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TCRP A-41: Final Research Report 49 Conclusions and Suggested Research and Implementation Needs The study has been successful in identifying effective practices across the country. The research has identified two major categories of research needs: 1. Research into resilience implementation successes, including quantification of benefits and financial aspects; and 2. Actual implementation of the Guide and the associated APTA guideline and standards implementation process, as described in the Continuation Problem Statement, provided below. 3. The Guidebook and accompanying case studies provide ample examples of adoption of resilience practices, in operations and maintenance, asset management, systems and capital planning, and more. However, the study did not specifically focus on proving the financial and cost/benefit aspects of resilience, leading to a gap in findings. Specific aspects that could be explored, possibly in a synthesis study, include the following: a. How have agencies projected benefits from resilience? i. What tools have been used (e.g., CAPTA, INVEST, Envision, CREAT mentioned in the Guidebook; other tools?) ii. What were the findings? iii. How were the projects prioritized and implemented? (e.g., âspecial creditsâ for resilience?) b. How have agencies documented benefits from resilience? i. What tools or methods have they used to document benefits? ii. What are the time periods used in the analysis? iii. What were the findings? c. Role of insurance in resilience: Most transit agencies are self-insured up to certain catastrophic limits. Insurance agencies are taking a more active stance on extreme weather and climate risks and resilience. Are transit agency self-insurance practices changing with changes in weather-related risks? Are transit agencies effectively tracking costs (and not just for declared disasters)? How are catastrophic premiums and limits changing? Are resilience initiatives resulting in lower premiums (or smaller increases in premiums)?
TCRP A-41: Final Research Report 50 I. Problem Title: Deploying and Implementing Practices to Improve Transit Systemsâ Resilience II. Research Problem Statement This statement is intended to support implementation of TCRP A-41: Improving the Resilience of Transit Systems Threatened by Natural Disasters. The TCRP A-41 project (in final revision as of May 15, 2017, and to be published in 2017) includes interrelated work products: ï· Reviewed the current body of the literature on resilience adoption within the public transit industry; ï· Identified leading practices within the transit industry for making systems more resilient to weather and climate-related hazards; ï· Presented a range of case studies that showcase examples of resilience adoption across varying transit system contexts, hazards/threats and adoption domains; and ï· Made recommendations regarding how agencies large and small can mainstream resilience adoption across transit agency business units. This information was organized into a step-wise Guide toolkit, APTA worksheet for adopting resilience into existing standards and guidelines, and online, searchable transit resilience database. This information will be useful both to transit agencies with experience in adopting resilience measures, as well as those contemplating adoption. The knowledge, insights and practical suggestions gained from this project will similarly be useful to various local, regional and state public agencies whose participation is essential to ensuring the success of transit resilience efforts. The Guide was designed to help inform policy decisions and to assist transit agency managers to integrate resilience considerations, strategies and approaches throughout and across the agencyâs business units and to collaborate effectively with their regionâs emergency and hazard/ sustainability/ and/or resilience planning groups. As such, all products were written for a non-technical audience. It is anticipated that all the work products from this project will be of interest to transportation professionals, transit operators, elected officials and other policy makers and advocates at the federal, state and local level. The adoption of resilience measures by transit agencies in the United States can be considered in its infancy. Planning for resilience is sufficiently different from planning for ordinary operations that for many agencies simply getting started and finding an approach that works is daunting. The Guide and suite of associated work products provided as part of this project will enhance the ability of agency managers to understand which measures are most appropriate for adoption within their agencies. The Guide provides a one-stop guidance document that describes leading practices, success stories and lessons learned by peer agencies across the country. Associated work products provide searchable reference materials to expand and enhance use of the Guide and learning materials to promote a broad understanding of resilience practice and its applicability across various domains of potential adoption. The Guide is deliberately condensed to not intimidate the busy manager. It is clearly and accessibly presented, with practical detail and resource references. The comprehensive guide showcases actionable detail and incorporates a range of tools that can assist end users in applying the content and processes in their day-to-day work, without the undue burden of wading through cumbersome research reporting. The parallel APTA worksheet on resilience lenses will help APTA working groups incorporate resilience practices and perspectives into APTA standards and guidelines as they are updated over time. We anticipate the TCRP A-41 work products will be very useful to practitioners; however, a common complaint in the industry is that practitioners often do not know that useful practice aidesââsuch as the
