Cover Image

Not for Sale

View/Hide Left Panel
Click for next page ( 64

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

Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 63
63 thereby becoming the key executors of response operations. safely away from the World Trade Center disaster. Early re- The transit operations control center, or dispatcher, coordi- sponse examples included informing passengers of alternative nates transit service with the incident command post. Transit transit via telecommunication monitors, suspending bus and agency representatives are either physically present at the in- rail fares to facilitate evacuation, and reopening bridges and cident command post (which may be a vehicle provided by the tunnels with more outbound lanes. Emergency changes in the transit agency) or are in frequent communication via telephone New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) or radio. The transit agency may also have field personnel pro- service was quickly coordinated with New Jersey Transit. viding information through the agency's operation control Later responses included provision of shuttle service to what center to the incident command post. become known as Ground Zero, with buses dedicated to Thus, emergency response decisions in transit agencies search and rescue teams, emergency responders, and the Sal- follow preset plans, which can be superseded by orders from vation Army. Two light rail cars were stripped and dedicated the incident command post. These actions do not require to the transport of personnel and equipment to Ground Zero. explicit consultation or approval within the transit agency be- In the Washington, DC, area, hundreds of thousands of res- yond the operations division. A transit representative assists idents flooded the transportation system when workplaces and the command post in assessing public transit options such as schools were closed after the attack on the Pentagon. Passen- changes in routes, tunnel ventilation, provision of assistance gers were informed of station changes via the transit authority to an adjacent transit authority, or dedication of vehicles to Web page, flyers, telephone message centers, and media an- emergency worker needs. nouncements. Service was increased to meet the needs of an To assist with emergency plan development, the FTA has early rush hour. Additional buses were assigned to provide rest recently funded vulnerability assessments of the 37 largest stations for Pentagon rescue workers and to provide trans- transit systems. In 2003, the FTA released a document on portation for search and rescue teams. The following day, "Handling of Chemical and Biological Incidents in Tunneled several buses were assigned to the DC Police to assist in de- Environments," which further developed appropriate emer- ploying officers at strategic locations. In the wake of the attacks gency responses. A similar report on surface transit opera- of September 11, many adjacent transit providers coordinated tions has also been released. Rail systems are addressed their efforts not only in the New York City and Washington, through the FTA/APTA Rail Safety Audit Program that pro- DC, regions, but also around airports throughout the country, motes and oversees state oversight of fixed-guideway sys- where air travel was suspended. Nationwide, transit systems tems. The program includes emergency response plans, evacuated tens of thousands of travelers from closed airports in training, and security, and guidance on ventilation regarding major cities. Not a single life was lost among the millions of the most appropriate way to change ventilation in vehicles people traveling on public transportation that day. and tunnels under different emergency conditions. Typically, Other examples of emergency use during natural disasters transit agencies rapidly coordinate with fire departments include the record snowfall that hit the East Coast over the 2003 when ventilation-related emergency actions are needed. President's Day weekend. Buses and trains at many systems Under some conditions, the fire department may assume con- kept the public moving from Washington, DC, to Boston. Dur- trol of a transit agency's tunnel ventilation through remote ing the peak of the storm, the Rhode Island Public Transit control of fan direction and speed. Authority extended some bus service from its regular closing Additional guidance in emergency plan development has time of midnight until 3 a.m. The change was made to ensure been available through 2-day workshops offered throughout that riders would not get stranded in the snow without access to the country by the US DOT Volpe Center. The workshops, transportation. In Philadelphia, the Southeastern Pennsylvania entitled "Connecting Communities," include transit agency Transportation Authority (SEPTA) provided transportation for personnel and their local first responders to identify emer- thousands of stranded passengers when the Philadelphia Air- gency plan strengths and weaknesses, with consideration of port shut down for approximately 3 days because of the heavy emergencies ranging from the relatively common to WMD. snow. Along with operating service at 70 to 75% of normal Transit agency personnel may also obtain training on topics schedules on average, SEPTA also kept its paratransit services such as system security, general emergency management, operating during the storm. In January 2003, an ice storm hit threat management, and emergency response to hijackings, the Carolinas, leaving millions without power and heat. The transit explosives incident management, and WMD through Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) altered operations to courses offered by the FTA's Transit Safety Institute. provide transportation to temporary shelters across the area. 3.5.8 Historical Emergency Actions 3.5.9 System Summary Matrix Public transportation has been critical in maintaining basic Table 3-33 provides a matrix that summarizes mass tran- access, mobility, and safety for the public during both natural sit operational sequences, traffic flow, and historical emer- and human-caused emergencies. On 9/11, in the New York gency response. Table 3-34 summarizes mass transit control City area, the public transportation systems moved people options, operational limits, and existing authority.

