In Salt Lake City, Utah, a transit Connection Protection system yielded a small, but not statistically significant, increase in the number of travelers satisfied with their travel experience; 87 percent compared to 85 percent.

Salt Lake City,Utah,United States

Summary Information

The Utah Transit Authority implemented a Connection Protection (CP) system to improve the reliability of transfers from the higher frequency light rail trains to the lower frequency bus services at selected connecting rail stations. The CP system examines the status of trains and issues a "hold at {station name} until {time}" message to buses waiting at the connecting rail stations via the bus' onboard Mobile Data Terminal, if the lateness of train is within a pre-determined time threshold. The system was completed and tested in January 2002 prior to the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. Operationally, the CP messages are triggered by the late train events. One late train could potentially trigger multiple CP messages to hold one or more buses at each of the next three down-line stations, based on the CP assignment.

An evaluation was conducted to assess the performance of the CP system and the response of passengers and system operators. The methodology used for the qualitative component consisted of surveys and interviews. A high percentage of passengers on selected bus trips at three of the TRAX train stations were surveyed. These surveys assessed rider experiences taking into account all of their transfer experiences so that the full range of potential connections, with or without CP could be evaluated.


The system resulted in a small increase in the number of travelers satisfied with their travel experience; 87 percent compared to 85 percent. Even though the difference is not statistically significant, it suggests a small but positive effect of CP as measured by rider reports of trip satisfaction and connection success.

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Evaluation of Utah Transit Authority's Connection Protection System

Author: Jeffery Jenq, Chris Cluett, Ben Pierce and Alan Pate, Battelle

Published By: ITS Joint Program Office, U.S. Department of Transportation

Source Date: 5/12/2004

EDL Number: 14074

Other Reference Number: FHWA-JPO-05-005



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Typical Deployment Locations

Metropolitan Areas


automated vehicle location, computer aided dispatch, automatic vehicle locator, AVL, CAD, AVL/CAD

Benefit ID: 2008-00539