Hamburg to transform bus priority

  • July 19, 2023
  • William Payne

Hamburg is receiving funding of 1.92 million euros for a bus prioritisation project to improve local public transport. The ITS Cube project aims to transform and modernise bus prioritisation at traffic lights using digital and networked technologies. From 2025, the new system will be rolled out throughout Hamburg.

90 percent of the total project volume is financed via the EU programme “Elena” of the European Investment Bank (EIB). The focus is on networking with the existing infrastructure. The project started at the beginning of June and will run for a total of four years.

In Hamburg, 19.6 percent of the traffic signal systems (LSA) are currently equipped with bus prioritisation that use both analogue and digital radio. The analogue version will expire at the end of 2028, as the Federal Network Agency is reducing the bandwidth of the analogue frequencies. And the currently installed digital radio is inflexible compared to products available today.

The ITS-Cube project is preparing studies to ensure a smooth migration of buses and traffic lights. By 2030, 2,000 Hochbahn metro and VHH regional buses and up to 600 traffic lights within Hamburg will be equipped with new TSP (Transit Signal Priority) technology.

Anjes Tjarks, Senator for Transport and Mobility Transition said “We will successfully implement the mobility transition if we strengthen the environmental network and make local public transport more attractive for everyone. This also includes the targeted prioritisation of buses at traffic lights in Hamburg. In the future, too, we have to ensure that the buses can drive through the city reliably and without a lot of starting and braking. With the project, we are now taking important steps to roll out a holistic new system from 2025.”

With the roll-out of the new prioritisation technology, the city aims to reduce traffic congestion in the city. The new system will provide bus drivers with door closing and departure recommendations and information on green or red lights up ahead. Drivers will therefore be able to adapt their driving style accordingly.