urban Traffic Management and Control, opens new opportunities for reaching the goal through amongst other the improvement of public transport services. Key factor for improving public transport (PT) within ITS solutions is accurate detection of the PT vehicles. To achieve an accurate detection of the PT vehicles, without installing a lot of additional hardware in the PT vehicles and on-street, a solution is developed based on the PT fleet management system of the city. The GPS location of the PT vehicles is monitored by the fleet management system of the city. When the vehicle enters a virtual detection area, a message will be sent to the right controller. The traffic light controller will use the message in the traffic light control application with PT priority. This solution will be used for several ITS solutions for the city of Copenhagen. Keywords: urban traffic management, adaptive signal control, public transport. Introduction The nowadays situation in city centres brings two main challenges to the urban traffic planners: the climate challenge and the congestion challenge. Traffic management and intelligent traffic solutions will play an important role in providing answers to those challenges. In Copenhagen, the City Council has taken important steps towards their vision of being the first CO2 neutral capital by As the transport sector counts for approximately 30 % of the total amount of all emissions, inevitably, the transport sector must contribute to the CO2 reduction. To that end, managing traffic through ITS and signalized intersections, has promising perspectives. However, different priorities are often met in the intersections. On the

2 one hand promotion of a smooth and eco-friendly mode of driving for car traffic is a main policy. At the same time, important bus lines should be given priority. Making cycling more attractive in the city, raise a demand for green waves for cyclists. Also pedestrians ask for longer green when crossing the roads. Besides that, improvement of the driving behaviour of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV s) can have a substantial contribution to the city environment. Copenhagen green city vision Recent studies show that the green investments in Copenhagen is not only beneficial for the environment and the climate, they also boost the economy. Copenhagen s green city strategy has not only brought great reductions in the CO2 emissions, decreased pollution, created several green jobs and produced annual growth rates of an impressive 12 percent in the clean tech sector. The City s green ambitions have also triggered a great improvement of the quality of life for the citizens of Copenhagen and created growth, export and job opportunities throughout the entire economy of the city not just in the clean-tech sector. The vision of Copenhagen to be in 2025 the first CO2 neutral capital in the World [1] is sustained by a number of detailed documents including: Centre for world climate policy World s best city for cycling A green and blue capital city A clean and healthy major city Each of these papers has specific and realistic milestones, and their performance is measured on an annual basis and published by the City Council. Public Transport priority There are several political objectives to use public transport priority within the urban traffic management system. 1. Service regularity. This means alignment with the time tables and/or headways. A regular service guarantees a better optimized utilization of the transport capacity. 2. Improvement of travel time. A decrease in travel time of the PT vehicles makes a PT service more attractive and can result in a reduction of the required PT vehicles. 3. Less pollution. Less stops at traffic lights results in less fuel consumption and less pollution. In Copenhagen the main reason to use PT priority within traffic control is a combination of these three political objectives. Public Transport projects in Copenhagen At the moment there is no priority for the busses in the city of Copenhagen. Only on some specific locations detector loops are added to give a pre-start to a departing bus at the bus stop. To meet the policy objectives there is a need for public transport priority. Therefore the 2

3 municipality is involved in several projects to improve the public transport priority. One of the projects is the European project Compass4D [3]. Compass4D focuses on three services which will increase drivers' safety and comfort. One of the services is the so called Energy Efficient Intersection. Vehicles will be equipped with interoperable on-board units that will "communicate" in real-time to road side units installed along the roads. Based on the location and other information transmitted by the busses the road side system can decide to request priority for an oncoming bus at the traffic controller. An icon will show the bus driver if priority is granted or not [4]. A second project on bus priority systems is based on the fleet management system of the bus operator MOVIA. Fleet management as PT detector To be able to give priority to PT vehicles in a urban traffic management system, detection of those vehicles is required. Nowadays there are a lot of different techniques to detect PT vehicles. Most of the time additional hardware on every detection location is required to detect the vehicles. Examples of common PT vehicle detection techniques are inductive loops or wireless communication technologies. Properties of a PT detector To give priority to a PT vehicle within the system, two detection locations are required: 1. Upstream of the intersection an incoming messages to inform the control system about an arrival of a PT vehicle. 2. Downstream of the stop line to detect a PT vehicle immediately after leaving the intersection. This vehicle detection will stop the priority request and force the traffic controller to go back to the normal traffic control cycle. Figure 1 Schematic overview of a PT priority system Besides the actual detection also additional information like PT line number, unique vehicle number, etc. is useful to give the appropriate priority. Central system The PT vehicles in Copenhagen are equipped with GPS units. A fleet management system 3