TCRP A-41: Final Research Report 51 Improving Transit Resilience Guide, toolkit and database being developed as part of TCRP A-41ââeven exist. Another reason often cited for why it is difficult to move research into practice is the lack of practical instruction on how best to use various research products. Other impediments may include limited resources and lack of priority, especially in transit agencies that have not experienced a recent large-scale weather event or natural disaster. Also, there may not be political will or motivation to investigate the issue, review the Guide, and take action. III. Objective The purpose of this deployment/ implementation project is to overcome these impediments by: ï· Creating additional positive âbuzzâ about the Guide and other work products; ï· Monitoring and supporting the APTA process of incorporating resilience into existing standards and guidelines as they are updated; ï· Developing a short video for executives and senior managers on the urgency and relative ease of implementing resilience, using the Guide; ï· Developing and delivering a âHow to Use the Guideâ webinar; ï· Developing and piloting a short course; ï· Facilitating intra-agency training workshops with five transit agencies; and ï· Expanding and enhancing the Improving Transit Resilience online database. IV. Work Proposed Activity 1. Create a âbuzzâ The TCRP A-41 team represents not only transit researchers and practitioners with âin-the-fieldâ experience, but also connections to numerous venues of outreach to transit and transportation agencies that will provide immediate, credible access to many professional organizations that practitioners commonly look to for the latest tools and techniques. The team has maintained a list of contacts made during the project, for follow-on correspondence, and has made presentations during the project to establish anticipatory âbuzz.â However, given the project schedule and available resources these efforts have been somewhat limited. Once the Guide is released by TRB for full dissemination, the team will write papers and/or seek to make presentations to showcase the Guide, toolkit and database at meetings and conferences sponsored by the following organizations, agencies and others to promote awareness of the Guideâs availability: ï· AAMPO: American Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations ï· AASHTO: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials ï· APA: American Planning Association (the Transportation Planning Division of APA has more than 1,000 members) ï· APTA: American Public Transportation Association ï· CTAA: Community Transportation Association of America ï· EMForum.org: Emergency Management Forum ï· FEMA: Federal Emergency Management Association ï· IAEM: International Association of Emergency Managers ï· LLIS.gov: U.S. Department of Homeland Security Lessons Learned Information Sharing ï· NARC: National Association of Regional Councils ï· NEMA: National Emergency Management Association NLC: National League of Cities
TCRP A-41: Final Research Report 52 Activity 2. Monitor and Support the APTA Process of Resilience Adoption APTA has agreed to provide the Resilience Lens worksheet to APTA working groups as they update standards and guidelines according to prescribed schedules. The study team would ask to monitor the working groups, with working group and APTA permission, to see how the worksheet instructions are received; how well the process works; and determine whether adjustments are required. For example, does the generic worksheet âworkâ, or would guidance and examples more closely tailored to the standard under review be more effective? Once the working group gets started, is the appointed âresilience championâ effective; and do others begin to support the effort as well? How does this vary from one committee or working group to the next? Lessons learned and changes made during the monitoring and support process could make a significant difference in the breadth and depth of the long-range implementation of resilience into APTA standards and guidelines for virtually every discipline. The standards and guidelines represent an opportunity for institutionalizing resilience practices far into the future, ensuring the continued relevance of the A-41 Guide and Database. Activity 3. Develop a short video for executives and senior managers on Resilience Adoption Developing a short (5 minute or less) but compelling video for executives and senior managers on the urgency and relative ease of implementing resilience would broaden the accessibility and reach of the Guide. Developing the script and images, along with professional editing and narration, could be accomplished fairly quickly but requires more resources than are available in the current project. Activity 4. Develop and deliver a âHow to use the Guideâ webinar The project team will work with TRB, FTA, APTA and the National Transit Institute (NTI) to develop and deliver a series of webinars to promote the Guide and how it can be used to enhance transit system resilience. NTI, which is a unit of the Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University, sponsors numerous webinars each year to promote and introduce new tools and resources. Depending on available resources, the webinar could be a standalone overview of the materials or produced as a series, with an introductory overview and subsequent more in-depth webinars on adopting resilience measures in various domains of adoption. Activity 5. Develop and pilot a short course In addition to the webinar, the project team will work with TRB, FTA, APTA and the NTI to develop and pilot a short course using the results of the research and the content of the Guide, toolkit and resilience database. NTI has a proven track record in developing and delivering short courses geared to the transit industry and related fields. The objectives of the course would be to: 1. Articulate the case for mainstreaming resilience practice across agency business units; 1. Using the findings of the case study research, explain the importance and potential benefits of resilience projects, strategies and approaches to the agency bottom-line and for ensuring resilient communities and resilient economies; 2. Describe the leading practices being pursued by agencies in a range of setting and contexts; and 3. Highlight the role various entities can play in improving transit resilience. During the project development (in July, 2016) the TCRP A-41 project team piloted some of the proposed Guide content at a 3 hour workshop conducted at the TRB Asset Management Conference. The workshop materials were very well received by the 30+/- attendees at the workshop. Additional shorter presentations at the APTA Sustainability Conference (Austin, Texas) and APTA Multimodal Operations Conference (Calgary, Alberta) were also well received.
