SPECIAL REPORT 294

The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation

Committee on the Role of Public Transportation in Emergency Evacuation

TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Transportation Research Board

Washington, D.C.

2008
www.TRB.org



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special report 294 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation committee on the role of public transportation in emergency evacuation transportation research Board Washington, D.c. 2008 www.trB.org 37274mvp1_12 1 11/24/08 9:05:40 AM

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Transportation Research Board Special Report 294 Subscriber Category VI public transit Transportation Research Board publications are available by ordering individual publications di- rectly from the TRB Business Office, through the Internet at www.TRB.org or national-academies. org/trb, or by annual subscription through organizational or individual affiliation with TRB. Affili- ates and library subscribers are eligible for substantial discounts. For further information, contact the Transportation Research Board Business Office, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 (telephone 202-334-3213; fax 202-334-2519; or e-mail TRBsales@nas.edu). Copyright 2008 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to the procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sci- ences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. This report was sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation and by the Transit Cooperative Research Program. Cover and inside design by Beth Schlenoff, Beth Schlenoff Design. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data National Research Council (U.S.). Transportation Research Board. Committee on the Role of Public Transportation in Emergency Evacuation. The role of transit in emergency evacuation / Committee on the Role of Public Transportation in Emergency Evacuation, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. 1. Emergency transportation—Government policy—United States. 2. Emergency management—Government policy—United States. I. Title. HE206.2.N392 2008 363.34'81—dc22 2008033070 ISBN 978-0-309-11333-5 37274mvp1_12r1 2 11/26/08 12:31:58 PM

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distin- guished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and re- search, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the Na- tional Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to as- sociate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is ad- ministered jointly by both the Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Coun- cil. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Board’s varied activities annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public inter- est. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org 37274mvp1_12 3 11/24/08 9:05:40 AM

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Committee on the Role of Public Transportation in Emergency Evacuation Richard A. White, Chair, DMJM Harris, Arlington, Virginia Evelyn Blumenberg, University of California, Los Angeles Kenneth A. Brown, New York City Transit John M. Contestabile, Maryland Department of Transportation, Hanover Ali Haghani, University of Maryland, College Park Arnold M. Howitt, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Cambridge, Massachusetts Thomas C. Lambert, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Houston, Texas Betty Hearn Morrow, SocResearch Miami, Florida Michael H. Setzer, Veolia Transportation, Cincinnati, Ohio Ellis M. Stanley, Sr., Dewberry, LLC, Los Angeles, California Andrew Velásquez III, Illinois Emergency Management Agency, Springfield Transportation Research Board Staff Nancy P. Humphrey, Study Director, Transportation Research Board 37274mvp1_12 5 11/24/08 9:05:40 AM

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preface The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the damaging hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005 focused attention on the nation’s capacity to respond to emergencies and evacuate its citizenry in a safe and timely manner. Transportation professionals are part of emergency management teams in some urban areas, but the potential for transportation in general and transit in particular to play a more significant role in emergency re- sponse and evacuation is far from being realized. This study was requested by Congress and funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Transit Cooperative Research Program to explore the capacity of transit systems serving the nation’s 38 largest ur- banized areas to accommodate the evacuation, egress, or ingress of people from or to critical locations in times of emergency. The Transportation Research Board (TRB), which conducted the study, formed an 11-member committee comprising managers of transportation, transit, and emergency management agencies, as well as representatives of academia, to respond to the congressional request.1 The committee was chaired by Richard A. White, Executive Vice President and Director of Project Development at DMJM Harris, and former General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. To carry out its charge, the committee reviewed the literature; analyzed the emergency response and evacuation plans of the 38 largest urbanized areas and their respective states; and conducted five case studies repre- senting different regions of the country, types of transit systems, and types of emergencies. Working under the direction of the committee, Sylvia He, Frank Day, Emergency Officer at the Florida Department of Transportation, and Frederick C. 1 Goodine, Assistant General Manager of the Department of System Safety Risk Management at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, also served until their respective retire- ments in June 2007. vii 37274mvp1_12 7 11/24/08 9:05:41 AM

