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The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294 (2008)

Chapter: 4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas

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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
×
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas." Transportation Research Board. 2008. The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation: Special Report 294. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12445.
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Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas This chapter examines the role of transit in emergency evacuation in the 38 largest urbanized areas (UAs)—the primary focus of the committee’s charge. It begins with a profile of the 38 areas and a summary of the com- mittee’s assessment of the role of transit in the publicly available emergency response and evacuation plans of the major jurisdictions within these UAs and their respective states. The chapter then turns to a discussion of the results of the case studies conducted by the committee, which provide an in-depth look at the multiple roles transit can play in emergency evacu- ation, as well as some of the factors limiting that role. The chapter ends with a series of findings. Profile of the 38 UAs The committee prepared a statistical profile of the 38 UAs to provide an overview of many of the factors discussed in the previous chapter that may affect the role of transit in an emergency evacuation and to help select the case study sites. The profile is limited to those factors that could be quanti- fied. Indicators were developed on six topics: UA size, potential demand for transit service, supply of transit and other public transportation equipment (i.e., school buses), number of transit agencies (an indicator of coordina- tion complexity), roadway congestion, and predominant types of recent disasters (see Box 4-1). The primary data sources are U.S. census data for information on population, land area, demographic statistics, and car owner­ ship; the National Transit Database for data on transit agency size, service area, and equipment by type; the annual bus fleet survey of the top 100 school districts for school bus numbers; the Urban Mobility Report of the Texas Transportation Institute for the congestion indicator; and the annual Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) database on presiden- tially declared disasters for data on the most common disasters by state. 74 37274mvp84_127 74 11/24/08 10:50:26 AM

Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas 75 Box 4-1 Indicators by Category of Interest for Statistical Profile of 38 Urbanized Areas Size of Urbanized Area • Population • Land area (in square miles) • Transit service area of largest provider (in square miles) • Transit population served of largest provider Potential Demand for Transit Service • Carless households – Housing units without cars – Percent of housing units without cars • Seniors – Householders living alone and ≥65 years of age – Percent of householders living alone and ≥65 years of age • Recent immigrants – Number of foreign born, entry ≥2000 – Population ≥5 years of age who speak English less than “very well” –  ercent of population ≥5 years of age who speak English less than “very well” P • Poor (below the poverty line) – Population living below the poverty line – Percent of population living below the poverty line – Persons with disabilities – Population ≥5 years of age with a disability – Percent of population ≥5 years of age with a disability • Commuters – Number of workers ≥16 years of age using transit (excluding taxi) Supply • Density of urbanized area (population per square mile) • Number of cars •  umber of buses (for transit agencies with ≥100 vehicles operated in maximum N service) •  umber of railcars (for transit agencies with ≥100 vehicles operated in maximum N service) •  umber of demand response vehicles (for transit agencies with ≥100 vehicles N operated in maximum service) • Number of school buses (continued on next page) 37274mvp84_127 75 11/24/08 10:50:27 AM

76 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation Box 4-1 (continued) Indicators by Category of Interest for Statistical Profile of 38 Urbanized Areas Coordination • Number of transit agencies (with ≥100 vehicles operated in maximum service) Congestion • Travel time index Disasters • Predominant type The UA designation, which originated in the study request, proved to be a constraint. Census data are available by UA, but transit and school bus data are not; the boundaries of transit service areas and school bus districts are not coterminous with census-defined borders of the UAs. Even so, every effort was made to include the major transit properties and school districts in a UA. The focus on UAs, however, was useful from another perspective. UAs represent the most densely populated part of a region, where transit service is likely to be most extensive, and thus where the need for transit could be significant in an emergency evacuation. The results of the statistical profile are summarized in Table 4-1 and shown in detail in Annex 4-1. The profile, particularly the detailed sta- tistics, reveals the variety of conditions even among the largest UAs—the 38 selected for this study. For example, population ranges in size from just over 1 million for New Orleans (pre-Katrina) to 17.8 million for the New York–Newark UA. Even more relevant from the perspective of transit ser- vice provision, population density (population per square mile)—a good proxy for the levels of transit supply to be found in an area—ranges from  S  ylvia He, PhD candidate in the School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California, collected the data, working with committee member Evelyn Blumenberg under the general supervision of the committee.  I  n the interest of brevity, once an individual UA has been mentioned, its name is shortened when used again. 37274mvp84_127 76 11/24/08 10:50:27 AM

Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas 77 a low of 1,783 in Atlanta to a high of 7,068 in Los Angeles. In low-density Atlanta, the largest transit system, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, covers only one-quarter of the land area and provides service to about 40 percent of the population of the Atlanta UA. By contrast, in high- density Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus system covers nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of the land area and provides service to a roughly equivalent percentage of the popula- tion in the Los Angeles UA. The 38 UAs also differ in more direct measures of transit system availabil- ity. Nearly half—17 of 38—generally those in the bottom triad with respect to population size—are served by only one transit agency (see Table 4-1). The inventory of available transit equipment (e.g., buses, railcars, demand response vehicles) is also low for this group of UAs (i.e., ≤1 transit vehicle per 1,000 persons), even though the data represent the maximum levels of equipment likely to be operational in the event of an emergency. At the other end of the spectrum, with the exception of Boston and Houston, the largest UAs—those in the top triad with respect to population size—are served by two or more transit agencies; the very largest UAs—New York and Los Angeles—have 17 and 9 transit providers, respectively. Not sur- prisingly, the supply of transit equipment is also larger in these areas; New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles lead the group, with 18.5, 6.6, and 5.3 tran- sit vehicles per 1,000 persons, respectively. In sum, the differences among UAs, particularly with respect to the number and size of transit agencies and the density of the population served, suggest that there is no single set of circumstances, or planning template, regarding the provision of transit service, even among this pool of the 38 largest UAs. What the UAs do appear to have in common is relatively large numbers of special-needs populations—carless households, older residents living  T  he exceptions in terms of population size are Boston and Houston, which are defined here as large UAs (i.e., in the top triad of the 38 UAs).   or the purposes of this profile, only transit agencies with ≥100 vehicles operated in maximum F service (VOMS) were included.  T  he Federal Transit Administration defines VOMS as the number of revenue vehicles operated to meet annual maximum service requirements. This is the revenue vehicle count during the peak season during the week and day that maximum service is provided. VOMS exclude atypical days or one-time special events. 37274mvp84_127 77 11/24/08 10:50:27 AM

TABLE 4-1 Summary Profile of 38 Largest Urbanized Areas Size: Large, Carless Households: Car Availability: Medium, Small Number of Housing Cars/1,000 Urbanized Area UAsa Units Without Carsb Personsc Atlanta L 99,835 646 Baltimore M 132,965 578 Boston L 219,213 579 Chicago L 436,049 548 Cincinnati S 64,934 658 Cleveland M 83,920 637 Columbus S 37,761 672 Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington L 99,384 621 Denver–Aurora M 59,522 692 Detroit L 147,695 635 Houston L 108,281 580 Indianapolis S 37,801 671 Kansas City S 43,034 679 Las Vegas S 47,282 585 Los Angeles–Long Beach– L 437,913 541   Santa Ana Miami L 207,476 576 Milwaukee S 67,646 608 Minneapolis–St. Paul M 84,472 659 New Orleans S 70,328 523 New York–Newark L 2,102,874 425 Orlando S 29,700 640 Philadelphia L 319,899 556 Phoenix–Mesa M 76,756 614 Pittsburgh M 106,557 610 Portland M 55,749 667 Providence S 54,658 613 Riverside–San Bernardino S 39,397 540 Sacramento S 43,859 631 St. Louis M 81,489 646 San Antonio S 45,888 569 San Diego M 78,393 613 San Francisco–Oakland L 174,176 584 San Jose S 29,147 663 Seattle M 91,536 696 Tampa–St. Petersburg M 74,404 645 Virginia Beach S 45,688 632 Washington L 181,846 607 San Juan M 205,563 388 a  The 38 largest UAs are divided into three groups, with roughly even numbers in each group: 12 large UAs, 12 medium UAs, and 14 small UAs. b Source: 2000 Census of Population and Housing (SF3-Table H44). c Number of cars is from 2000 Census of Population and Housing (SF3-Table H46). Number of transit vehicles per 1,000 persons (buses + railcars + demand response vehicles); number of transit d vehicles is from 2005 National Transit Database for all UA transit properties with ≥100 vehicles operated in maximum service. e Source: 2005 National Transit Database, Appendix D; all UA transit properties with ≥100 vehicles operated in maximum service. Source: FEMA (declared disasters by state); top three disasters (disasters in parenthesis are tied with respect to f frequency) and disasters that occurred more than five times in the past 15 years (1992–2006). 37274mvp84_127 78 11/24/08 10:50:27 AM

Transit Availability: Coordination: Transit/ No. of Transit 1,000 Personsd Agenciese Disasters: Predominant Typef 0.86 2 Tornadoes, severe storms, heavy rain 1.24 1 S  evere storms, hurricanes (flooding, tornadoes) 2.14 1 Flooding, severe storms (heavy rain, blizzards) 6.59 3 Flooding, severe storms, tornadoes 0.37 1 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 0.75 2 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 0.28 1 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 1.28 4 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 1.43 1 S  evere storms, flooding (wildfires, mudslides, landslides) 0.81 2 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 1.94 1 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 0.20 1 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 0.34 1 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 0.44 1 Flooding, severe storms (heavy rain, wildfires) 5.30 9 Flooding, severe storms, landslides, mudslides, earthquakes 2.22 5 H  urricanes, flooding, tropical storms, severe storms, tornadoes 0.68 1 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 1.50 3 Flooding, severe storms, tornadoes 0.48 1 S  evere storms (flooding, hurricanes, tropical storms) 18.54 17 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 0.38 1 H  urricanes, flooding, tropical storms, severe storms, tornadoes 2.57 2 Flooding, severe storms, tropical depressions 0.97 3 Severe storms, flooding, wildfires 1.47 2 Flooding, severe storms, tropical depressions 0.98 2 S  evere storms, flooding (landslides, mudslides, earthquakes) 0.33 1 Blizzards 0.45 2 F  looding, severe storms, landslides, mudslides, earthquakes 0.38 1 F  looding, severe storms, landslides, mudslides, earthquakes 0.67 2 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 0.54 1 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 1.16 4 F  looding, severe storms, landslides, mudslides, earthquakes 4.26 8 F  looding, severe storms, landslides, mudslides, earthquakes 0.59 1 F  looding, severe storms, landslides, mudslides, earthquakes 3.73 4 Severe storms, flooding, landslides 0.45 2 H  urricanes, flooding, tropical storms, severe storms, tornadoes 0.39 1 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 2.95 4 Severe storms (hurricanes, flooding, blizzards) 3.34 2 Flooding, severe storms, hurricanes 37274mvp84_127 79 11/24/08 10:50:28 AM