TCRP A-41: Final Research Report 53 Activity 6. Facilitate intra-agency training The Guide recommends that transit agencies begin (or enhance) their efforts toward system resilience with a self-assessment process to establish their current circumstances, followed by meetings for goal setting and planning. For any organization, forthright self-assessment and realistic goal setting are challenges that can often benefit from group sessions with neutral facilitators who are well informed about the agency and the larger questions it faces. For transit agencies addressing resilience planning, facilitation assistance to get over these initial hurdles could make the difference between making good use of the Guide by creating successful, actionable plans and making little or no use of this resource. This continuation project would make available that neutral, informed facilitation through pilot projects to be offered and completed within three months after the authorization of the continuation project with two agencies of different sizes and resilience challenges. The criteria for selecting agencies for this initial work would include that one of them be at the very beginning of such a resilience planning process, which would permit testing the Guide and Tools from the start, instead of as an overlay or interruption to an agency process already underway. From these two pilots, adjustments could be made before three other workshops in three more regions were completed in the months following. Each of the five agencies would be offered an assessment and planning workshop, video-based update session at six to nine months to monitor progress and help make adjustments, and a ârefreshâ workshop at a year to 18 months into the process to update the effort and plan next steps. Results from the workshops of these five pilots would be gathered and used to create the Planning Workshop Guide, which could be added as an annex to the completed A-41 Guide and/or provided in replicable form as a standalone document accessed from a web site link. This approach would benefit agencies of all sizes and circumstances. Not every agency will want facilitation from the national study team. Some will prefer a group process limited to their own personnel, and some agencies will have consultants who help with planning. To be useful to all agencies, the continuation project will use the representative projects to develop these possibilities for agenciesâ use: ï· Offer reports and contacts from demonstration projects as references for agencies that may wish to have the national team help facilitate their resilience planning project. Future continuation funding from TRB would be necessary for this work. ï· Create from the âlessons learnedâ that will result from these pilot projects, a Workshop Planning Guide, which agencies can use as a tool for their own personnel or consultants to lead their resilience planning efforts. This Guide would actually be two guides, one for facilitators and another for participants. The case studies and A-41 panel members input have highlighted elements of resilience planning in agencies that reflect direct and recent experience with agenciesâ challenges. These include, but are certainly not limited to: governance (who âownsâ elements of the resilience effort); responsibility (from states to communities to the agency to personnel); decision-making (board(s), executives, supervisors, individuals); scalability; succession planning; risk management (including the costs of no-action); impact of engineering standards on systemsâ resilience efforts; and funding. While the A-41 Guide will address some of these matters to the extent that research and study team experience permits, these are almost without exception elements that belong in the self-assessment, goal setting, and planning discussions that transit agencies will, ideally, be holding. These are certainly elements the team would bring into discussions to be facilitated as part of this continuation project. From the pilot facilitated workshop projects, the study team would be able to address these elements with the
TCRP A-41: Final Research Report 54 benefit of agenciesâ current thinking and experience about them and could include the results in the guidance offered in the Workshop Planning Guide, as well as in summary reports. Proposed Approach to Workshops: 1. Establish criteria for transit agencies most likely to participate in the demonstration program. The criteria will include project panel recommendations as well as differentiators such as location, size of agency, general community demographics, threats and hazards faced, recent emergency events that impacted transit infrastructure and/or operations, where agencies are in the resilience adoption continuum and presence of existing networks. In addition, transit agency staff in these communities must be available to implement the demonstration program with consultation and technical assistance from the contractor team. Five transit agencies will be invited to work through the process developed in the A-41 Guide and Toolkit. 2. Identify desired outcomes with staff from each of the participating transit agencies and tailor technical assistance workshop and follow-up to the specific needs of the selected demonstration communities. For example, one may require assistance with the basic steps of gathering and organizing information and data while another may need assistance in refreshing or sustaining its existing community collaborations. 