Program for Arterial System Synchronization (PASS) – Program Overview

Asynchronous traffic lights causing heavy traffic.

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

PASS 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 the 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

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

The latest call for projects cycle is now closed.

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

Shared Autonomous Vehicle Pilot (IDEA SAV) Program

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