City of Plano explores timing traffic lights to promote public bus ridership

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Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the city of Plano are exploring ways to improve intersection timing for public buses.

Public buses traveling along Spring Creek Parkway in Plano will soon be outfitted with technology that will allow the vehicles to communicate with city traffic signals. Plano City Council was set to consider the pilot program Aug. 26 but delayed the vote as city staff continue to modify the language of the agreement.

DART would outfit its buses and 20 traffic signals along Spring Creek with the new technology and collect data for at least six months, according to the city’s agreement with DART.

After that six-month period ends, the city will meet with DART to review the data and consider changes to the city’s traffic light timing. The city is not required to make any such changes under the agreement.

The agreement is intended to improve bus travel speeds and ultimately improve ridership within the city, according to a city staff memo.

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  1. I love riding the bus back and forth to the Wal-Mart in West Plano. This will make it so much faster. Great work

    • This is totally ridiculous!!! Why would you make hundreds of thousands of people wait double time at intersections so that a bus carrying 3 people can be 5 minutes faster. If people wanted to ride the buses they would be riding them. I just can’t imagine city leaders thinking that serving the few people that ride the buses is more beneficial than helping hundreds of thousands of people. The reason they don’t ride the buses is because for four months out of the year it is unbearably hot to not only walk to the bus stop, but sit and wait for the bus to arrive. Who wants to arrive at their destination completely drenched in sweat?

  2. Surely we should just let everybody drive and keep adding capacity to the streets. All it will cost is all the land that doesn’t already have a literal building on it.

  3. Good progress. Maybe in 50 years you will get to the same level of public transportation as in Europe. You need first to have a campaign to change the public perception of the public transportation so one will not feel like a low class when going on one of them. Same goes for the trains.

    • We only need the 25% sales tax and the 60% income taxes to pay for it.

      How’s that $80 billion bullet train coming along in California?

  4. I like that the study is bring done. I hope they think holistically about this if they move forward. Just improving ridership on one route shouldn’t be the only goal. There needs to be a broader expansion of service to key commuter points (train, bus stations?) from more neighborhoods. I wish I could take a bus but I can’t because there’s no route near my home

  5. The lights in Plano are not timed properly at all. I hope they work on the timing for everyone, not just the buses.

  6. Simple explanation why buses shouldn’t have this tech. If I see a bus that changed a light then have an emergency vehicle that is stuck at a red. I’m going to be more then upset.

  7. I think Plano purposely times their lights to make you stop at every light. I don’t live in Plano and it by far has the worst timed lights in DFW. the second-worst time lights is the service road of 121 tollway, but I think that’s a ploy to make you spend money on the tollway.

  8. I just spoke to my friend, Common Sense and he says that the emergency vehicle will have priority over the bus in a war for who gets the green. That’s easily programmed. Got another simple explanation?

  9. David Fincannon

    A good friend took the dart train for years to downtown until the housing challenged (is this the right term San Francisco) took over the train with their smells, vomit and so forth. Now he takes the express bus. Progressives , why don’t you try to solve the real problem instead of trying to feel good about forcing people to ride a bus.

  10. Plano should focus on fixing the roads, and adjusting the traffic light timing to expedite automotive traffic flow. Instead, the city leaders focus on a mode of transport that handles a tiny percentage of the citizens.

    What probably happened is a kickback from the tech company to one of our elected officials.

  11. I agree completely with what a couple of people said about how the city of Plano times their lights its Horrible I work in Plano and it’s a noticeable difference when i enter Plano I know I am going to stop at every major intersection because of how bad they have them timed. How about they spend their time and resources on timing the lights with traffic flow and buses throughout the city would benefit as well as all commuters.

  12. Spring Creek is 3.1 miles from my house. It’s the closest bus stop. The Go Link are useless because they don’t go into other Go Link areas. So I can’t take Go Link from Coit/Legacy to Legacy/Parkwood.

    For that, Plano spends about $85 million a year. We should have busses on every single major road. We are subsidizing Dallas.

    The entire Denton County system operates at $37 million a year – Denton including UNT, and Lewisville, with 6 rail stations.

    Plano is being ripped off.

  13. I’ve lived in Plano 27 years. Lights used to be timed progressively and worked beautifully during the appropriate rush hour times. The current traffic director for the city is the guy who completely messed things up over the last 5 years. He’s the one probably taking the DART kickbacks for this additionally stupid plan.

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Daniel Houston
Daniel Houston covers Plano city government, transportation, business and education for Community Impact Newspaper. A Fort Worth native and Baylor University graduate, Daniel reported previously for The Dallas Morning News and The Associated Press in Oklahoma City.
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