Transit Signal Priority (TSP) utilizes existing vehicle location and wireless communication technologies to advance or extend the green light of a traffic signal to allow a CTA or Pace bus to continue through an intersection when the bus is running behind schedule – helping to reduce travel times and ensure on-time arrivals. TSP is being deployed along 13 priority corridors to help CTA and Pace buses travel along 100 miles of roadway and through about 400 intersections operated by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), and other local departments of transportation throughout the region. The RTA is leading this regional coordination effort, known as the Regional Transit Signal Priority Implementation Program (RTSPIP), in collaboration with the transit and highway agencies listed above.

Transit Signal Priority (TSP) utilizes existing vehicle location and wireless communication technologies to advance or extend green times at signalized intersections. When a TSP-equipped bus is late, it automatically requests extra green time so it can proceed through the intersection. The result: reduced delays at traffic signals, and increased service reliability and travel speeds for bus riders.

Significant planning and design work is underway to provide more reliable bus service in the Chicago region. Using proven technology, Chicagoland transit agencies are now ready to deploy a fully integrated Transit Signal Priority (TSP) system for bus routes on strategic corridors.

With over 350 million bus trips made each year by transit riders across the Chicago region, integration of TSP technology on CTA and Pace buses will provide riders with improved on-time dependability and reduced travel times.


Who will benefit?

Almost 50 percent of the region’s transit riders can benefit from faster, more dependable bus service. With TSP-equipped buses, bus riders will experience fewer traffic signal delays, enabling them to get to their destinations on time. This will be accomplished with minimal interruption to the flow of regular traffic. In fact, traffic signal synchronization will be improved along these corridors as part of the TSP program. As bus service improves, ridership numbers are expected to grow as people see bus transit as a more attractive travel option, thus helping to reduce the region’s gridlock and improving air quality.

Where will it be?

TSP is an important component of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Arterial Rapid Transit (ART) systems being developed and deployed in the Chicago region.

Thirteen priority corridors have been selected based on several key factors including bus ridership, geographic location, and network connectivity.


  • Ashland Avenue
  • Western Avenue


  • 159th Street
  • 147th Street/Sibley Boulevard
  • 95th Street
  • Cermak Road
  • Cicero Avenue
  • Dempster Street
  • Grand Avenue (in Lake County)
  • Milwaukee Avenue
  • Roosevelt Road
  • Halsted Street/Harvey
  • I-90 Transit Corridor Access

When Does it Start?

Starting in 2016, a regional TSP system that works for both Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Pace buses traveling on roadways maintained by Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), or other local departments of transportation is being deployed in the six-county northeastern Illinois region.

Who is leading this effort?

The Regional Transportation Authority of Northeastern Illinois (RTA) is leading the comprehensive planning and coordination of this regional program. Leading implementation and construction are the CTA, Pace, IDOT, CDOT and other local and county transportation agencies. Working with the Federal Transit Administration and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, the RTA is ensuring that a seamless and integrated TSP system is implemented across the different transit and highway jurisdictions.

What is it going to cost?

The RTA’s $40 million program for TSP deployment includes approximately $36 million in federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) funds and $4 million in RTA funding. These funds are being combined with other federal grants to the CTA and Pace for specific corridors.

What is happening now?

CTA and CDOT have installed TSP equipment on South Ashland Avenue and began testing the TSP system in the summer of 2016. They are installing TSP equipment on Western Avenue throughout 2017.

In late 2017, Pace will implement TSP on Milwaukee Avenue. Pace has already implemented optimized signal timing in the following corridors:

  • 147th Street/Sibley Boulevard
  • 159th Street
  • 95th Street
  • Cicero Avenue
  • Grand Avenue (in Lake County)
  • Roosevelt Road

Signal optimization is the first phase of TSP installation and allows buses to travel faster.

More information about TSP deployment and the Green & Go program, Click here.