Howard Street Improving Light Rail Travel Times
Contract No: MTA 1117-D, Baltimore, MD - 2015


  • Traffic Studies
  • Traffic Engineering
  • Transit Planning


Sabra & Associates, Inc. (SAI), as a subconsultant, was responsible for studying alternatives, and implementation of traffic signal control changes to reduce Light Rail Transit (LRT) Vehicle travel times along the Howard Street corridor between the Mount Royal and Camden Yards stations. Four major subtasks this project aimed to accomplish are:


  • Evaluate and implement passive Transit Signal Priority (TSP) via optimization of signal timing and phasing to improve LRT travel times at both directions during the AM, Midday and PM signal timing patterns.
  • Analyze the impact of adding detection for left turn movements and side streets using microsimulation technique.
  • Evaluate the impact of preemption along Howard Street at Lexington Street, Saratoga Street, and Monument Street.
  • Assist the City and MTA with field implementation of preemption using existing Siemens controllers and GTT phase selectors and train equipment.
  • Document the improvements in travel times through before and after field studies at each level (passive and active TSP).


The project consisted of field studies and observations, train travel time and speed data collection, analysis of field collected data, summarization of improvements in a technical memorandum, and evaluation of viable alternatives in a tiered approach. Northbound and southbound train trajectories were drawn in time-space diagrams after each level of improvement and were compared to the baseline conditions. The project required hands-on programming and restoration of Opticom/GTT phase selectors, radio/GPS antenna, on-board train equipment, and Eagle controllers.

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