High-tech system puts trains first at intersections 

The T-Third Street rail line will serve as a model for The City’s other municipal railway lines, according to Muni chief Nathaniel Ford.

"It showcases true integration of the newest available traffic and transit technology," Ford said.

In addition to the state-of-the-art technology that will operate the new light rail line, the T-Third will be integrated into The City’s recently developed SFgo, a computerized system created to improve traffic flow throughout San Francisco.

Using what’s called Intelligent Transportation Systems tools, including traffic cameras and traffic signal controls, the SFgo system works from a centralized command center that watches traffic and makes adjustments to traffic signals, among other anti-congestion strategies.

Although only a few dozen intersections in The City have been connected to the system to date, all 65 intersections along the Third Street corridor will be hooked into SFgo.

"It allows us to remotely monitor the line through cameras to see if something gets jammed up," Muni spokeswoman Maggie Lynch said.

If a train is approaching an intersection, through the SFgo system, the light’s regular pattern will be changed to give the train priority.

More than 65 intersections giving the rail line traffic-signal priority could mean a time savings of more than 15 minutes, according to Muni studies.

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