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62 equipped with two-way radios. Many contain more sophisti- hour and non-rush-hour times of day and days of week. cated communications systems, tracking capabilities, record- Trains and operators are generally assigned to the same ing devices, and emergency notification systems. Although train and the same route. Operator choices are limited by tracking can provide location information, it does not ensure the fixed-guideway system, and instructions regarding safety or security of contents within a vehicle. train speed, stops, and so forth are generally provided by General system operations for the three most common the operations control center (dispatcher). In an emer- modes of public transit, representing approximately 90% of gency, detour options are very limited and evacuations public transit vehicles, are described below. can be difficult because of the danger caused by the elec- trified third rail and the confines of the physical system Buses--Fixed-route bus service varies by transit agency (e.g., tunnels, elevated structures, semi-enclosed tracks, in vehicle type (e.g., van or bus), length (45, 40, 35, 30 height of the train, and ventilation issues). Rail operators foot); fuel (diesel, compressed natural gas (CNG), lique- commonly have minimal interaction and, by extension, fied natural gas (LNG), hybrid); floor height; service much less familiarity with their passengers than bus driv- (e.g., frequency of stops, cost, and number of passen- ers. However, other personnel assigned to the train, such gers); and effectiveness (e.g., on-time performance and as the door engineer or transit police (including plain cost of service). Bus service is planned by day of the clothes police) have a greater ability to observe, report, week to allow for reduced demand during weekends; and, if needed, interfere. Post-service inspections identify time of the day to respond to work commuters; and to repair and service requirements and look for misplaced holiday and special events needs. Buses and drivers are objects. Cars are cleaned and serviced and returned to op- generally assigned to the same bus and the same route. eration at the next pull-out. Operational requirements are As such, the drivers not only become familiar with their increasingly including requirements to look for unusual vehicle, the service route, the neighborhoods, and repeat or suspicious objects. passengers, but also can notice new riders. Before pull- out, the driver is to inspect the vehicle for mechanical and operational soundness and, in some cases, for un- 3.5.7 Emergency Plans and Organization usual or suspicious objects. At the end of the route, the driver or the cleaning crew will look inside the bus for All transit agencies have some plans for emergencies, misplaced property and other objects. The bus is cleaned, which often include preset alternate routes and schedules. The serviced, and returned to operation at the next pull-out. primary objective of these plans is to avoid problem areas and Demand Response (dial-a-ride, paratransit)--Demand- provide assistance to first-responders as needed. These ob- response bus service varies by transit agency in vehicle jectives remain the same whether the event is a more common type (i.e., van or bus), length, and fuel type (gasoline, emergency, such as snow storms or water main breaks, or a diesel, CNG, LNG, hybrid). Demand-response service terrorist threat. The extent to which plans address terrorist- users call to schedule their trip, similar to a taxi service. related emergencies varies significantly between agencies. Lead time for scheduling, hours of operation, and num- According to the FTA Office of Safety and Security, emer- ber of passengers that share a ride (and hence, number of gency response plans that specifically address WMD were de- stops) varies. The primary objective of this service is to veloped at the 30 largest public transit agencies as of the end meet the requirements of the ADA by providing trans- of 2003, and the number of agencies with these plans is con- portation for persons with disabilities. Regular fixed- tinuing to increase. The FTA provides consulting services for service vehicles are increasingly being equipped to fa- agencies developing these plans, which may also include co- cilitate travel by a larger proportion of persons with ordinated responses with state and federal agencies, such as disabilities; thus the extent of demand-response vehicles the FBI, CDC, FEMA and other parts of the DHS. depends both on the size and demographics of the com- Because the use of emergency response plans (not neces- munity and the characteristics of the fixed-route fleet sarily those related to WMD) is expected with some frequency (i.e., low-floor and kneeling buses). The pull-out inspec- within transit agencies, decisions on how and when to imple- tion requirements, driver assignments, route assign- ment these plans are kept at an operational level. For each ments, and bus inspections are similar to those required emergency type, the operations control center and field per- on buses. However, the driver commonly provides closer sonnel have specific procedures to follow as set in the agency's and more personal support to this clientele. emergency response plan. Initially, at the site of an incident, Heavy Rail (subways, elevated, metro, etc.)--Operations the first respondents have direct, local control of traffic flow, vary by transit agency in accordance with local require- including public transit. This control is quickly transferred to ments; system complexity; system age, vehicle type and a rapidly established incident command post, which is typi- arrangement (e.g., subway, elevated, and number of cars cally controlled by either the police or fire department, de- per train); service (e.g., frequency of stops, express ser- pending on the event. Under severe emergencies, for example, vice, local service, cost, and number of passengers); and for those that involve WMD, federal agencies may be involved effectiveness. Service frequency varies between rush- and may assume control of the incident command post,