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With the contribution of the LIFE programme of the European Union - LIFE14 ENV/GR/000611 and       the co-financing of Green Fund, Greece

Public transport priority systems

Public transport is less attractive compared to private cars, since trips take longer and don’t go directly to the passengers’ desired destinations. Therefore, public transport means are often not preferred compared to cars.

Public transport priority systems could help public transport means to become more attractive to passengers. Those kinds of systems are installed at traffic lights and detect busses and trams approaching and ensure that the vehicle gets a green light when arriving at the junction. This way public transport becomes faster and more reliable, especially during high congestion hours in big urban environments.

One of the first cities to implement a public transport priority system is Monza, Italy in the 1990s. This system consisted of infrared sensors installed at intersections which were able to communicate with approaching buses and extend green light time for the buses.

The main benefits of such a system apply both to passengers and public transport stakeholders. Regarding passengers in general, they get more reliable services, waiting times at intersections are reduced and they can get to their destination in a more convenient and faster way. Citizens also benefit from such a measure, since busses’ emissions and noise decrease. As it concerns public transport operators, they provide a more competitive service, and therefore use of public transport increases. Work efficiency and comfort of drivers also increases.

Practical examples of public transport priority systems may be found in Krakow, Poland (click here), Toulouse, France (click here), Malmo, Sweden (click here), Suceava, Romania (click here) and Tallinn, Estonia (click here) within CIVITAS II projects.


The LIFE GYM [LIFE14 ENV/GR/000611] project is co-funded by the LIFE programme, the EU financial instrument for the environment.


The sole responsibility for the content of this report lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union. Neither the EASME nor the European Commission are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.


Start Date: 15 September 2015 – Duration: 35 months

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