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viii the role of transit in emergency evacuation PhD candidate in the School of Policy, Planning, and Development at the University of Southern California, developed a statistical profile of the 38 urbanized areas, and Aaron D. Green and Joseph M. Maltby, JD candidates in the George Mason University School of Law, conducted the review of those areas’ emergency response and evacuation plans. The committee also supplemented its expertise with briefings present- ed at its meetings by a wide range of experts. In particular, the committee thanks Ben Rich, Chief of Staff in the Office of William Pascrell, Jr., U.S. House of Representatives, and Irving Chambers, recently retired Project Manager from the Office of Research, Demonstration, and Innovation at FTA, who provided the committee with their perspectives on the objec- tives and anticipated outcomes of the study. The committee also thanks David Schneider, Equal Opportunity Specialist in FTA’s Office of Civil Rights, for his presentation on an agency study of emergency prepared- ness for minority, low-income, and limited-English-proficiency persons; John Renne, Associate Director of the Transportation Center at the Uni- versity of New Orleans, and Brian Wolshon, Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Louisiana State University, who briefed the committee on disaster planning for the car- less and on a related national conference held in New Orleans in February 2007, respectively; and John Benison, Chief of the Policy Division in the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) for his remarks on evacuating the disabled in an emergency. Special thanks go to Donald (Doc) Lumpkins, Program Specialist in the Technical Assis- tance Division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, who briefed the committee on the Nationwide Plan Review, Phase 2 Report; Kimberly Vásconez, Team Leader for Emergency Transportation Operations at the Federal Highway Administration, who presented the results of a com- panion USDOT Report to Congress on Hurricane Evacuation Plan Evalua- tion; and Katherine Siggerud, Director of Physical Infrastructure Issues at the Government Accountability Office, who briefed the committee on that agency’s study on Transportation-Disadvantaged Populations: Actions Needed to Clarify Responsibilities and Increase Preparedness for Evacua- tions. Finally, the committee thanks Greg Hull, Director of Operations, Safety, and Security at the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), and Michael H. Setzer, Vice President of Veolia Transportation 37274mvp1_12 8 11/24/08 9:05:41 AM

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ix preface and committee member, for their presentation on APTA’s Emergency Re- sponse and Preparedness Program; and Joseph Kammerman, Homeland Security Coordinator for the Department of Transportation of the District of Columbia, and Robert Young, Public Safety Planner at the Metropoli- tan Washington Council of Governments, for their briefings on the D.C. Emergency Evacuation Plan and development of an evacuation plan for the metropolitan Washington region. The committee also thanks those individuals who helped organize and who participated in the case study interviews. Their names are listed at the end of each of the case studies presented in Appendix D. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that assist the authors and NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsive- ness to the study charge. The content of the review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. The committee thanks the following individuals for their partici- pation in the review of this report: C. Douglas Bass, Emergency Manage- ment and Homeland Security Department, Miami–Dade County, Florida; A. Brent Eastman, Scripps Health, San Diego, California; Ann Flemer, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Oakland, California; Thomas Greufe, Forsythe Transportation, Inc., Phoenix, Arizona; Kumares C. Sinha, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana; Brian Wolshon, Loui- siana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Michael J. Zamiska, Port Authority of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive com- ments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the committee’s conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Susan Hanson, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, and C. Michael Wal- ton, University of Texas at Austin. Appointed by NRC, they were respon- sible for making certain that an independent examination of the report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all 37274mvp1_12 9 11/24/08 9:05:41 AM

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x the role of transit in emergency evacuation review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. Nancy P. Humphrey of TRB drafted the final report under the guidance of the committee and the supervision of Stephen R. Godwin, Director of TRB’s Studies and Special Programs Division. Suzanne Schneider, As- sociate Executive Director of TRB, managed the report review process. Special appreciation is expressed to Rona Briere, who edited the report. Laura Toth assisted with meeting arrangements and communications with committee members, and Alisa Decatur provided word processing support for preparation of the final manuscript. In the TRB Publica- tions Office, Jennifer J. Weeks, Editorial Services Specialist, formatted the prepublication edition of the report for posting to the TRB website; Senior Editor Norman Solomon provided final editorial guidance; and Juanita Green, Production Manager, handled the book production, un- der the supervision of Javy Awan, Director of Publications. 37274mvp1_12 10 11/24/08 9:05:41 AM

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contents Summary 1 1 Introduction 19 Study Charge, Scope, and Audience 20 Study Approach 22 Organization of the Report 27 2 Emergency and Evacuation Planning and Response 28 Typology of Major Disasters 28 Emergency Planning and Response 31 Evacuation Planning and Response 38 Potential Contribution of Transportation Planning Agencies 43 Sources of Funding for Emergency Evacuation Planning and Operations 44 Conclusion 48 3 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation 50 Factors Affecting the Role of Transit in an Emergency 50 Results of the Committee’s Literature Review 59 Summary and Findings 70 4 Evidence from the 38 Largest Urbanized Areas 74 Profile of the 38 UAs 74 Results of the Committee’s Plan Assessment 80 Results of the Committee’s Case Studies 82 Findings 107 Annex 4-1: Detailed Statistical Profile of 38 Urbanized Areas 111 37274mvp1_12 11 11/24/08 9:05:41 AM

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5 Enhancing Transit’s Role 118 Setting the Context 119 Incorporating Transit as a Full Partner in Emergency Evacuation 123 Complementary Transportation System Improvements 131 Research Needs 133 Moving Forward 136 Appendices A Congressional Request for the Study 139 B Literature Review 140 C Assessment of Transit’s Role in Emergency Response and Evacuation Plans of 33 Urbanized Areas and Related States, Joseph M. Maltby and Aaron D. Green 171 D Case Studies 174 Study Committee Biographical Information 277 37274mvp1_12 12 11/24/08 9:05:41 AM