TRANSnet is being used to provide priority for Heavy Freight Vehicles in a trial expected to last until the end of July 2020.
Advantech Design were chosen by the Victorian Department of Transport to assist with the implementation of the trial to incorporate the necessary routes, virtual detectors and required integration, as well as providing assistance for the necessary priority intervention tasks and interfacing to the SCATS Traffic Control System.
The trial is running in both directions along Greens Road Dandenong, covering more than 10 critical intersections, and is part of a ‘proof of concept’ evaluation to determine the benefits of TRANSnet to provide broader priority to vehicles besides Public Transport.
The new route has been established in TRANSnet to cover the nominated road corridor along Greens Road between Chapel Road and the South Gippsland Highway. Journey Patterns have been setup for both vehicle directions, and an interface to live vehicle data supplied by the Bus Minder company has been configured to detect vehicles traveling in both directions along this route.
Virtual Detectors were established for all nominated approaches (both directions) and the relevant trigger conditions and required Priority Activities to SCATS have been programmed into TRANSnet.
TRANSnet incorporates extensive reporting tools and can report on both queuing times at any monitored location, as well as journey times over a longer distance. Data from these reports will be made available to Department of Transport staff for analysis and appraisal of the project’s performance.
TRANSnet now has integrated functionality to process and deliver Real-Time bus information for providing monitoring and priority intervention using data taken directly from the Smartrak Bus Tracking system.
This new feature opens up significant expansion opportunities for broadening the metropolitan coverage delivered by TRANSnet, with benefits to both public transport operators and bus passengers through more efficient journeys.
Late running buses can be automatically provided with priority at traffic lights.
The TRANSnet Public Transport Priority system trial in Singapore has been successfully completed. A pilot study on two critical bus routes in the Jurong District was being used to evaluate TRANSnet’s powerful top-down public transport management features.
Of consideration was the introduction of a trial system that could both control the ability to maintain scheduled headways between buses as well as introduce a monitoring feature that could provide empirical data that could be used in the formation of reports for review.
The following results were achieved:
Reduction in Queuing Time: 10.3%
Improvement in Headway Regulation: 16.6%
On average, TRANSnet demonstrated that if could deliver an average of 10.3% reduction in the time buses spent queuing at traffic signals.
A number of new features were added to TRANSnet, including Automated Bus Headway Scheduling, and several new Reporting and Monitoring tools were also introduced.
The trial utilised multiple technologies based on the TRANSnet Tracker units, including GPS positioning data, Wireless network communications, and Automated Scheduling, all working together in an integrated environment to keep bus services operating to expected headways.
The TRANSnet Public Transport Priority System for SCATS now has a new SMS reporting sub-system that can automatically send an SMS alert to up to three mobile devices if a vehicle update alert is received. Settings are managed through the Preferences dialog.
This allows unexpected outages of field communications devices to be instantly reported for attention/action by support staff, thus keeping the system operating effectively and efficiently.
A test button is also provided that sends a Test Text Message to the phone. This is provided to check that the system is configured correctly.
The TRANSnet public transport system for SCATS now has integrated Headway Management and Reporting tools.
A common requirements is to keep public service vehicles running at a consistent frequency (e.g. a service every 10 minutes), rather than a pre-determined schedule. TRANSnet now monitors the frequency of arrivals at each virtual detection location, and also tracks the intervention type that was delivered at these locations to maintain the service headway. The Priority Intervention information shows the Headway Time between vehicles, the detail of the intervention type, the exact number of times intervention was called for each intervention request (this quickly identifies if the ‘level’ of intervention was satisfactory, or if a more severe intervention was really required). It also shows if the priority intervention could not be delivered and the exact reason(s) why.
These tools quickly provide the operator with valuable feedback to quantify priority operation, success rates, and identify issues that should be investigated based on performance improvement.
VicRoads have purchased the TRANSnet system. This will allow the Victorian Road Authority to provide Public Transport Priority to vehicles and to improve the efficiency of Public Transport and other vehicle operations utilising the Victorian Road Network.
The investment came after an extended trial period that allowed VicRoads staff to evaluate and monitor TRANSnet, and to liaise with public transport operators on the performance benefits delivered by the TRANSnet system. VicRoads uses TRANSnet in conjunction with SCATS to automatically provide multiple levels of priority at signalised intersections, depending on schedule adherence, queuing time, delays and much more.
For Public Transport operators that don’t work to specific public transport ‘time-of-day schedules’, a new Headway Management System has been implemented. Different headways and expected Journey times can be implemented for any day of the week, and any time of the day for either direction of travel.
When a vehicle starts a journey, the next scheduled time is calculated based on expected headway, and this further schedule is automatically added to the system. When the following vehicle arrives, its start time is compared to the previously calculated schedule to determine schedule adherence, a further future schedule is again automatically created, and the vehicle is tracked into the system. This allows schedules & punctuality to be continually calculated dynamically, without the requirement to have any previously defined schedules installed.
TRANSnet can operate with any combination of Pre-programmed vehicle schedules or new Headway schedules within the system simultaneously.
VicRoads successfully trials TRANSnet on Bus Route 201 in the Burwood – Box Hill region of Melbourne.
TRANSnet applies a top-down approach to bus priority where the local traffic signal controller does not require reprogramming. The bus detection uses ‘virtual detectors’ for queue detection and journey time information. Therefore physical installation of detectors is also not required. The priority can be activated on a number of performance conditions including schedule adherence.
A number of different scenarios have been tested using TRANSnet and SCATS Action Lists. VicRoads found that all of the scenarios using either bus delay or schedule adherence triggering mechanisms have operated successfully. The priority enabled in SCATS has included adding a right turn phase in the sequence, increasing the green time for a bus movement and dwelling a phase without skipping other phases to ensure the bus can reduce the buses time in the virtual detector zone.
Advantech Design have recently successfully demonstrated the Transnet wireless communications system for SCATS in Suva, Fiji.
The system allows 3G wireless communications from the SCATS central computer to communicate to intersection controllers, and is especially cost-effective where wired service telecommunications are limited or unreliable. For the test, sites were deliberately chosen to establish the ability of the system to operate successfully over long distances. The trialed communications system has proven itself to be robust and reliable. Statistical figures of more than 96% uptime are considered to demonstrate a very satisfactory result for this type of communication. The Transnet communicatiosn system achieved an uptime of more than 99.5% wireless communications over and average 24 hour period, and this could be further improved with assistance from the wireless network service provider.
Transnet allows SCATS to operate as designed, to provide effective, managed traffic coordination, dynamically adjust signal timings to meet traffic demands, maximise intersection capacity and provide the traffic engineer with vital monitoring and reporting tools.
The Wireless Communications System as trialed is definitely considered a successful workable solution for operating the SCATS Management System with Intersection Controllers.
SCATS is a registered trademark or Roads and Maritime Services
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