Previous Program Achievements

The following documents were prepared by the RTA's systems engineering consultants:

  • Development of the Concept of Operations ("ConOps" - April 2013) - This document describes how a regionally interoperable TSP system will function throughout the region. It includes a high-level operational description of the proposed TSP system from each stakeholder's perspective and a summary of the operational needs and impacts.
  • Completion of the Technical System Requirements (May 2014) - This document defines what the regionally interoperable TSP system will do and how its subsystems will function under the RTSPIP. It sets the technical scope of the TSP system to be implemented and serves as the basis for verifying the correct operation of the system.
  • Establishment of the Regional Standards and Implementation Guidelines (December 2015) - This document provides the regional standards and guidelines to be followed by agencies in deploying an interoperable TSP System in the Chicago region. The Regional TSP Standards that are defined for the RTSPIP include: 1) the Regional TSP Message Set, and 2) the 5.0 GHz frequency and 802.11n Wi-Fi communications protocols to be used between buses and intersections. These two standards will enable regional TSP interoperability between Pace and CTA buses and intersections throughout the region at which TSP equipment has been deployed through the RTSPIP.
  • Development of a Verification Plan (May 2014) - This document provides guidance on how a regionally interoperable TSP system will be tested for compliance with the Regional TSP Standards and Implementation Guidelines.
  • Establishment of the Regional TSP Message Set (February 2015) - This document represents data elements for service request communication between a Priority Request Generator (PRG) and a Priority Request Server (PRS). They are based on NTCIP 1211 Version 1.38 with additions made for regional needs.

Under a Technical Services Agreement with the RTA, CTA completed preliminary engineering for TSP on the Ashland Western Avenue corridors in early 2014. Design engineering for TSP on portions of these corridors began in 2014, building on the wireless communication approach that was successfully tested by CTA and CDOT in 2014 for the Jeffery Jump TSP project (using non-CMAQ funds). That communication approach is consistent with the Regional TSP Standards mentioned above. However, additional software development was required for CTA buses and CDOT traffic signals in order to send and receive the Regional TSP Message Set, which contains additional data not included in the Jeffery Jump TSP message set.

CTA and CDOT implemented TSP on South Ashland Avenue (Cermak Road to 95th Street) in 2016. CDOT programmed and installed 39 new Advanced Traffic Controllers (ATCs) provided by the CTA. The Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communication (OEMC) installed the necessary wayside communication equipment including radios provided by the CTA.

Also under a Technical Services Agreement with the RTA, Pace began preliminary engineering for TSP on six corridors in early 2014: Cicero Avenue, Grand Avenue (in Lake County), Roosevelt Road, 95th Street, Sibley Boulevard/147th Street, and 159th Street. That work complemented previously completed work on other segments of these same corridors, as well as several additional corridors: Cermak Road, Dempster Street, Halsted Street, and Milwaukee Avenue. In conjunction with preliminary engineering, Pace and IDOT have implemented optimized traffic signal timings along these corridors - in advance of TSP implementation - in order to provide immediate benefits for buses and general traffic.

In 2016, Pace hired a team of consultant firms to provide TSP systems integration and design engineering services Pace engaged their existing Intelligent Bus System (IBS) vendor to modify the existing on-board equipment in order to generate the Regional TSP Message Set. In addition, Pace hired a vendor to develop and produce the necessary wayside equipment that will interpret the Regional TSP Message Set and translate it for the traffic signal controllers.

In 2015 and 2016, the RTA staff and consultants focused on baseline data collection and analysis for the performance measures mentioned above. This included both field data collection/analysis for the Ashland Avenue and Western Avenue corridors - prior to installation of new traffic signal controllers and timing plans - and compilation/analysis of electronic data already being collected by the CTA and Pace through their Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) systems. Since field data collection is resource intensive; the RTA, CTA and Pace have since concentrated on use of AVL data for ongoing performance measure tracking.