Program for Arterial System Synchronization (PASS)

MTC’s Program for Arterial System Synchronization (PASS) provided technical assistance to cities and signal owners for traffic signal timing.

Photo by Ken Wyatt/Unsplash

MTC’s Program for Arterial System Synchronization (PASS) is a technical assistance program that helped cities and groups of cities who share traffic corridors to improve traffic flow, address safety concerns, prevent stop delays and cut down on air pollution by analyzing and updating their traffic signal timing. 

Synchronizing traffic signals on our most traveled streets and roads means a safer trip, smoother ride and cleaner air.

PASS Technical Assistance

PASS delivered financial and technical assistance to cities and counties to enhance signal coordination across jurisdictions. Assistance included:

  • Engineering and data collection assistance for local governments seeking to re-time signals
  • Adjustments to existing transit signal priority (TSP) systems
  • Adjustments to existing adaptive and traffic-responsive timing systems
  • “Flush” plans for managing traffic incidents
  • Provision of hardware to set an accurate time to support signal coordination
Did You Know?

PASS helped Bay Area cities and counties successfully re-time over 2,000 traffic signals since the program began in 2010.

PASS Benefits

Together, signal re-timing projects funded through the most recently completed PASS cycle delivered:

  • Travel time savings: 23%, or more than 3.2 million hours
  • Fuel consumption savings: 16%, or over 3.1 million gallons
  • Average auto speed increase: 38%
  • Total emissions reduction: 124 tons
  • Total project costs: $1.4 million
  • Total lifetime benefits: $86.2 million
  • Overall benefit-cost ratio: 61:1
Shared Autonomous Vehicle Pilot Program

MTC’s IDEA SAV technical assistance grant program will fund pilot projects to bring shared autonomous vehicles to communities in need.

Connected & Autonomous Vehicles Network

A wireless network that includes cars, buses, trucks, traffic signals, smartphones and other devices could transform the way we travel.

Intelligent Transportation Systems

Intelligent transportation systems, which include self-driving and networked vehicles, have the power to transform Bay Area roadways.

Who Owns the Signal?

Multi-city corridors that also are part of the state highway system — like El Camino Real on the Peninsula, or San Pablo Avenue in the East Bay — present myriad challenges: some signals are owned and operated by different cities, and others by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). 

The PASS program served these corridors by providing a single source of assistance to coordinate signal timing across city and county boundaries