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Suggested Citation:"Foreword." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Public Transit Emergency Preparedness Against Ebola and Other Infectious Diseases: Legal Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24795.
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The Problem and Its Solution The nation’s 6,000 plus transit agencies need to have access to a program that can provide authoritatively researched, specific, limited-scope studies of legal issues and problems having national significance and applica- tion to their business. Some transit programs involve legal problems and issues that are not shared with other modes; as, for example, compliance with transit- equipment and operations guidelines, FTA financing initiatives, private-sector programs, and labor or environ- mental standards relating to transit operations. Also, much of the information that is needed by transit attorneys to address legal concerns is scattered and fragmented. Con- sequently, it would be helpful to the transit lawyer to have well-resourced and well-documented reports on specific legal topics available to the transit legal community. The Legal Research Digests (LRDs) are developed to assist transit attorneys in dealing with the myriad of initia- tives and problems associated with transit start-up and operations, as well as with day-to-day legal work. The LRDs address such issues as eminent domain, civil rights, constitutional rights, contracting, environmental con- cerns, labor, procurement, risk management, security, tort liability, and zoning. The transit legal research, when con- ducted through the TRB’s legal studies process, either collects primary data that generally are not available else- where or performs analysis of existing literature. Foreword As a result of the 2014 outbreak of Ebola, federal and state authorities in the United States have implemented emergency measures to combat and contain the spread Legal Research Digest 50 TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM Sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration June 2017 PUBLIC TRANSIT EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AGAINST EBOLA AND OTHER INFECTIOUS DISEASES: LEGAL ISSUES This report was prepared under TCRP Project J-05, “Legal Aspects of Transit and Intermodal Transportation Programs,” for which the Transportation Research Board is the agency coordinating the research. The report was prepared under Topic 16-03 by Trudy C. Henson and Megan Timmons, University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security. James B. McDaniel, TRB Counsel for Legal Research Projects, was the principal investigator and content editor. Responsible Senior Program Officer: Gwen Chisholm Smith of the disease. Transit and other public agencies have developed emergency advance measures and directives to employ for immediate containment. This research examines responses to infectious dis- ease epidemics and identifies legal issues that may be confronted by transit agencies. Such responses include but are not limited to closures of public facilities, busi- nesses, and other major traffic generators; checkpoints for screening; quarantine zones; compulsory leave for possibly infected employees; refusals of employees to come to work; prescreening of passengers; and full or partial suspension of service. The study evaluates privacy and civil rights of patrons and employees, as well as liability issues. The digest considers federal and state laws and avail- able court decisions affecting transit agencies’ responses to infectious disease outbreaks, including potential cohesiveness among transit agencies’ procedures and federal and state guidance. The digest examines the legal basis for the protocols that public transit agencies and other transportation providers such as airlines have planned or implemented to respond to epidemics and pandemics. It reviews perti- nent information from leading agencies and organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control, Department of Homeland Security, and the World Health Organization to ascertain what procedures transit agencies should have in place before and during an epidemic. The digest built upon the 2014 NCHRP Report 769: A Guide for Public Transportation Pandemic Planning and Response. The digest should be useful to public transit administrators and other personnel, government and private attorneys, students, professors, and research- ers in relevant fields.

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TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Legal Research Digest 50: Public Transit Emergency Preparedness Against Ebola and Other Infectious Diseases: Legal Issues examines responses to infectious disease epidemics and identifies legal issues that may be confronted by transit agencies. It considers federal and state laws and available court decisions affecting transit agencies’ responses to infectious disease outbreaks, including potential cohesiveness among transit agencies’ procedures and federal and state guidance. The digest also examines the legal basis for the protocols that public transit agencies and other transportation providers such as airlines have planned or implemented to respond to epidemics and pandemics. This report builds upon the 2014 NCHRP Report 769: A Guide for Public Transportation Pandemic Planning and Response.

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