80 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation alone, people living below the poverty line, and people with a disability (see Annex 4-1). All these special-needs groups are potential users of transit in an emergency evacuation. However, the transit fleet inventory suggests that, with the exception of a few UAs, the numbers of paratransit and other demand response vehicles available to serve many of the groups who might need assistance in an evacuation are small. [It is difficult to get a sense of the total shortfall from the inventory numbers. Many buses are Ameri- cans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-equipped and could serve those who are carless but ambulatory in an evacuation. Similarly, ADA-accessible school buses could be used to supplement transit service for the same group. This type of detail was not available in the summary statistics.] Moreover, the spatial distribution of special-needs populations, together with the availability of transit and school bus drivers and equipment to serve them at the time of an emergency, determines the extent to which transit and other public transportation providers can play a significant role in an evacuation. The indicators—with their summary averages and percentages—fall short of providing this vital information. With the exception of San Juan and New York, the UAs show similar and significant levels of car ownership relative to transit availability per 1,000 persons (see Table 4-1). Even taking into account the greater carry- ing capacity of transit vehicles, the numbers serve as a reminder that cars will be the primary mode of transportation in an emergency evacuation. Results of the Committee’s Plan Assessment Using the contextual data provided by the statistical profile of the 38 UAs, the committee undertook an assessment of the emergency response and evacuation plans of each UA and its respective state to ascertain the extent to which transit is included in these plans. At the outset of the study, the intent was to draw on the in-depth reviews prepared by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in its Nationwide Plan Review of 56 states and territories and the 75 largest UAs (DHS 2006). Unfortunately, confidentiality issues precluded the committee from accessing all but the summary data from that review, which are discussed in Chapter 2 and the literature review in Appendix B. Therefore, the committee commis- sioned a small project to access information that could be gleaned from 37274mvp84_127 80 11/24/08 10:50:28 AM

Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas 81 online documents. The primary purpose was to evaluate each of the UAs to determine whether it had an emergency response and evacuation plan and whether and to what extent the plan considered the use of transit resources in an emergency evacuation. Internet searches were used to locate relevant publicly available emer- gency planning documents for each UA and its respective state. When no documents could be found, a follow-up call was made to determine whether they could be located. In some cases, plans were not available to the public for security reasons; in other cases, technical problems pre- cluded accessing the documents. Of the 33 UAs reviewed, 16 had made publicly available at least portions of an emergency response or evacuation plan, while 17 either did not have publicly available plans or were in the process of drafting or revising them. The documents of the 16 UAs with publicly available plans were reviewed to answer 14 questions; both the questions and a summary matrix of the results can be found in Appendix C. In 11 of the 16 UAs, transit was included in emergency evacuation plans. However, only seven plans clearly indicated transit’s role in the chain of command in the event of an emergency, and an equivalent number identified available transit equipment. Only six plans described transit’s role in evacuating special- needs populations, and details were scant regarding methods for identify- ing these populations, communicating with them about what to do in an emergency, identifying pickup locations for those who are ambulatory, and specifying where transit passengers would be taken (see Appendix C for more details). In summary, only seven plans contained sufficient detail to lend credibility to the role of transit in emergency evacuation. The committee concluded that the data gathered through its plan review were inadequate to analyze in any depth or to assess reliably the role of tran-  B  oth budgetary considerations and the already significant survey demands on relevant respon- dents prevented the committee from conducting an in-depth survey of its own.  T  he work was performed by Joseph M. Maltby and Aaron D. Green, JD candidates at the George Mason University School of Law, both of whom had prior experience as legal interns for DHS’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Program.  F  ive of the 38 UAs were handled as case studies, which included detailed assessments of the role of transit (see Appendix D).  F  or cost reasons, the detailed data for each UA have been made available in electronic form only (onlinepubs.trb.org/Onlinepubs/sr/sr294appendixC.pdf). 37274mvp84_127 81 11/24/08 10:50:28 AM

82 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation sit in the emergency response and evacuation plans of the 33 UAs. Although it was not focused on transit, a recent online review of the content of the websites of all 50 state emergency management agencies (Liu 2008) found similar limitations. Slightly more than half (56 percent) of the websites included crisis communications or emergency management plans. In the researcher’s opinion, the reluctance to post plans reflects the security concerns of the post–September 11 environment. Websites that provided information on disasters were focused on terrorism, rather than on those disasters likely to occur in the respective states. Moreover, the websites did a poor job of targeting special-needs populations. For example, only one- third had foreign-language access; 38 percent included information for the disabled; and only 16 percent had information targeting the elderly. These findings raise a more general issue about the appropriate level of emergency information that should be made publicly available. The commit- tee believes that the public should be informed about area emergency evacu- ation plans and how transit will be deployed in an emergency. An informed public, particularly special-needs populations, is critical to preparedness in an emergency incident. However, sensitive operational details should be excluded from emergency planning documents and only “sanitized” versions made publicly available. FEMA could provide a template for suitable presen- tation formats as part of its guidance to state, local, and tribal governments. Results of the Committee’s Case Studies In response to its charge, the committee conducted five in-depth case studies to enhance its understanding of the various roles transit can play in an emergency evacuation. The case study results are summarized here and presented in greater detail in Appendix D. Selection of Case Study Sites The committee used the statistical profile summarized above to help guide its selection of case study sites. The final selection was made on the basis of five criteria: • Size of UA, • Mix of transit system types (e.g., bus, rail), 37274mvp84_127 82 11/24/08 10:50:28 AM

Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas 83 • Large special-needs populations, • Different types of disaster threats and experience with disasters, and • Jurisdictional complexity. With regard to size, the larger UAs were of particular interest because they typically have large transit systems with the potential to play a major role in an emergency evacuation. That said, as noted in Chapter 1, the committee was interested in selecting one medium-sized UA to examine the extent to which scale issues make a significant difference in response capacity. Having sites with a mix of different transit systems was also important, including UAs with large heavy-rail systems; UAs with large bus systems; and UAs that draw on other types of public transport, such as ferries or intercity passenger rail (e.g., Amtrak). The presence of large special-needs populations was a key criterion, which most of the UAs met. Variation in the types of disasters faced was another selection cri- terion; recent experience with a disaster was also desirable. Finally, UAs that posed challenges from the perspective of jurisdictional complexity were of interest. Also factored into the selection process was the ability to identify a lead committee member who could help organize and con- duct each site visit. The application of these criteria resulted in the selec- tion of five case study sites—the Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana, New York–Newark, and Tampa–St. Petersburg UAs (see Table 4-2). At each of the case study sites, representatives of city and county emergency management agencies, transit agencies, state and local departments of transportation (DOTs), and other relevant agencies [e.g., school districts, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs)] were interviewed. The questionnaires that guided the interviews can be found in Appendix D. Roles of Transit in an Emergency The case studies provide good examples of the breadth of roles transit can play in an emergency evacuation. The committee also supplemented its site visits with information about individual UAs from briefings at its meetings and from other case studies that were brought to its 37274mvp84_127 83 11/24/08 10:50:29 AM

TABLE 4-2 37274mvp84_127 84 Criteria for Selection of Case Study Sites and Rating of Five Selected Sites Predominant Type Jurisdictional Urbanized Area Population Sizea Type of Transit System Special-Needs Populationsb of Disaster Complexityc Chicago Large Rail and bus 15 percent carless households; Flooding, severe storms, Medium 14 percent speak English less tornadoes; terrorism than “very well” threat Houston Large Predominantly bus 14 percent of population Severe storms, flooding, Low living below the poverty line; tornadoes; experience 20 percent speak English less with Hurricane Rita than “very well” Los Angeles–Long Large Predominantly bus 17 percent of population Flooding, severe storms, High Beach–Santa Ana living below the poverty line; landslides, mudslides, 28 percent speak English less earthquakes; terrorism than “very well” threat New York–Newark Large Rail, bus, and ferry 32 percent carless households; Severe storms, flooding, High 14 percent of population tornadoes; terrorism living below the poverty line; (September 11, 2001) 17 percent speak English less than “very well” Tampa–St. Petersburg Medium Bus 17 percent of population with Hurricanes, flooding, Low a disability; 11 percent of tropical and severe households living alone and ≥65 storms, tornadoes; recent hurricane experience a See Table 4-1 for explanation of ranking. b See Annex 4-1 for indicators. c Low = 1–2 transit agencies; medium = 3–4 transit agencies; high = ≥5 transit agencies. 11/24/08 10:50:29 AM

Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas 85 attention.10 Although it is not possible to generalize from the case stud- ies to all 38 UAs, common themes did emerge that have broader impli- cations for the use of transit in emergency evacuation. General Evacuation The case study of the Houston UA provides a good illustration of the range of roles transit can play in an emergency evacuation because of the impor- tant and varied role performed by METRO—Houston’s primary transit service provider—in advance of and during Hurricane Rita. METRO was involved directly in the evacuation of those individuals from Galveston and Houston who chose to use bus transport or did not have access to a vehicle, arranged for supplementary rail service using Amtrak and Trinity Railroad, provided support to stranded motorists on freeways, and offered shelter and necessities to its critical employees and their families when needed (see Box 4-2 for more detail). The case studies of the New York and Chicago UAs also reveal the impor- tant roles transit is expected to play in these areas in the event of an emer- gency evacuation. Both have extensive transit systems and ridership. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York operates North America’s largest transit network, while the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is the second-largest transit system in the United States. The role of transit in helping to evacuate Lower Manhattan following the events of September 11, 2001, was discussed in Chapter 3. The New York site visit revealed that the most detailed plans for transit, however, are focused on assisting in the evacuation of residents located in storm surge areas to higher ground in the event of a major hurricane or coastal storm. (Businesses and schools are assumed to be closed in advance of a storm.) In a no-notice emergency, such as another terrorist incident, the primary role of transit would be to assist commuters and residents in returning home (see Box 4-1 for detail). In both 10 F  or example, the committee was briefed by the Department of Transportation of the District of Columbia about its evacuation plan and by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Gov- ernments on commencement of a regional evacuation planning initiative for the Washington metropolitan area. The Federal Transit Administration briefed the committee on the results of a study by Milligan & Co., Ltd., on emergency preparedness plans for special-needs populations in 20 major metropolitan areas (see Appendix B). Finally, the John F. Kennedy School of Govern- ment shared results of a case study it had conducted on the San Francisco–Oakland UA, which included information on the potential use of ferries in emergency evacuation. 37274mvp84_127 85 11/24/08 10:50:29 AM

