Box 3-1

Factors That Affect the Response of Transit Agencies in an Emergency Evacuation

Characteristics of the Urban Area

  • Population characteristics

    • Population size

    • Population density

    • Spatial concentration of transit-dependent populations

  • Socioeconomic characteristics

    • Elderly population

    • People with disabilities

    • Low-income population

    • Immigrant populations

  • Geographic characteristics

    • Size of transportation network

    • Constraints on evacuation routes

  • Political and institutional characteristics

    • Jurisdictional complexity/fragmentation

    • Leadership and experienced personnel

Characteristics of the Emergency

  • Likelihood of occurrence

  • Advance-notice/no-notice

  • Type (natural, human-caused)

  • Scope (local, regional, multistate)

  • Time (on- or off-peak, weekday or weekend)

  • Duration (hours, days, months)

Behavioral Characteristics

  • Experience with emergency incidents and transit use

  • Cultural factors

  • Trust and credibility


  • Technology

  • Mutual-aid agreements

  • Funding for planning and emergency exercises

Characteristics of the Transit System

  • Size of system

  • Coverage of service area

  • Modal mix and flexibility of transit system

  • Type of service (directly provided or contracted out)

  • Condition and capacity of transit system

  • Integration of transit agency into local emergency command structure

  • Integrity of the system in an emergency

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement