North Texas Public Agencies Team With NCTCOG to Leverage Technology to Reduce Freight Congestion

Regional benefits include improved traffic flow, reduced fuel costs, lower emissions
Brian Wilson

Arlington, Texas – The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) has announced traffic signal technology system partnerships to help trucks move more efficiently through some of the region’s key freight corridors. The cities of Arlington, Carrollton, Fort Worth, Garland, Grand Prairie and McKinney, as well as Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, are helping deploy a Freight Signal Optimization Program across more than 500 traffic signals in their jurisdictions.

In North Texas, trucks are involved in the shipment of approximately 77% of goods. The freight optimization program will improve traffic flow through signalized intersections by helping freight vehicles stop at fewer red lights. This first-of-its kind service based on cloud-computing technology is designed to save money, time and fuel while reducing emissions. Passenger vehicles driving alongside the heavy trucks will benefit from the same extended green time.

Funded through a U.S. Department of Transportation grant, participation is at no additional cost to freight operators. The technology being deployed has been used in transit and emergency response applications across the United States, including Austin and San Antonio.

“The benefits to our community, which include enhanced road safety, improved quality of life and environmental consciousness, are significant,” said Natalie Bettger, NCTCOG senior program manager, congestion management and system operation. “The technology works with traffic management systems to provide a few more seconds of green time to allow the heavy vehicle to pass through the intersection without stopping. It requires no additional hardware in the truck or in the traffic signal cabinet.”

The technology deployment also includes information announcing to the truck driver the recommended travel speed to arrive at a traffic light on green that is currently red.  This technology is available today in production vehicles including several Audi and Volkswagen models.

The system also requires no new equipment in the freight vehicles or in the roadway.  Data will be fully anonymized in program operations, which means participant information will not be collected or used for any other purpose.

To learn more about the program, or to sign up as a freight operator for no cost, go to Watch a video about this project here.

About the North Central Texas Council of Governments: 
NCTCOG is a voluntary association of local governments established in 1966 to assist local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development. NCTCOG's purpose is to strengthen both the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and make joint decisions. NCTCOG serves a 16-county region of North Central Texas, which is centered in the two urban centers of Dallas and Fort Worth. Currently, NCTCOG has 229 member governments including 16 counties, 169 cities, 19 school districts and 27 special districts.

About the Freight Signal Optimization Program 
The North Central Texas Council of Governments’ (NCTCOG) Freight Signal Optimization Program originated to address travel delays in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, a key focal point for the freight industry in North America. Freight access between the highways and major distribution centers has been an expressed point of frustration for the industry; traffic signals are the core reason for inefficient stop-and-go travel conditions. The NCTCOG is conducting this project to deploy software as a solution (SaaS) to promote efficient commercial truck movement. The innovation provided through intelligent traffic signal optimization at 500 intersections throughout the metroplex allows for freight routes with fewer stops, less idling at red lights and reduced emissions. Participation is completely free to local agencies and freight operators. To sign up or learn more, please visit