OCR for page 63
64 TABLE 3-33 Mass Transit Operational Sequences, Traffic Flow, and Historical Emergency Response Traffic Flow Historical Emergency Response Operational Sequences Traffic Types Traffic Patterns Short Term (2 hr) Long Term (>2 hr) Vehicles: Dispatched on set Normal: Workers, students, Rush Hours: Toward urban Stop Service: At event sites, at Reroute Service routes, schedules, and stops shoppers, and tourists on or areas, schools, and work suspicious sites, and as directed. Evacuate People (e.g., bus stops, train stations). near schedule. Peak demand centers. Reroute Service: Around Suspend Fares For demand response service during the morning and Off-Peak: To and from emergency site, suspicious Inform Passengers routes, schedules and stops evening hours, and during schools, shopping, areas, traffic congestion. Dedicate Vehicles to First vary. some events. entertainment, etc. Suspend Fares: During area Responders. Passengers: Embark and Constraints: Reduced or Emergencies: Route general evacuations to reduce traffic Modify Vehicles for Supplies debark at set or arranged suspended service during traffic away from and first during spiked demand (special Borrow Vehicles and Drivers stops/stations. Peak demand severe weather (e.g., snow, responders toward events). from Nearby Transit Authorities is for service weekdays-- hurricane). emergency area. Off Other Options: Promote travel Examples: WTC and Pentagon 9/11, mornings and evenings. schedule and on and off alternatives, discourage use, Baltimore chemical spill (7-18-01). routes. issue transfers, provide special service.

OCR for page 63
TABLE 3-34 Mass Transit Control Options, Operational Limits, and Existing Authority Control Options Operational Limits Existing Authority Short Term (2 hr) Long Term (>2 hr) Short Term (2 hr) Long Term (>2 hr) Options Stop/Reroute Same as short term and: Stop/Reroute Same as short-term and: Stop/Reroute Service--first responder Service Get Right of Way Service--limited Get Right of organization, transit agency, local and state Suspend Fares Borrow or Buy choices Way--traffic issues, government. Add/Refocus Vehicles/Drivers Suspend resentments Suspend Fares--first responder organization, Service Receive Fares-- overcrowding, Borrow/Buy transit agency, local and state government. Substitute Assistance--From revenue loss Vehicles/Drivers--lack Add/Refocus Service--transit agency, local and Service (buses Police, Traffic Add/Refocus of funds, stock, state government. instead of trains); Control, DOT, etc. Service-- lack of operators Substitute Service--transit agency, local and Obtain FR Help Modify Vehicles resources Receive Assigned state government. Media Assistance Employer Help Substitute Assistance--lack of First Responder Help--first responder Evacuate (stagger work hours) Service--(e.g., buses resources, commitment, organization, local and state government. Vehicles Media (inform on all) vs. trains) inefficient, experience Media Assistance--industry Evacuate Station State and Local lack of resources; Modify Get Right of Way--first responder organization, Government First Responder Vehicles--resources, local and state government. (special exemption-- Help--different time Borrow/Buy Vehicles/Drivers--transit use of roads) command structure, Other Long--Term agency, local, state, and federal government . operations, etc. Help--employers, Modify Vehicles--transit agency, local Media Assistance-- media, state and local government. inadequate coordination, government Employer Help-- industry coverage, frequency, etc. Fuel Access--depends Special Exemption--local and state government Evacuate Vehicles and on continuity of fuel Evacuate-- first responder organization, transit Stations deliveries. agency, local and state government. 65