Program for Arterial System Synchronization (PASS) – Program Overview

Asynchronous traffic lights causing heavy traffic.

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

PASS helps 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 the most traveled streets and roads means a safer trip, smoother ride and cleaner air.

PASS Technical Assistance

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

  • 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 has 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 deliver:

  • 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

PASS Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-2023 Cycle Call for Projects

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) invites public agencies from the nine-county Bay Area to submit applications for consideration in the PASS FY 2022/23 cycle. Federal funds are currently available to fund projects that improve arterial operations through the retiming of traffic signals and related services.

PASS Application Instructions

Applications are due on 4:00 PM on Thursday, May 12, 2022.

Below you will find:

  • Call for Projects (PDF)
  • Attachment B, the application form (Word)
  • Attachment E (Excel)

Interested agencies must submit one electronic file (searchable PDF format, not scanned) that contains the complete Attachments B and E (the latter in Excel format) along with additional materials such as the project map and data. Please submit this via email to