3. Over a period of 12 months, provide customized facilitation, training and technical assistance (in- person trips, facilitated conference calls, web-based meetings and regular email/phone interface) to participating pilot project transit agencies. The study team will function as facilitators, trainers and technical advisors, rather than performing the tasks for the agency, but they will keep records of the process (including challenges and successes, lessons learned). For example, the team might provide guidance to transit agency staff on how to find demographic data, but will not provide, gather or input the data. 4. The lessons learned from the five pilot projects will be the basis of three tangible deliverables: a comprehensive report of the process; a Workshop Planning Guide; and a template agency participants can use to develop presentations about their experience to share at conferences or other venues to increase the probability of others using the A-41 Guide and Toolkit. Potential Tasks: 1. Establish selection criteria for participant transit agencies. 2. Identify and present for project panel review agencies that will represent various stages in resilience planning, types of threats, sizes, demographics, and locations. 3. Invite transit agencies/communities that best meet the criteria to participate until five are committed (not every community invited may be in a position to accept, as the project will require resources of people and time). 4. Mobilize study team to work with transit agencies to identify and prioritize needs for technical assistance. Tailor a plan to demonstrate/implement the Toolkit process in each of these agencies. 5. Conduct focused events (workshops), collect and analyze information for use by the project panel and agencies; conduct follow-up events with pilot agencies at two intervals for monitoring and updating. 6. Report to the project panel initial two pilot workshopsâ results and identify any necessary course corrections or modifications to the remaining project tasks. 7. Provide routine, ongoing study team technical assistance and training in areas of identified need to participating transit agencies. 8. Document activities of the process for each of the transit agencies. 9. Follow up six months and again at a year (or when agencies prefer, given their schedule requirements) after initial workshop to determine the progress each transit agency has made in creating resilience planning and beginning implementation.
TCRP A-41: Final Research Report 55 Draft and submit interim reports as required and a final report to TCRP on the outcomes of the demonstration projects. Activity 7. Expand and enhance the Improving Transit Resilience Database As noted above, the database that will result from the current project will be limited to the findings of the literature review and case studies prepared as part of the study teamâs research. This will include approximately 100 database entries including reports, articles and case studies that cover a wide variety of resilience topics, circumstances and domains of adoption. To be most useful, the depth and breadth of the database should be expanded. In addition, the scope of work for the current A-41 project did not include any outreach or marketing of the database to transit industry professionals. The work tasks for the database enhancement proposed under this continuation project include: 1. âUnpackingâ the A-41 literature review summaries and case studies to highlight specific strategies, tools and approaches as independent database entries. This will likely require additional research and transit agency interviews to create content-rich database entries. 2. Conducting a series of informational/educational webinars that showcase some of the A-41 case studies, while demonstrating the content and functionality of the database. The webinars would also be utilized to build awareness of the database as a âlivingâ resource that can grow over time. The webinar would be followed by a national call for database entries (see task 3). 3. Broadcasting a national call for resilience adoption examples that can generate new database entries. The call would use an online survey tool embedded in the A-41 Resilience Database landing page to capture data on resilience activities. 4. Completing a comprehensive review/assessment of database entries to proactively identify content gaps. 5. Undertaking strategic research and outreach to transit agencies to fill identified content gaps. 6. Creating and maintaining a âtell us what you thinkâ feedback feature on the database landing page, which would facilitate communication between transit industry personnel and the research team. Database users would be encouraged to suggest content and functionality enhancements that could lead to further enrichment of the database on an ongoing basis. V. Estimate of the Problem Funding and Research Period Recommended funding: $349,000 Research period: 24 months VI. Urgency and Payoff Potential The proposed continuation is an implementation project to help move transit agencies toward maintaining the resilient systems that support communities in their emergency preparation and response, as well as their longer-term sustainability goals. Interviews with agencies in the research phase of the current project hint at, or even reveal outright, the difficulties agencies foresee in getting resilience planning started or carrying it forward. Some of these barriers relate to insufficient understanding of the âplaying field:â what other agencies are or are not doing, as well as policy and funding factors that impact resilience effort. The proposed database continuation work will make more of the needed current information readily available to agencies. Other barriers are in the planning effort itself, from facing widely-shared questions (e.g., what about engineering standards? Where will funding come from?) to agency-specific questions (e.g., managing internal issues of ownership, personality politics, and âturfingâ). The proposed workshop assistance will be helpful to agencies of all sizes and levels of resilience planning.