86 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation Box 4-2 Illustration of Roles Played by Transit in Emergency Evacuation Houston Case Study Among the important roles played by METRO in advance of and during Hurricane Rita were the following: •  oordinated bus transport for those without access to or who chose not to use C a personal vehicle in the evacuation from Galveston and Houston; 500 METRO buses and 500 other vehicles transported approximately 20,000 individuals in 4,500 trips. •  upplemented bus transport with rail by arranging for use of Amtrak and Trin- S ity Railroad (Dallas commuter rail) trains to move people out of Galveston and Houston. •  rovided logistics support to stranded motorists along freeways, using 18 METRO P buses, bus operators, police, and 350 volunteers to distribute 45,000 bottles of water. •  rovided shelter, food, and facilities for its critical employees and their families P when needed. New York–New Jersey Case Study In the event of an advance-notice hurricane or major coastal storm, the primary roles of transit and related agencies would be as follows: •  vacuate those in flood zones who lack access to or choose not to use a private E vehicle to safe locations with friends and family or to public evacuation centers (primary role for New York City Transit). In the worst-case scenario—a Category 3+ hurricane—the mayor would order 2.3 million New Yorkers to evacuate before the storm made landfall; 1.2 million persons would be expected to travel by transit. •  ransport up to 395,000 people by school buses under contract to the New York T City Office of Emergency Management (NYCOEM) from their transit destination at public evacuation centers the short remaining distance to local shelters. In the event of a no-notice emergency, the primary roles of transit and related agencies would be as follows: •  eturn customers (commuters and residents) of New York City Transit to their final R destinations if possible, or to the next transit connection or to reception centers if necessary. (continued) 37274mvp84_127 86 11/24/08 10:50:29 AM

Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas 87 •  eturn customers (commuters and residents) of the Staten Island Ferry, operated R by the New York City Department of Transportation, from Manhattan to Staten Island. •  eturn commuters from Manhattan back to New Jersey via (a) New Jersey Tran- R sit, either by rail from Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan or by bus from the Port Authority Bus Terminal (also in Manhattan) to the main reception center in northern New Jersey—Liberty State Park—where provision would be made for further passenger transport or shelter, if necessary; (b) the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey using the PATH trains from two terminals in Manhattan and three in New Jersey; and (c) private ferries through a joint agreement in process between NYCOEM and the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management to provide transport for commuters to new docking berths at Liberty State Park. Chicago Case Study In a no-notice major emergency, transit, commuter rail, and intercity passenger rail would play the following roles: •  ransport passengers away from the incident site by converting Chicago Transit T Authority (CTA) trains to shuttles and redeploying buses to move passengers from assembly and transportation centers to preidentified staging areas, whose locations would depend on the location, severity, and designated perimeter of the incident. According to CTA, in excess of 100,000 people per hour could be evacuated by rail and about 40,000 people per hour by bus, exceeding the system’s peak-hour capacity. •  ransport Metra (commuter rail) passengers in trains away from the incident site. T Supplement CTA service, coordinating changes in schedule and routes with the City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communication, CTA, Cook County Sheriff’s Police, and other suburban law enforcement officials. •  rovide supplemental Amtrak equipment from a major downtown maintenance P facility and another near Indianapolis. Los Angeles Case Study In a no-notice major emergency, transit providers would assume the following roles: •  oordinate with other major transportation providers (Los Angeles Metropolitan C Transportation Authority), but play a limited role in evacuation. The top priority is maintenance of operations in areas unaffected by an emergency incident. •  vacuate transit-dependent residents to schools and parks on higher ground along E designated evacuation routes in the event of a tsunami (Los Angeles Department of Transportation and Long Beach Transit). (continued on next page) 37274mvp84_127 87 11/24/08 10:50:29 AM

88 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation Box 4-2 (continued) Illustration of Roles Played by Transit in Emergency Evacuation •  vacuate residents in the event of an emergency incident at the San Onofre E Nuclear Generating Station; plans include transportation assembly points, bus transport for those without access to private vehicles, and provision for other special-needs populations (Orange County Transportation Authority). Tampa Case Study In the event of an advance-notice hurricane, the primary roles of transit would be as follows: •  vacuate residents without a car to regular, in-county shelters on designated E premarked evacuation routes, increasing bus service on some lines, such as public housing areas, where large numbers of residents are known to need transport. •  rovide transport by school buses on evacuation routes to shelters for those without P a car in unincorporated county areas without transit service, use school buses as shuttles to relieve evacuee overflow at crowded shelters, and provide special school bus transport for the homeless to several shelters that are “homeless friendly.” •  vacuate special-needs populations, using paratransit providers and school buses, E to special-needs shelters. •  eturn residents from area shelters or friends and family to their point of R departure. types of emergency, transit operators would attempt to continue regular ser- vice patterns (unless the transit system itself had been compromised) so as to minimize any confusion among customers or operating personnel and simplify customer information requirements. In Chicago, emergency planners have focused on no-notice emergen- cies. CTA is considered a primary support agency in the event of an evac- uation. In contrast to New York, however, Chicago would operate CTA trains as shuttles in a major emergency, and buses would be redeployed to move passengers from assembly and transportation centers to preidenti- fied staging areas whose actual locations would be determined by the loca- tion, severity, and designated perimeter of an incident (see Box 4-1). 37274mvp84_127 88 11/24/08 10:50:29 AM

Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas 89 In Los Angeles, the role of transit in an emergency evacuation is more ad hoc, reflecting the no-notice nature of most hazards facing the region. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)—the primary transit provider—is responsible for coordination of other trans- portation agencies during a major incident. Metro views its own role largely as keeping the transit system operating; the agency has little spare capacity to respond to an emergency. In some emergencies, such as an earthquake, Metro would shut down the system until the integrity of rail lines and overpasses on which buses travel could be verified. Transit service is not extensive in the Tampa UA. Nevertheless, in the two most populous counties in the UA—Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties—local transit systems, supplemented by local school bus fleets, play an important role in emergency evacuation, particularly in the evac- uation of special-needs populations, discussed in the following section. Evacuation of Special-Needs Populations Transit has a unique role to play in the evacuation of special-needs populations—the carless, the medically homebound, the disabled, the elderly, and other groups that may need special assistance. Often, the evac- uation of special-needs populations will involve paratransit services that may or may not be operated by the primary transit authority and require accessible lift-equipped vehicles.11 If paratransit services are contracted out, this poses additional complexity in terms of control over equipment and drivers in an evacuation. One way to address these issues is to involve paratransit providers with other transit agencies in the development of emergency plans and as part of the response team. Emergency evacuation of special-needs populations poses a major chal- lenge in all the case study sites. The Tampa UA, like the state of Florida gen- erally, is notable for its attention to these vulnerable residents. Since the 1980s, county emergency managers across the state have been required by state law to establish voluntary special registries to help identify the medi- 11 I  n Houston, for example, METRO operates the paratransit service. In Chicago, PACE (a public agency) provides bus and vanpool service in the Chicago suburbs, as well as paratransit service in the city of Chicago. In New York and Los Angeles, paratransit services are contracted out to private providers, another common arrangement. In Tampa, paratransit service is provided by the county in Hillsborough County but is contracted out in Pinellas County. 37274mvp84_127 89 11/24/08 10:50:30 AM

90 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation cally impaired who are not in institutions but have special medical needs;12 special-needs shelters must be made available, and their staffing and medi- cal management are the responsibility of county health departments. In the Tampa UA, transit providers, as well as school bus operators, have targeted their resources to transporting special-needs populations in an evacuation. Their role is to transport ambulatory and wheelchair-bound special-needs populations to these shelters. When a mandatory evacuation has been declared, Hillsborough and Pinellas County transit operators also play a role in transporting the disadvantaged and the homeless, as well as those in the general population who lack access to a private vehicle, either to a shelter or to other in-county destinations along evacuation routes. Evacuation of special-needs populations by transit is more complex in the other case study sites. The larger size of these UAs and their special- needs populations and the lack of lead time to handle the evacuation of these residents in no-notice incidents—the predominant type of emergency fac- ing many of these areas—are just two of the reasons for this greater com- plexity. For example, New York has not attempted to develop a voluntary special-needs registry because of the difficulty of keeping such a registry up to date. The City of Houston set up a voluntary special-needs registry following Hurricane Rita, but only 4,500 people had registered as of the time of the committee’s site visit, a fraction of those estimated to need assis- tance in an evacuation. New York, Houston, Los Angeles, and Chicago are all working with various community groups and nonprofit organizations, as well as churches and paratransit providers that represent various special- needs subgroups—the disabled, the elderly (e.g., Meals on Wheels), peo- ple living with AIDS, the homeless—to identify those who might need assistance in an emergency, but progress is slow. MPOs, together with local universities, are also helping with the development of databases on special-needs populations and mapping their locations in metropolitan areas using geographic information systems. Finally, some areas are encour- aging self-help measures. For example, Chicago has an innovative program 12 T  his definition of special-needs populations is narrower than many others. In some locations, special- needs populations also include those who lack access to a private vehicle and need transport in an evacuation. One reason for the narrower definition is the close link in Florida between special- needs populations and medically equipped special-needs shelters to which they are transported. 37274mvp84_127 90 11/24/08 10:50:30 AM

Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas 91 for high-rise buildings in the central business district. Building managers have been asked to identify disabled workers and plan for how they would be evacuated in an emergency. Other UAs have established community emergency response teams and are training neighborhood leaders to edu- cate others about disaster response. Support for Emergency Responders Another important role for transit is to help support emergency respond- ers. In Houston during the evacuation in advance of Hurricane Rita, METRO helped bring fuel to emergency response teams and directly assisted stranded motorists on freeways, distributing large quantities of bottled water. In New York, transit was used to bring emergency respond- ers and equipment to the World Trade Center site on September 11, 2001. In future incidents, the New York City Office of Emergency Management (NYCOEM) will notify transit agencies of resources and support needed for transporting emergency personnel to an incident site at the time, and plans have evidently been developed for this eventuality. In Chicago, CTA has plans for bringing in personnel, supplies, and equipment to an emergency site in the event of an incident. CTA regularly brings police into the city of Chicago to provide security during Fourth of July celebra- tions and other major events. Amtrak could also assist, making available equipment from nearby maintenance facilities. In Los Angeles, Metro rail could provide heavy equipment to help out at an emergency site and has offered bus transport in the past for law enforcement officials during area emergencies (e.g., the Los Angeles riots in 1992 and the Northridge earthquake in 1994). In a major incident, however, the Los Angeles DOT, the Los Angeles County Public Works Department, and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) would need to keep the roads clear and dedicate lanes for travel by buses and emergency vehicles. In Orange County, part of the Los Angeles UA, the Orange County Transpor- tation Authority has supplied buses on demand for firefighting, primarily to transport firefighters to the scene to provide shift relief. In Tampa, transit buses are regularly used to support incident response. For exam- ple, air-conditioned transit buses have been used to house residents of an assisted living facility temporarily in the event of a fire or to transport the residents to another facility. 37274mvp84_127 91 11/24/08 10:50:30 AM

