MTA to install $11 million in traffic light sensors to prioritize buses in Baltimore
As part of Gov. Larry Hogan's BaltimoreLink bus system overhaul, the Maryland Transit Administration has budgeted $11 million to install sensors on 200 local buses — out of 760 — and city traffic signals that will keep traffic lights green for six to 10 seconds longer when a bus is approaching, and shorten red lights for waiting buses by the same amount of time.
The goal of the Transit Signal Priority technology — along with the planned creation of five miles of bus-only lanes and removal of hundreds of underused bus stops — is to allow buses to spend more time moving and less time in traffic, increasing on-time rates across the system.
"The system has not been efficient, and it has not been reliable," MTA administrator Paul Comfort acknowledged. "It takes too long to ride the bus to travel half a mile."