4 follows the vehicles through the city. At the moment a vehicle enters a virtual detection area a message is generated. This message includes a timestamp, intersection ID, Direction ID, vehicle number, line number, destination, trip number and type of request. The messages are stored in a central database. An application is continuously querying, in real-time, the database of the fleet management system to get the priority information from the vehicles. The application is looking for which intersection the message is intended and will distribute the information to the appropriate traffic light controller. The interface to the controllers for data distribution is based on TCP/IP connections. Traffic Light Controller solution The traffic light controller receives from the central system the PT messages. Based on the content of the message an arrival or departure signal will be imported to the traffic light control application. Dependent on the control strategy the traffic light controller will give the priority to the PT vehicle. Example of implementation The intention is to use this mechanism in the whole city of Copenhagen. For now it is used in one project to optimize the PT travel time. Public transport priority in an adaptive network In Valby, an area in the south west part of Copenhagen, the throughput of the traffic flow is disturbed and not according to the political objectives of the municipality. As a consequence, several primary bus lines often experience long travel times and delays in the area due to congestion. As part of a PT project an upgrade of the traffic control system in ten intersections is performed. The product for the network control system is the policy based adaptive signal control system called ImFlow [2]. The system optimizes both networks and single intersections with a real time adaptive algorithm including bus priority. In the network there are 3 main PT lines and several minor PT lines. The objective for the municipality is to make this area more sustainable by improving the 3 main PT lines as follow: Increasing the average speed of the 3 primary PT lines with 5 percent. Decreasing the average waiting time of the PT lines with 5 seconds per intersection. Besides the improvement for the PT vehicles the average waiting time of pedestrians and cyclists may not increase, as well the total network performance will at least stay the same as the current fixed time signal control system. Status of the project In first instance there was one field device equipped with the priority system for test purposes. Firstly an in-house test was performed to match for every PT vehicle his incoming and exit 4

5 message. Also there was the ability of tracking a vehicle at multiple intersections. During a site test all arriving busses were tracked in the system. All arrivals resulted in an incoming messages and an exit message at the moment the vehicle left the intersection. Based on the in-house and outdoor tests the mechanism has proved its reliability for the actual deployment at street. At the moment the requirements are made to upgrade the current test server to a stable deployment system. This upgrade must be able to handle priority request for all the intersections in Copenhagen and has additional features like alarm handling and statistics. From that moment the implementation at the controllers in Copenhagen starts. Conclusions A PT fleet management system in combination with a TCP/IP network to the traffic controllers can be an accurate solution to perform PT priority in ITS applications. At the moment this solution is implemented on one intersection. The first results are promising. The PT messages are delivered very fast and accurate to the traffic light controller. In the coming months the solution will be implemented in all the ten intersection in the Valby (Copenhagen) network. In the final paper there will be more numbers from street to present. Based on the simulation outcomes a decrease in travel with of more than 10% in both the morning and afternoon is expected. References 1. City of Copenhagen (2007). "Eco-Metropolis: Our vision for Copenhagen 2015". 2. Imtech Traffic & Infra (2012). "ImFlow system description" 3. Compass4D (accessed April 10th 2014), The Compass4D CIP Project, URL: 4. Erik Koenders et al. (2014), "On-board integration for public transport", draft paper presented for review, 10th ITS European Congress, Helsinki 5

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