92 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation Recovery Transit providers also have a role to play in recovery, although this role has received less attention in most evacuation plans and will depend on the nature of the emergency. In a hurricane, resuming transit operations will depend on the extent of flooding in rail tunnels and the amount of debris on the roads affecting bus travel. The primary role of transit will be to return evacuees from shelters or from family and friends to their initial point of departure. In Tampa, for example, once it is safe for evacuees to return home, every effort is made to use the same transit vehicles to return residents to their points of departure. Following Hurricane Rita, Houston’s METRO provided transport for those without access to a private vehicle back to Houston and neighboring Galveston. In a no-notice emergency, once the immediate danger has passed, transit providers will attempt to restore nor- mal service; reroute service around problem areas; or, if a large area remains closed, establish shuttle service between initial drop-off points outside the incident perimeter and end-of-line terminals. This is the plan in Chicago. In New York, MTA has developed a service restoration plan that will begin as soon as an incident occurs. Key MTA staff will meet at the New York Transit-Subway Rail Control Center with representatives of the police and fire departments, NYCOEM, and other agencies to begin mobilizing resources. Roles of Other Modes of Public Transport School Buses School buses play an important role in evacuation in many of the case study sites, which should not be surprising because schools serve as shel- ters in many of the areas visited. In Tampa, school buses are an integral part of evacuation plans, and vehicle dispatch is coordinated with area transit providers at the county emergency operations centers (EOCs), which are activated in a major incident. A sizeable fraction of the school bus fleet is ADA accessible and thus is deployed to help transport residents with disabilities to special-needs shelters in an evacuation. In Houston and New York, school buses have a more limited role. In Houston, METRO is working with school districts to integrate them into hurricane evacuation plans. School and METRO buses will be used for local pickup and drop- off at schools and other congregating locations; state contract buses will then pick up passengers for longer-haul transport to shelters outside the 37274mvp84_127 92 11/24/08 10:50:30 AM

Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas 93 Houston UA. In New York, in the event of a hurricane or another disaster requiring the opening of public shelters, school buses are under contract to NYCOEM to transport evacuees the short distance from public evacua- tion centers to public shelters, many of which are schools.13 Commuter and Intercity Rail Commuter and intercity (Amtrak) rail can be important partners in emer- gency evacuation plans. In Chicago, a major rail hub, Metra—the second- largest commuter railroad in the United States—and Amtrak, along with CTA, are identified as key support agencies in Chicago’s Central Business District Evacuation Plan. Metra will supplement CTA services, and Amtrak will assist with equipment to the extent it can. Area emergency managers are working to see whether a coordination system among freight carriers could be accessed in an emergency to help clear the tracks for use by Metra and Amtrak.14 The role of commuter rail, which is under the umbrella of MTA in New York, is an integral part of emergency evacuation plans that have already been described. Although Amtrak ceased service immediately after the World Trade Center strikes on September 11, 2001, once it had been determined to be secure, special service was resumed to transport about 1,000 firefighters, police officers, and emergency workers from Bos- ton and Washington, D.C., to assist local emergency responders (MIPRC 2006). With the assistance of Amtrak, Trinity Railway Express service was redirected to and helped evacuate about 450 passengers from Houston in advance of Hurricane Rita (MIPRC 2006). METRO has recommended prepositioning of rolling stock and aggressive use of freight right-of-way in the event of another major evacuation because of the greater efficiency 13 I  n Los Angeles city and county, school buses are fully committed and would not be available to assist in the evacuation of the general population. In Orange County, school buses are part of the emergency plan and could be deployed by the logistics section chief and transportation coordinator in an emergency. The Chicago Public Schools are listed as a participating agency in Chicago’s evacuation plan, but detailed plans for the use of school buses for evacuation in a major emergency have not been developed. 14 A  pproximately 80 percent of passenger rail operates on freight tracks in the Chicago area. Chi- cago’s Class I freight rail carriers have formed the Chicago Transportation Coordination Office (CTCO) to help coordinate freight and keep it moving in the Chicago area. Although CTCO has no formal role in the city’s evacuation plan, discussion is under way to see whether the alert system now used to communicate with freight carriers when congestion is heavy could also be used to direct freight traffic in an emergency. 37274mvp84_127 93 11/24/08 10:50:30 AM

94 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation of rail transport. Amtrak did station 24 passenger railcars outside New Orleans during the 2006 hurricane season (MIPRC 2006), providing the capacity to evacuate nearly 2,000 people,15 but further deployment of Amtrak equipment in the Gulf Coast region has not occurred. Ferries Ferries can serve as a mode of evacuation in an emergency. Although they are less ubiquitous than other modes of transport, ferries played an important role in the evacuation of Lower Manhattan following the strikes on the World Trade Center. As discussed briefly in the previous chapter, between 300,000 and 500,000 people were evacuated by ferry in the 6 to 7 hours following the terrorist attack (Kendra et al. 2003). In addition, ferries helped transport emergency personnel and supplies to the incident site. NYCOEM and the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management are currently working on a joint agreement with five major private ferry com- panies to help return New Jersey commuters from Manhattan in the event of a future emergency evacuation, and new berths have been provided for docking at Liberty State Park, which will operate as the main reception center in northern New Jersey. Ferries do not play a role in the other four case study sites. However, a case study of the San Francisco Bay Area was brought to the attention of the committee, in which the role of ferries in that area’s emergency plans is discussed.16 The role of ferries following the Loma Prieta earthquake was described in the previous chapter. However, that response was an ad hoc effort. The San Francisco Bay Area Water Transit Authority (WTA) was created in 1999 by the state assembly to develop a comprehensive water transit system for the area and help provide some structure to a highly balkanized ferry system. Working together with the Metropolitan Trans- portation Commission (MTC), the MPO for the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Area, and Caltrans—the lead agencies for coordinating transportation 15 W  ith funding from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), 24 railcars were taken out of storage and updated to meet FRA standards. The vehicles can be deployed on short notice, but the City of New Orleans is responsible for processing eligible passengers (ambulatory individuals without pets) and providing shelter at the train’s destination. 16 T  he case study, which is unpublished research, was conducted by the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and will be integrated into a larger forthcoming study on emergency evacuation. 37274mvp84_127 94 11/24/08 10:50:30 AM

Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas 95 response in an emergency—WTA developed a Regional Maritime Contin- gency Plan. The plan provided the first comprehensive inventory of vessels and terminals in the bay and an extensive list of contact information for the many ferry operators, ports, marinas, and other affected regulatory agencies.17 WTA was recently reconstituted by the state with an increased focus on emergency response. One of its key tasks is to prepare an emer- gency water transportation system management plan in the next 12 to 18 months. Until the plan is completed, WTA staff believe that sufficient understanding exists with MTC and Caltrans to make the contingency plan operable in the event of an emergency. Factors That Enhance the Role of Transit The case studies are instructive in identifying and providing good exam- ples of the many factors that make transit a successful partner in emer- gency evacuation. Full Partnership in Evacuation Planning and Maintaining Plan Currency Emergency managers have the primary responsibility for developing local emergency response and evacuation plans, but ensuring workable plans requires consultation and coordination with primary support agencies. In all the case study sites, transit agencies are full partners with emergency managers in emergency evacuation plans. Those transit agencies with the most active roles have close working relationships with local emergency managers. The most detailed roles for transit in emergency evacuation are evident at those sites where emergency planning is focused on advance-notice inci- dents, such as the hurricane evacuation plans for Houston, Tampa, and New York. At those sites where no-notice incidents are more likely, emergency plans are more process oriented, providing a general framework for emer- gency response and evacuation. Plans are concentrated on clear organiza- tion and assignment of responsibilities, including those of transit agencies; 17 W  TA identified the number of boats available for an evacuation, details on marinas and docks and which boats are compatible with which docking facilities, and contact information for ferry operators. Challenges that remain include limited docking capacity and fuel supplies; land access to the ferries in the event of an earthquake; and, most important, lack of a central authority for coordinating independent ferry operators. 37274mvp84_127 95 11/24/08 10:50:31 AM

96 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation mechanisms for coordination of agency personnel and assets; and a scalable response, depending on the magnitude of the emergency incident. Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles provide good examples of this more process- oriented approach. In New York, for example, the Areawide Evacuation Plan developed by NYCOEM contains a separate transit agency coordina- tion document, which lays out general notification and coordination princi- ples, including the primary role of each transit provider and the main points of contact in an emergency. In Chicago, each transit agency has its own emergency evacuation plan, but the plans are part of the overall evacuation plan for the central business district and mirror the graduated emergency activation framework of that plan to ensure operational consistency. In all cases, transit agencies help keep evacuation plans up-to-date by periodically reviewing equipment availability and emergency contact information. Integral Role in Emergency Operations and Communications Capabilities In general, transit agencies at the case study sites are well integrated into emergency operations plans that go into effect in the event of an emer- gency incident. In all the case study sites, senior-level transit staffs are part of the decision-making team and represented at the principal EOC—the command center for emergency operations, activated in the event of a major incident. Where multiple transit agencies are involved—in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago—the largest transit agency (or agencies) serves as the primary point of contact at the EOC and has responsibility for coordinating the response of the other transit service providers. Transit agencies at each site also have the capability to communicate with area emergency managers and with other transit providers in real time. Most transit agencies have their own EOCs to direct agency per- sonnel during an emergency. Those transit agencies represented at the principal EOC must have means of communicating with the command centers of individual transit agencies; in turn, transit agencies must be able to communicate with one another.18 Fully interoperable communications 18 I  n New York, lack of communications among MTA agencies during extensive flooding on August 8, 2007, which shut down much of the rail transit system, made it difficult to assess conditions in real time and provide timely information to customers about service changes. As a result, an MTA-wide EOC is being established to coordinate activities and communications among MTA agencies. 37274mvp84_127 96 11/24/08 10:50:31 AM

Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas 97 systems are not the norm at the case study sites, the exceptions being Hillsborough County in Tampa and Orange County in Los Angeles. The more typical arrangement is for communications from the EOCs to be handled through a variety of means, including hard-line, cell, and satellite phones; radios; and text messaging systems. Transit providers also have numerous ways of communicating with one another. In Chicago, for example, all major transit agencies, Amtrak, and commuter rail are linked through the Chicago Transit Alert Network, which provides for telephone contact and, more recently, a secure plat- form for real-time text messaging among networked partners. In New York, transit agencies can use TRANSCOM, an electronic communica- tions system, to communicate with one another.19 At two of the case study sites, Houston and Chicago, EOCs are collocated with state-of-the art transportation management centers (TMCs)—Transtar in Houston and the Joint Operations Center in Chicago.20 TMCs provide valuable informa- tion about real-time traffic conditions and incidents that can be of great use to emergency managers in coordinating with transit and other trans- portation agencies in an emergency evacuation.21 Public outreach both in advance of and during an emergency is critical to an orderly evacuation, including evacuation by transit. Transit users need to know how to access the system in an emergency (e.g., assembly points for bus riders) and where they will be taken (e.g., shelter loca- tions). In all the case study sites, public outreach, particularly in advance of an emergency, was handled by the emergency management agency and, in the case of Tampa, by the MPO. The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (TBRPC), in partnership with area counties, prepares annual hurricane guides in English and Spanish, which include a county map showing evacuation zones, county shelters, and key contact information. Local broadcast and print media sponsors, post offices, libraries, civic 19 T  RANSCOM is used by a coalition of 16 transportation and public safety agencies in the New York–New Jersey and Connecticut region, whose primary mission is to collect and disseminate to member agencies real-time regional information on traffic and transportation management. 20 T  he District of Columbia has likewise opened a joint emergency management/transportation management center. It also serves as a communications hub for underground operations in the Metro system (AASHTO Journal 2006). 21 E  OCs can be virtually linked to TMCs if security or other concerns (e.g., cost or damage in an earthquake or severe storm) preclude physical collocation. 37274mvp84_127 97 11/24/08 10:50:31 AM

98 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation organizations, fire departments, and other government offices distribute copies widely. The guides are also posted on TBRPC and county websites, and immediately in advance of hurricane season, information on evacua- tion zones is included in utility bills. Finally, an extensive hurricane infor- mation program has been developed for public housing residents, and special efforts are made to inform the homeless and the disadvantaged about transportation and shelter resources in an emergency evacuation. In New York, which does not have a culture of evacuation as does the Gulf Coast, NYCOEM sent all New York City residents who live in an evacuation zone the Ready NY Guide, a brochure that tells residents how to prepare for an emergency and whom to contact for assistance. To the extent they are deployed, 511 traveler information systems hold promise as another tool in a multilayered strategy for emergency communications with the public.22 Transit agencies are involved more directly in communicating with both general transit riders and special-needs populations who may require trans- portation assistance at the time of an emergency, particularly if evacuation is necessary. In the event of an emergency in New York, for example, transit agencies will communicate with their customers through public address sys- tems on station platforms, on trains, and in terminals; through announce- ments and postings by station agents; on websites and through text messages to subscribing customers; and through messages that NYCOEM can help disseminate. If an evacuation is required, transit supervisory and station staff will help direct passengers to the correct train or bus to access public evacuation centers, and announcements will be made on board. At stations where service will be increased, additional station agents and supervisors will be present to help control crowds and provide customer information. In Los Angeles, many transit providers will rely on the media, including Spanish- and other-language radio and television stations, to reach transit- dependent populations. 22 A  s of February 2008, the 511 Coalition reported that there were forty-two 511 services operat- ing in 33 states and available to about 47 percent of the U.S. population (511 Coalition 2008). Issues with respect to the use of such systems include cost and manpower, scalability (capacity to handle a large volume of calls in an emergency), greater familiarity of the public with other media outlets (e.g., radio and TV broadcasts), and the availability of more targeted emergency notification methods (e.g., Reverse 911). 37274mvp84_127 98 11/24/08 10:50:31 AM

Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas 99 The dominant means of communicating with special-needs populations at the case study sites are centrally dispatching 311 systems or alerts sent by reverse 911. Direct calls to transit service providers are discouraged. In New York and Los Angeles, which have large concentrations of special- needs populations, the interviewees expressed concern that the capacity of these systems would be overwhelmed with the high volume of calls in a major emergency. The smaller Tampa UA, where the size of special-needs populations is more manageable, provides a good example of one of the most thorough communications systems for such populations. When an emergency alert is called, those who have signed up on a special registry are contacted both to verify their need for transportation assistance and to tell them when equipment is on the way. Citizens’ information action centers also handle special-needs call-ins, identifying what services are needed and providing that information to the appropriate responders. Once shelters are open and evacuation has begun, citizens’ information action center staff in Hillsborough County complete the application forms of last-minute callers and fax them directly to the appropriate department of health and transportation agency staff in the EOC for action. In Pinellas County, last-minute calls are handled through 911 and dispatched to the appropriate fire department for response. Participation in Exercises and Drills Transit agencies in Houston, Tampa, and New York have all had experi- ence with a major emergency evacuation. In several of the case study sites, transit agencies are involved in annual emergency exercises and drills, an important means of practicing for an emergency evacuation. In the Tampa UA, for example, Hillsborough County has an aggressive program that involves about eight to 10 exercises and drills each year, including an annual hurricane exercise. Most of the exercises involve activation of the EOC and after-action reviews, and transit agencies and the county school district generally participate. Neighboring Pinellas County holds at least two major exercises annually—one is a hurricane exercise, and the other involves a scenario that varies each year so that all major elements of the emergency plan and participating organizations, including transit, are tested within a 5-year period. Tabletop exercises and drills have also been undertaken in Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago, with tran- 37274mvp84_127 99 11/24/08 10:50:31 AM

100 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation sit agencies participating in some cases. Of course, transit providers also gain considerable practice in moving large numbers of people for major planned events every year, such as annual Fourth of July fireworks celebra- tions and New Year’s Eve events. Plans for Workforce Availability, Asset Deployment, and Fuel Supplies The critical importance of having sufficient drivers in an emergency evac- uation is recognized by all the transit agencies interviewed during the site visits, yet few of the sites have family assistance programs to help ensure that drivers will show up for work. In New York, MTA is working on such a plan. In Tampa, transit agencies use an alternative approach, asking for volunteer drivers who sign up in advance of hurricane season. Hillsborough County has instituted a countywide policy that all employees must have a disaster plan. The Know Your Role Program involves filling out a form indicating job criticality,23 primary and alternative job locations, individual employee evacuation plans, childcare needs, and skills (e.g., commercial driver’s licenses) that can be used in an emergency; these data are entered into a database to help match employee availability and skills with poten- tial needs in an emergency. Pinellas County has a similar program for its employees. As discussed earlier, availability of drivers can be a problem, particularly when transit service is contracted out, a common arrangement for paratran- sit services; the contracting agency has less direct control over both driv- ers and equipment. Driver responsibility in an emergency evacuation can be clarified to help ensure driver support and participation. Some of these issues can be addressed in contract negotiations. Even for those agencies with in-house staff, however, drivers are likely to live throughout a region, so there is no guarantee they can reach their work location in an emergency of any size. Backup plans are critical, such as identifying managers with commercial driver’s licenses who could fill in should there be a driver shortfall. Another approach under consideration in the San Francisco Bay 23 T  here are four categories of job criticality: A—critical employees (e.g., fire, police, emergency managers), who will shelter at the job; B—employees who should be available immediately after a storm to help restore services; C—employees who will not be needed for several days after a storm; and D—employees who are granted an exemption from participating in response efforts (e.g., caretaker for an elderly or disabled family member). 37274mvp84_127 100 11/24/08 10:50:31 AM

Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas 101 Area, which has multiple transit agencies, is to preidentify specific locations throughout the area where transit workers could check in for duty in the event of a no-notice emergency. The idea is to deploy drivers and mainte- nance crews to the closest transit system, even if it is not their own. Because many transit agencies have the capability to map the home locations of employees, notifications to these employees can be more specific once the location of an emergency incident is known. Because of the importance of transit worker availability in an emergency evacuation, identification and evaluation of the effectiveness of workforce family evacuation assistance programs and other workforce availability plans are suggested as research topics (see Chapter 5). Asset deployment—both getting equipment to where it is needed in an emergency and securing it well before an advance-notice event—is criti- cal to transit response capacity in an evacuation, as well as to recovery. Transit providers in several of the case study sites indicated that the most difficult time to ensure adequate availability of drivers and equipment is off-peak hours. This is the case in Chicago, and good communication links have been established among transit agencies to try to minimize response delays. Areas that face storm surge and flooding from severe storms, such as Tampa and New York, have plans for shutting down service before the predicted onset of sustained gale-force winds so that personnel and equip- ment can be moved to safe locations. Fuel availability can also be an issue. For example, if buses are to be used for a sustained period in an emergency evacuation, those that use compressed natural gas or other alternative fuels, such as many transit buses in the Los Angeles area, could face difficulties in refueling because these fuels are not widely available across the region. In hurricane-prone areas, adequate reserves of fuel in protected locations (i.e., that will not be exposed to flooding and storm surge) and along evacuation routes are criti- cal to sustained use of both transit and other vehicles (e.g., school buses) in an evacuation as well as in recovery. Transit agencies and school bus systems, among others, should be aware of the locations of fuel reserves and prepositioned fuel depots along evacuation routes, to the extent such routes have been designated, and provision should be made in advance of an emergency for how fuel supplies will be deployed and who will have priority in the event of a shortage. 37274mvp84_127 101 11/24/08 10:50:32 AM