TCRP A-41: Final Research Report 56 Without implementation assistance, many agencies are unlikely to carry the work of TCRP A-41 study into practice. It will likely take many years for APTA standards to fully embrace resilience, as it will be carried out one standard or guide at a time, and the review process itself takes time. It will be even more years for the standards to make their way fully into agency practices. Certainly the work will have theoretical value â and that will be enhanced as the database is enriched to become a really important reference resource to facilitate future research, data collection and knowledge sharing over time. But practical value will come from practical planning, which would be the content of the proposed workshops. The element of practicality may be diminished if the study work is not continued into implementation modeling. VII. Relationship to FTA Strategic Research Goals, TCRPâs Five Strategic Priorities, and TRBâs Three Strategic, Critical and Emerging Issues. The work of helping transit agencies develop system resilience supports all three of FTAâs strategic research goals for FY 2017 and 2018: safety, asset innovation and management, mobility. (Note: the link on the form referred to the 2011 FTA strategic goals; it is assumed that was an error.) Transit agency resilience planning is inextricable from planning for safety and meeting safety goals, in infrastructure improvement as well as, more obviously, related to natural disasters and other emergencies. A resilient system will result from strategic asset management and innovation. Mobilityââincluding multimodal connectivity, equitable access, and customer satisfactionââ especially in the face of natural disaster or emergency is dependent on a systemâs resilience. A continuation of the work of TCRP A-41 into implementation assistance and database enhancement provides underlying support for all five of the TCRP strategic initiatives, because resilience and the resulting sustainability of transit agencies contributes to each of the five. Most obviously, the continuation work will contribute to priorities I, III, IV, V. ï· I. Place the Customer First. Transit systems that break down do not meet customer needs. Safety is âjob one;â resilience is âjob two.â ï· III. Continuously Improve Public Transportation. Planning for resilience is a necessary step to improve service throughout the United States to prepare for and recover from the effects of extreme weather and the apparently increasing numbers of natural disasters. ï· IV. Flourish in the Multimodal Environment. Effective resilience planning for transit systems must be integrated with community-based planning and the realities of all transportation modes. ï· V. Revitalize Transit Organizations. Resilience is a form of reinvention. Planning and implementing resilience strategies are at the center of âWork Better-Cost Less.â Transportation system resilience is one of TRBâs three strategic and critical issues. Improving the likelihood that the work of A-41 will be put into practice meets an important TRB goal. VIII. Related Research The A-41 study team was engaged in the related research and completed and reported a literature review, interviews and case studies that provide an actionable base for carrying the proposed work forward. IX. Persons Developing the Problem This problem statement resulted from discussions with the panel about the work of A-41 and was prepared by members of the study team. Specifically, this included: ï· Deborah Matherly, Principal Planner, Louis Berger, 1250 23rd Street NW, Washington, D.C., 20037, work phone 202-303-2653; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
TCRP A-41: Final Research Report 57 ï· Jane Mobley, Ph.D., Senior Consultant, Louis Berger, 1600 Baltimore, Suite 100, Kansas City, Missouri, 64108. direct phone 913-302-2947, email email@example.com ï· Jon A. Carnegie, AICP/PP, Executive Director, Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 33 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901. phone 848-932-2840, direct 732-932-3714, email firstname.lastname@example.org. X. Process Used to Develop Problem Statement This statement is the product of the discussions described in IX. XI. Date and Submitted By This problem statement was submitted by Deborah Matherly, Louis Berger, and Jon Carnegie, Rutgers University, co-Principal Investigators on May 16, 2017 for consideration in 2018.