SamTrans Receives MTC Grant to Speed Up El Camino Real Bus Routes

SamTrans Receives MTC Grant to Speed Up El Camino Real Bus Routes


The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has announced that SamTrans will receive a $3.4 million grant to implement a Traffic Signal Priority (TSP) system that will allow buses on El Camino Real to more efficiently navigate traffic lights.

The TSP system would deploy wayside equipment at intersections on El Camino Real from the Daly City BART Station to the Palo Alto Caltrain Station, and equip SamTrans buses with transponders. When the wayside equipment identifies an oncoming bus, it could extend a green light or move the standard light cycle faster than usual in order to minimize the time that bus is waiting at the light.

A similar version of the system was successfully implemented by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority on El Camino Real in Santa Clara County. SamTrans estimates that this will save 12.5 minutes per run on the ECR routes, resulting in a 10 percent improvement in on-time performance.

“This modernized system will give our customers a more efficient ride on El Camino Real, reducing both our carbon footprint and traffic on this busy corridor” said SamTrans Board of Directors Chair Rose Guilbault. “This grant will benefit San Mateo County’s commuters for years to come.”

The grant is expected to be formally accepted by the SamTrans Board of Directors at its monthly meeting on Wednesday, March 1. After that, SamTrans staff will begin working with Caltrans, cities along El Camino Real and the San Mateo City/County Association of Governments (C/CAG) to ensure successful implementation.  Final design is expected by June 30, 2018 and the TSP system is anticipated to be operational between 2020 and 2021.


About SamTrans: SamTrans operates 79 routes throughout San Mateo County.  Funded in part by a half-cent sales tax, the San Mateo County Transit District also provides administrative support for Caltrain and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. SamTrans has provided bus service to San Mateo County customers since 1976. 

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Media Contact: Dan Lieberman, 650-508-6385