102 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation Mutual-Aid Agreements Mutual-aid agreements among transit agencies can help stretch existing resources, particularly during periods of surge demand in a major evacu- ation, and some of the case study sites have such arrangements. Houston METRO, for example, has an agreement with neighboring Galveston to make available 30 METRO or contract buses in the event of an incident requiring mandatory evacuation of the city. The agreement spells out reim- bursement details, indemnification and insurance issues, and the terms of agreement renewal or termination. Transit agencies in the Tampa area are concerned primarily with in-county evacuations. Nevertheless, if an emer- gency incident required evacuation beyond county lines, transit assistance from other counties and municipalities or the state could be provided through the statewide mutual-aid agreement to which most counties are signatory.24 Finally, although emergency managers are not planning for a mass evacuation in the Los Angeles area, if a major incident should occur, California has a long history of voluntary mutual-aid agreements among police and fire departments and, in some cases, transportation providers, which have worked well in the past to meet emergency needs if a particu- lar community is overwhelmed. Factors That Limit the Role of Transit The ability of transit to play an effective role in an emergency evacuation depends on the integrity of the system itself, as well as on factors that fall largely outside of transit agency control. Emergencies That Compromise or Limit Transit Service The case studies provide good examples of situations that have limited or could constrain transit’s capacity to participate in an emergency evacua- tion because of possible damage to the system. In New York, for example, rail transit, commuter rail, and Amtrak service was suspended immedi- ately after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Although partial subway service was restored after a few hours, buses and ferries filled the initial breach in service. If another terrorist event were to occur, transit 24 E  xecuted in 1994, the Statewide Mutual Aid Agreement is a voluntary arrangement between the State of Florida and counties and municipalities. More than 98 percent of counties and munici- palities in the state have signed the agreement. 37274mvp84_127 102 11/24/08 10:50:32 AM

Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas 103 agencies would follow the same policy and immediately shut down ser- vice until the integrity of the system could be verified. Transit service in areas affected by earthquakes would be similarly affected. Should an earthquake occur in Los Angeles, for example, the Metropolitan Transpor- tation Authority would suspend transit service in the vicinity of the site until the integrity of the viaducts and overpasses used by the buses could be ascertained. BART was shut down immediately following the Loma Prieta earthquake because of concerns about the viability of the under­ water trans-bay tube and thus was unable to play a role in moving passen- gers immediately after the earthquake. Lack of a Regional Approach to Evacuation Few of the case study sites have planned for a major disaster that could involve multiple jurisdictions or states in a region and require the evacu- ation of a large fraction of the population, much less considered the role of transit in such an evacuation. Houston is the obvious exception. Hurri- cane Rita forced the Houston UA to confront the complexities of a regional evacuation, and subsequent emergency planning has focused on a more regional approach to evacuation and a stronger state role to help broker arrangements with pass-through and destination jurisdictions should a major evacuation of Houstonians prove necessary in the future. Houston METRO has a major role in such plans, reflecting in part its broader range of responsibilities relative to what is typical of many transit systems.25 In Florida, the state is working through regional planning councils to develop a statewide evacuation plan that would link and presumably help fill gaps in individual county emergency evacuation plans. Other areas, such as New York and New Jersey, are working on plans for more limited evacu- ations. Phase I of the Trans-Hudson Emergency Transportation Plan, for example, involves a partial evacuation from Manhattan to northern New Jersey; New Jersey Transit (NJT) and private ferry companies are part of the planning effort. The strategy is to start with a more limited scenario and build toward more significant events that would affect much larger areas and involve more jurisdictions. In all the sites visited, even Houston, 25 S  upported by a 1-cent sales tax, METRO operates a large bus fleet, a downtown light rail system, and demand response service. The agency also operates an extensive network of high-occupancy vehicle lanes along major freeways and a motorist assistance program. 37274mvp84_127 103 11/24/08 10:50:32 AM

104 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation emergency managers are working to reduce demand for evacuation and encourage sheltering in place, where appropriate. This approach reflects the low probability of an emergency requiring a mass evacuation and the questionable feasibility of evacuating a major city successfully. The focus is on confining an evacuation or planning for a partial evacuation of the cen- tral business district or other vulnerable parts of a UA (e.g., coastal areas vulnerable to a tsunami, areas near a port that could be affected by a haz- ardous materials incident). However, even these more limited scenarios could involve multiple jurisdictions and states. Accordingly, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York have assembled multijurisdictional and in some cases multistate teams to begin the process of developing more coordi- nated regional evacuation plans for use during a major disaster. Transit agencies are part of the team, but planning is in the initial phases and progress is slow. It may be hoped that the new DHS Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program, for which all of the case study sites except Tampa are eligible, will help jump-start these efforts. Congestion and Capacity Constraints The older UAs visited—New York and Chicago—have extensive rail and bus transit systems, which are an asset in an emergency evacuation. As discussed earlier, the redundancy of the rail system in New York proved its worth in the evacuation of parts of Lower Manhattan following the terror- ist strike on the World Trade Center. In both New York and Chicago (and probably many other older areas), however, rail transit shares track with intercity passenger rail (Amtrak) and freight rail. In New York, NJT-Rail operates on Amtrak-owned track, and Amtrak-owned Pennsylvania Sta- tion is its principal terminal in Manhattan. There is no memorandum of understanding on which system takes precedence in an emergency. A new tunnel is being constructed under the Hudson River that should nearly double NJT-Rail capacity and service to Manhattan and provide redun- dancy at a critical point in the system. In Chicago, emergency managers are working with freight carriers to devise an operational solution that would give local transit agencies and Amtrak precedence in the event of an emergency evacuation. Were the rail systems of either New York or Chicago to be compro- mised, movement by bus would be difficult, particularly in the highly 37274mvp84_127 104 11/24/08 10:50:32 AM

Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas 105 congested central business districts. The New York City DOT has detailed plans for handling pedestrian and vehicle conflicts; these plans are being coordinated with MTA, but they have not yet been tried out. Contraflow lanes in New York City are viewed as impractical. As part of the Trans- Hudson Emergency Transportation Plan, however, the New York Police Department will secure streets around the Port Authority Bus Termi- nal during an evacuation to facilitate NJT-Bus traffic on dedicated lanes through the Lincoln Tunnel and on the New Jersey Turnpike to Liberty State Park, the main reception center in northern New Jersey. In a Level-III (worst-case) evacuation in Chicago, the city’s Office of Emergency Man- agement and Communications would likely request activation of the state plan, which provides for a last-resort contraflow arrangement on Chicago freeways to evacuate the central business district. According to CTA, the reversible commuter lanes on these freeways could be used for buses to help expedite the evacuation. Highway congestion and capacity issues are also a problem in newer areas with large bus transit systems, such as Houston, and rapidly grow- ing areas, such as Los Angeles. Hurricane Rita demonstrated the capacity shortfalls that can hamper an evacuation if it extends into suburban and exurban areas. For example, multilane freeways narrowed to two lanes about 70 miles from downtown Houston, creating massive traffic bottle- necks. No plans had been developed for contraflow, although the state, at the urging of METRO and others, opened contraflow lanes to ease the congestion. Occupancy restrictions were also dropped on high-occupancy vehicle lanes, but all lanes were operated in a northbound direction, with no provision for access by emergency vehicles or for buses or emergency vehicles that needed to make multiple trips. Moreover, cameras and other intelligent transportation system (ITS) technologies that support traffic management at TranStar did not extend into rural areas. Los Angeles has an extensive bus transit system, but as the most con- gested of all the 38 UAs, it would face great difficulty in using bus transport for any distance in an emergency evacuation. The Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management has identified major evacuation routes, and certain freeway lanes have been dedicated for ingress by emergency vehicles, but the actual routes are to be determined at the time of an incident. Given the level of congestion and the no-notice nature of most 37274mvp84_127 105 11/24/08 10:50:32 AM

106 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation disasters facing the Los Angeles UA, it appears that the role of transit in emergency evacuation would be limited. Traffic congestion is also a major obstacle to successful emergency evacuation in the Tampa UA. The region has a limited number of major highways, and chokepoints are likely to clog roads not only with evacuat- ing county residents but also with other evacuees from southwest Florida in the event of a major hurricane. Transportation officials are attempting to alleviate some of the problems through use of ITS technologies and contraflow operations (in Hillsborough County only) on area highways. Both Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties have the capability to change signal timing, if necessary, to keep traffic moving on evacuation routes. Buses and vans, however, must operate on local streets, and little can be done to control congestion. These conditions, together with the relatively small size of county transit operations, limit the use of transit to in-county evacuations. Inadequate Funding Removing many of the obstacles discussed in the previous section will require major capital improvement projects—lane additions and inter- change improvements on highways, for example—that must compete with other transportation projects for federal and state funding. Even operational measures, such as greater use of ITS technologies or contraflow operations on freeways, can involve significant costs. The case studies provide some examples of states that have been proactive in addressing these needs. Fol- lowing Hurricane Rita, the Texas DOT installed 80 new web-accessible cameras in rural areas, as well as electronic signs at points where highways converge that will be used to disseminate information to evacuees, such as shelter locations, in the event of another major evacuation. The state also has provided funding for towing contracts during hurricane season. The State of Florida is notable for the funding it provides for emergency response, which can be used for special-needs populations. The state col- lects $2 from homeowners’ insurance policies and $4 from business insur- ance policies annually, which is placed in an Emergency Management and Preparedness Assistance Trust Fund and distributed annually in the form of competitive grants for emergency management (no larger than $200,000 per grant) to state or regional agencies, local governments, and private non- 37274mvp84_127 106 11/24/08 10:50:32 AM

Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas 107 profit organizations.26 Funding priorities currently include public educa- tion on disaster preparedness and recovery, coordination of relief efforts of statewide private-sector organizations, and improved training and opera- tions capabilities of agencies with lead or support responsibilities in the Florida Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. Findings In this chapter, the committee has attempted to provide a picture of the role of transit in the evacuation plans of the nation’s 38 largest UAs. The statistical profile of the UAs suggests a diversity of conditions that makes it difficult to generalize—differences in the size and density of their popula- tions, the size and coverage of the major transit systems that serve them, the types of emergencies they face, and their jurisdictional complexities. One common element among most of the UAs is their relatively large numbers of special-needs populations, who are potential users of transit in an emergency. Moreover, with the exception of some of the largest UAs (e.g., Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco), the gap between the numbers of carless households and the supply of transit equipment is large. The numbers of paratransit and other demand response vehicles are particularly low relative to the size of populations with disabilities who need such vehicles for transport in an evacuation. In addition, the location of special-needs populations in a particular UA, their actual need for tran- sit in an emergency evacuation, and the availability of drivers and equip- ment to serve them at the time of an incident remain largely unknown. Similarly, the committee could not assess with any reliability the extent to which transit is included in the emergency response and evacuation plans of the 38 UAs. The plans of 11 of the 16 UAs with publicly available online documents mention transit, but sufficient detail is provided in only seven to indicate a credible role for transit in evacuation plans. The committee’s five in-depth case studies proved to be a more reward- ing source of information, but that information cannot be generalized to the other 33 UAs. Nevertheless, the case studies illustrate the wide range 26 A  competitive grant program is also available to municipalities that have an emergency manage- ment program and are signatories to the Statewide Mutual Aid Agreement. Eligible grantees may apply annually for one grant, not to exceed $50,000. 37274mvp84_127 107 11/24/08 10:50:33 AM

108 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation of roles transit can play in emergency evacuation and raise many issues likely to affect its role in other UAs. The primary role for transit is to evacu- ate those without a car, either by bus or by rail, away from an emergency site to area shelters or outside the UA during a major disaster. Transit’s role in evacuation can be augmented by other modes of public transport, such as school buses, commuter and intercity rail, and ferries, as evidenced by several of the case studies. Transit has a special role to play in evacuating special-needs popula- tions. Many are likely to need assistance and require trained drivers or, at a minimum, accessible equipment, which is often provided by paratransit operators. The emergency evacuation of special-needs populations, how- ever, poses a major challenge in all the case study sites with the excep- tion of Tampa, which has targeted its transit and school bus resources to evacuating these populations. In the other case study sites, the large size of special-needs populations and the no-notice nature of many of the inci- dents faced increase the complexity of both identifying and planning for the evacuation of these groups. Another role for transit is to bring emergency responders and equip- ment to incident sites. Finally, transit can aid in recovery, both in return- ing evacuees to their initial point of departure and in providing general transport following an emergency if travel by private vehicle is difficult. The most detailed roles for transit are found in the plans of those case study sites that face advance-notice incidents, such as hurricanes. Emer- gency evacuation plans and transit’s role in those plans are more process oriented in those sites where no-notice incidents are more likely. Together, the case studies suggest many of the factors that can make transit a successful partner in evacuation. These include collaboration with emergency managers in evacuation planning and integration with emergency operations plans. In all the case study sites, the primary tran- sit agencies are part of evacuation plans; transit staffs are represented on the decision-making team when activation of EOCs is required; and transit operators have the capability of communicating with emergency managers and with other transit providers in real time, although few have fully interoperable systems. Communication with potential transit users, both the general public and special-needs populations, is recognized as critical, both in advance of and particularly during an emergency, but 37274mvp84_127 108 11/24/08 10:50:33 AM

Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas 109 the case study sites vary in their approaches to and the effectiveness of their communications. Transit agencies participate in exercises and drills in several of the case study sites, an important means of practicing for an emergency evacuation. Finally, plans for workforce availability, asset deployment and safety, and mutual-aid agreements to help meet surge demands in an emergency evacuation are all recognized as important to the successful use of transit, but they are addressed to varying degrees by the case study sites. The case studies also suggest the limits of transit’s role in an emer- gency evacuation. The most obvious limit is damage to the system itself. In the event of an earthquake in Los Angeles or another terrorist event in New York City, transit operators would shut down service until the integ- rity of the system had been verified. Another limitation is the lack of a regional approach to evacuation and the use of transit. Few case study sites had planned for a major disaster and integrated transit agencies into an evacuation scenario that could involve multiple jurisdictions and states in a region. Emergency planners have begun to develop more coor- dinated regional evacuation plans, and some transit agencies are part of these efforts, but progress is slow. New DHS grant funds for regional cata- strophic preparedness could help, but the funds are currently limited to the largest urban areas. A third limitation is the fact that transit systems operate as part of a transportation network in a UA and thus may be hampered by system con- gestion and capacity constraints in an evacuation—issues largely outside their control. Bus systems, which operate on area highways, are particu- larly vulnerable to local congestion and capacity bottlenecks. The problems are especially acute in the central business districts of large UAs, such as New York and Chicago, where buses have to negotiate both pedestrian and vehicular traffic. But congestion and capacity constraints are also manifest in newer UAs such as Houston, or at the suburban or exurban fringe of UAs both new and old should an evacuation extend outside the UA, as it did during Hurricane Rita. Those UAs having extensive and redundant rail networks with good system connectivity possess an important asset in an emergency evacuation, as was amply demonstrated in New York City and Washington, D.C., in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11. Few UAs, however, have such extensive rail transit systems. 37274mvp84_127 109 11/24/08 10:50:33 AM

110 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation The solutions to many of these limitations, particularly those involv- ing capacity additions and removal of bottlenecks, require long-term capi- tal funding from both federal and state sources and must compete with other budgetary priorities. Improving the efficiency of existing operations through deployment of ITS technologies and contraflow operations on selected highways, where conditions permit, can be effective, but these solutions also require funds. The case studies provide examples of states, such as Florida and Texas, that play an important role in funding projects aimed at improving evacuation capability, largely to address the recurring hurricanes to which these areas are susceptible. Even among the case study sites, however, such support is the exception rather than the rule. In the following and final chapter, the committee’s recommendations with respect to funding as well as a range of measures that could enhance transit’s role in emergency evacuation are presented. References Abbreviations AASHTO Association of American State Highway and Transportation Officials DHS Department of Homeland Security MIPRC Midwest Interstate passenger Rail Commission 511 Coalition. 2008. 511 Usage Statistics. www.deploy511.org. AASHTO Journal. 2006. D.C. Opens New Emergency Call Center for Multiple Jurisdic- tions. Vol. 106, No. 39. DHS. 2006. Nationwide Plan Review, Phase 2 Report. June 16. www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/ Prep_NationwidePlanReview.pdf. Liu, B. F. 2008. Online Disaster Preparation: Evaluation of State Emergency Manage- ment Web Sites. Natural Hazards Review, Vol. 1, No. 9, pp. 43–48. Kendra, J., T. Wachtendorf, and E. Quarantelli. 2003. The Evacuation of Lower Manhat- tan by Water Transport on September 11: An Unplanned “Success,” Forum. Joint Com- mission Journal on Quality and Safety, Vol. 29, No. 6, pp. 316–318. MIPRC. 2006. Responding Regionally: The Role of Passenger Rail in Midwestern Emergency Planning. www.miprc.org/portal/uploads/lkliewer/MIPRC_rail_&_emergency_ preparedness_report.pdf. 37274mvp84_127 110 11/24/08 10:50:33 AM

Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas 111 Annex 4-1 Detailed Statistical Profile of 38 Urbanized Areas Size Transit Transit Service Area Population Land Area of Largest Served of Population (square Provider Largest Urbanized Area (2000)a miles)a (square miles)b Providerb Atlanta 3,500,000 1,963 498 1,355,000 Baltimore 2,076,000 683 1,795 2,078,000 Boston 4,032,000 1,736 3,244 4,510,000 Chicago 8,308,000 2,123 356 3,709,000 Cincinnati 1,503,000 672 262 845,000 Cleveland 1,787,000 647 458 1,412,000 Columbus 1,133,000 398 325 1,058,000 Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington 4,146,000 1,407 689 2,250,000 Denver–Aurora 1,985,000 499 2,326 2,598,000 Detroit 3,903,000 1,261 144 951,000 Houston 3,823,000 1,295 1,285 2,797,000 Indianapolis 1,219,000 563 373 792,000 Kansas City 1,352,000 584 396 757,000 Las Vegas 1,314,000 286 280 1,785,000 Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana 11,789,000 1,668 1,224 8,493,000 Miami 4,919,000 1,116 306 2,380,000 Milwaukee 1,309,000 487 237 940,000 Minneapolis–St. Paul 2,389,000 894 596 1,762,000 New Orleans 1,009,000 198 75 485,000 New York–Newark 17,800,000 3,353 321 8,008,000 Orlando 1,157,000 453 2,538 1,537,000 Philadelphia 5,149,000 1,800 836 3,331,000 Phoenix–Mesa 2,907,000 799 515 1,439,000 Pittsburgh 1,753,000 852 775 1,415,000 Portland 1,583,000 474 574 1,254,000 Providence 1,175,000 504 299 846,000 Riverside–San Bernardino 1,507,000 439 2,725 1,498,000 Sacramento 1,393,000 369 248 1,035,000 St. Louis 2,078,000 829 574 1,007,000 San Antonio 1,328,000 408 1,213 1,487,000 San Diego 2,674,000 782 570 2,102,000 San Francisco–Oakland 2,996,000 527 93 834,000 San Jose 1,538,000 260 326 1,760,000 Seattle 2,712,000 954 2,134 1,788,000 Tampa–St. Petersburg 2,062,000 802 254 578,000 Virginia Beach 1,384,000 527 369 1,211,000 Washington 3,934,000 1,157 692 1,306,000 San Juan 2,217,000 892 198 1,177,000 (continued on next page) 37274mvp84_127 111 11/24/08 10:50:33 AM

112 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation Annex 4-1 (continued) Detailed Statistical Profile of 38 Urbanized Areas Demand Carless Householdsc Seniorsd Housing Percent of Percent of Units Housing Householder Households Without Units Without Living Alone Living Alone Urbanized Area Cars Cars and ≥65 and ≥65 Atlanta 99,835 8 68,919 5 Baltimore 132,965 16 76,045 9 Boston 219,213 14 152,326 10 Chicago 436,049 15 260,385 9 Cincinnati 64,934 11 58,458 10 Cleveland 83,920 12 79,579 11 Columbus 37,761 8 32,300 7 Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington 99,384 7 86,658 5 Denver–Aurora 59,522 8 58,818 7 Detroit 147,695 10 146,170 10 Houston 108,281 11 78,596 5 Indianapolis 37,801 8 43,030 8 Kansas City 43,034 8 43,579 8 Las Vegas 47,282 10 42,834 8 Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana 437,913 11 288,083 7 Miami 207,476 11 223,250 11 Milwaukee 67,646 13 52,796 10 Minneapolis–St. Paul 84,472 9 73,789 8 New Orleans 70,328 18 35,367 10 New York–Newark 2,102,874 32 657,966 10 Orlando 29,700 7 31,915 7 Philadelphia 319,899 16 198,154 10 Phoenix–Mesa 76,756 7 95,320 8 Pittsburgh 106,557 15 97,264 13 Portland 55,749 9 50,581 8 Providence 54,658 12 51,435 11 Riverside–San Bernardino 39,397 9 30,418 6 Sacramento 43,859 8 45,412 8 St. Louis 81,489 10 76,789 9 San Antonio 45,888 10 35,303 7 San Diego 78,393 8 83,524 9 San Francisco–Oakland 174,176 15 107,709 9 San Jose 29,147 6 36,068 7 Seattle 91,536 8 84,942 7 Tampa–St. Petersburg 74,404 9 102,958 11 Virginia Beach 45,688 9 41,775 8 Washington 181,846 12 105,604 7 San Juan 205,563 28 66,603 9 37274mvp84_127 112 11/24/08 10:50:34 AM

Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas 113 Recent Immigrantsd Number of Population ≥5 Years Who Percent of Population Foreign Born, Speak English Less Than ≥5 Years Who Speak English Entry ≥2000 “Very Well” Less Than “Very Well” 182,576 309,073 9 49,914 75,010 4 171,643 371,534 10 306,385 1,050,086 14 20,416 25,826 2 21,365 60,570 4 35,030 46,106 4 242,703 670,082 17 74,045 189,556 10 91,839 186,787 5 229,066 755,097 20 29,660 45,097 4 29,084 55,819 4 70,321 203,416 15 683,329 3,078,504 28 393,540 1,101,880 23 20,435 63,524 5 72,670 137,853 6 7,979 31,906 4 908,066 2,779,817 17 50,621 121,190 11 131,556 278,775 6 168,031 392,001 13 15,620 26,208 2 62,927 145,085 9 30,213 103,217 9 66,254 364,495 23 74,672 173,921 13 34,783 51,085 3 46,073 190,012 15 115,752 401,071 16 187,222 597,956 21 106,204 318,718 23 124,766 249,789 10 60,230 131,549 7 16,071 31,026 2 254,984 472,303 13 18,048 N.A. N.A. (continued on next page) 37274mvp84_127 113 11/24/08 10:50:34 AM

114 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation Annex 4-1 (continued) Detailed Statistical Profile of 38 Urbanized Areas Demand Poor (below poverty line)e Disabledd Population Percent of Population Percent of Living Population ≥5 Years Population Below Living Below with a ≥5 Years with Urbanized Area Poverty Line Poverty Line Disability a Disability Atlanta 329,370 10 346,408 10 Baltimore 223,637 11 276,686 15 Boston 345,562 9 453,759 12 Chicago 890,127 11 912,085 12 Cincinnati 143,599 10 207,231 15 Cleveland 195,668 11 250,308 16 Columbus 122,682 11 138,780 13 Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington 462,881 11 468,076 12 Denver–Aurora 163,522 8 205,260 11 Detroit 434,974 11 553,977 16 Houston 533,269 14 416,926 11 Indianapolis 108,931 9 169,420 15 Kansas City 124,340 9 170,822 13 Las Vegas 141,432 11 158,880 12 Los Angeles–Long Beach– 1,934,022 17 1,257,885 11   Santa Ana Miami 676,102 14 662,918 14 Milwaukee 149,701 12 162,754 14 Minneapolis–St. Paul 171,317 7 248,106 11 New Orleans 200,558 20 146,169 16 New York–Newark 2,425,106 14 2,049,640 12 Orlando 126,529 11 139,443 12 Philadelphia 569,503 11 686,741 15 Phoenix–Mesa 339,140 12 362,136 12 Pittsburgh 180,555 11 247,247 16 Portland 154,416 10 203,871 13 Providence 137,423 12 180,401 17 Riverside–San Bernardino 249,020 17 194,139 12 Sacramento 181,692 13 217,835 16 St. Louis 215,827 11 274,473 14 San Antonio 205,654 16 191,053 15 San Diego 326,304 13 278,394 12 San Francisco–Oakland 306,923 10 355,837 12 San Jose 114,229 8 132,616 9 Seattle 235,272 9 362,354 14 Tampa–St. Petersburg 226,341 11 337,507 17 Virginia Beach 143,443 11 169,714 14 Washington 301,542 8 358,415 10 San Juan 954,400 44 531,539 25 37274mvp84_127 114 11/24/08 10:50:35 AM

Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas 115 Commutersd Supply Number of Workers Density ≥16 Years Using Public (population/ Number of Number of Number of Transport (excluding taxi) square mile)a Carsf Busesg Railcarsg 76,592 1,783 2,259,474 522 182 75,257 3,041 1,199,359 786 222 225,408 2,323 2,335,339 880 855 455,494 3,914 4,556,398 2,296 2,015 20,279 2,238 988,620 325 0 38,232 2,761 1,137,494 542 39 11,427 2,849 761,395 228 0 39,785 2,946 2,574,101 721 118 43,998 3,979 1,373,001 928 46 27,324 3,094 2,477,867 650 0 61,108 2,951 2,218,830 1,161 17 7,179 2,205 818,388 120 0 8,890 2,330 918,514 220 0 24,346 4,597 769,220 270 0 309,762 7,068 6,377,100 3,785 337 83,315 4,407 2,833,715 1,156 122 20,648 2,687 796,064 433 0 60,175 2,671 1,574,425 970 23 25,343 5,102 527,750 306 66 2,452,978 5,309 7,556,605 8,413 8,404 11,918 2,554 740,354 197 0 228,103 2,861 2,861,024 1,359 688 36,059 3,638 1,784,139 518 0 56,441 2,057 1,069,874 997 55 62,380 3,340 1,056,073 613 87 16,212 2,332 720,713 208 0 10,598 3,434 814,340 276 0 15,521 3,776 878,390 226 56 27,697 2,506 1,342,524 396 34 16,602 3,257 756,094 355 0 37,726 3,419 1,639,155 567 28 235,696 6,130 1,749,161 1,699 751 23,403 5,914 1,019,342 366 34 104,670 2,844 1,886,777 1,865 35 13,553 2,571 1,330,955 303 8 8,565 2,647 875,121 276 331,185 3,401 2,389,134 1,791 758 31,851 2,486 860,978 3,303 0 (continued on next page) 37274mvp84_127 115 11/24/08 10:50:36 AM

116 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation Annex 4-1 (continued) Detailed Statistical Profile of 38 Urbanized Areas Supply Number of Demand Urbanized Area Response Vehiclesg Number of School Busesh Atlanta 157 382 (city)/820 (Fulton Co.) Baltimore 230 915 Boston 407 611 Chicago 2,274 1,760 Cincinnati 43 N.A. Cleveland 169 N.A. Columbus 47 668 Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington 436 1,450 (Dallas)/443 (FW) Denver–Aurora 456 478 (Denver)/N.A. Detroit 162 697 Houston 763 1,011 Indianapolis 76 512 Kansas City 123 442 Las Vegas 172 1,279 Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana 1,178 2,500 (LA)/439 (LA Co.) Miami 941 1,886 Milwaukee 242 1,200 Minneapolis–St. Paul 400 (Minn.)/423 (St. Paul) 423 New Orleans 111 N.A. New York–Newark 1,727 7,307 (NYC) Orlando 183 1,271 Philadelphia 525 1,473 Phoenix–Mesa 456 N.A./413 (Mesa) Pittsburgh 420 N.A. Portland 276 305 Providence 120 N.A. Riverside–San Bernardino 173 N.A. Sacramento 98 N.A. St. Louis 243 N.A. San Antonio 181 400 San Diego 560 601 San Francisco–Oakland 1,806 N.A. San Jose 192 N.A. Seattle 1,829 465 Tampa–St. Petersburg 142 1,400 (Hillsborough Co.)/ 839 (Pinellas Co.) Virginia Beach 112 760 Washington 398 N.A. San Juan 38 N.A. Note: N.A. = data not available. a Source: 2000 Census of Population and Housing as summarized in the Federal Transit Agency’s 2005 National Transit Database. b Source: 2005 National Transit Database, profiles over and under 200,000 in population. c Source: 2000 Census of Population and Housing (SF3-Table H44). d Source: American Community Survey 2005. e Source: 2000 Census of Population and Housing (SF3-Table P88). f Source: 2000 Census of Population and Housing (SF3-Table H46). g Includes all UA transit properties with ≥100 vehicles operated in maximum service. Source: 2005 National Transit Database, Appendix D. Data for New Orleans are for 2004. 37274mvp84_127 116 11/24/08 10:50:36 AM

Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas 117 Coordination: Congestion: Number of Transit Travel Time Agenciesi Indexj Disasters: Predominant Typek 2 1.34 Tornadoes, severe storms, heavy rain 1 1.3 Severe storms, hurricanes (flooding, tornadoes) 1 1.27 Flooding, severe storms (heavy rain, blizzards) 3 1.47 Flooding, severe storms, tornadoes 1 1.18 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 2 1.09 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 1 1.19 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 4 1.35 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 1 1.33 Severe storms, flooding (wildfires, mudslides, landslides) 2 1.29 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 1 1.36 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 1 1.22 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 1 1.08 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 1 1.3 Flooding, severe storms (heavy rain, wildfires) 9 1.5 Flooding, severe storms, landslides, mudslides, earthquakes 5 1.38 Hurricanes, flooding, tropical storms, severe storms, tornadoes 1 1.13 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 3 1.26 Flooding, severe storms, tornadoes 1 1.15 Severe storms (flooding, hurricanes, tropical storms) 17 1.39 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 1 1.3 Hurricanes, flooding, tropical storms, severe storms, tornadoes 2 1.28 Flooding, severe storms, tropical depressions 3 1.31 Severe storms, flooding, wildfires 2 1.09 Flooding, severe storms, tropical depressions 2 1.29 Severe storms, flooding (landslides, mudslides, earthquakes) 1 1.16 Blizzards 2 1.35 Flooding, severe storms, landslides, mudslides, earthquakes 1 1.32 Flooding, severe storms, landslides, mudslides, earthquakes 2 1.16 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 1 1.23 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 4 1.4 Flooding, severe storms, landslides, mudslides, earthquakes 8 1.41 Flooding, severe storms, landslides, mudslides, earthquakes 1 1.34 Flooding, severe storms, landslides, mudslides, earthquakes 4 1.3 Severe storms, flooding, landslides 2 1.28 Hurricanes, flooding, tropical storms, severe storms, tornadoes 1 1.18 Severe storms, flooding, tornadoes 4 1.37 Severe storms (hurricanes, flooding, blizzards) 2 N.A. Flooding, severe storms, hurricanes h Source: School Bus Fleet 2005 Annual Top 100 School District Fleet Survey. Source: 2005 National Transit Database, Appendix D. Includes all U.S. transit properties with ≥100 vehicles oper- i ated in maximum service. Data for New Orleans are for 2004. Defined as the ratio of peak-period travel time to free-flow travel time; used as a measure of congestion. A j value of 1.35, for example, indicates that a 20-minute free-flow trip takes 27 minutes in the peak hour. Source: Schrank and Lomax, The 2007 Urban Mobility Report, Texas Transportation Institute. k Source: FEMA (declared disasters by state); top three disasters (disasters in parentheses are tied with respect to frequency) and disasters that occurred more than five times in the past 15 years (1992–2006). 37274mvp84_127 117 11/24/08 10:50:37 AM

Next: 5 Enhancing Transit's Role »
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