National Academies Press: OpenBook
« Previous: Part 2
Page 24
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 24
Page 25
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 25
Page 26
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 26
Page 27
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 27
Page 28
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 28
Page 29
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 29
Page 30
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 30
Page 31
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 31
Page 32
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 32
Page 33
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 33
Page 34
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 34
Page 35
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 35
Page 36
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 36
Page 37
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 37
Page 38
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 38
Page 39
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 39
Page 40
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 40
Page 41
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 41
Page 42
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 42
Page 43
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 43
Page 44
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 44
Page 45
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 45
Page 46
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 46
Page 47
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 47
Page 48
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 48
Page 49
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 49
Page 50
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 50
Page 51
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 51
Page 52
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 52
Page 53
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 53
Page 54
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 54
Page 55
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 55
Page 56
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 56
Page 57
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 57
Page 58
Suggested Citation:"Part 3." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
×
Page 58

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Part 3 Chapter 5: Emergency Management Plays: Approaches and Solutions In an emergency, transportation agencies need to protect employees and customers, ensure continuity of operations, re-align service to meet changes in demand, secure additional funding and assets, enhance communications with all stakeholders, and train and educate employees on response duties. All this must be accomplished while ensuring systemic and structural resilience of their transportation system. The emergency management plays–key capabilities and activities–in this section are designed to assist an agency in performing those critical actions. Each one provides key actions and considerations to assist an agency in determining its own approach based on the agency’s own goals, priorities, and resources. Exemplary practices, with actionable detail, of surface transportation agencies during COVID-19 are included. The intent is to enable all agencies to incorporate and improve their currently existing processes and procedures and to develop additional approaches to address gaps, contingencies, or new hazards as necessary. Table 6 provides an overview of the plays contained in this section, by mission area and by category. TABLE 6: PLAYS BY MISSION AREA AND CATEGORY Mission Area Play Category Play Page Preparedness Planning/Training Planning, Training, & Exercises 19 Protection/ Mitigation Employee Impact Availability & Status 21 Protective Actions Employees: All Modes Public Transit 23 25 Situational Awareness Situational Awareness & Response 29 Response Communications Internal & External Communications Public Confidence 32 36 Response Actions Traffic Management Service Operation Adjustments 38 40 Evacuations/Shelter in Place/ Quarantine Pandemic Evacuation Impact 43 Financial Financial Management 45 Resiliency ESF1 and Community Support Stabilization Approaches 47 49 Recovery Lessons Learned Situational Awareness & Reporting 29 Multiple Events Concurrent Emergencies with Pandemic 51 A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 18

PLAY: Planning, Training, & Exercises MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Preparedness All Pandemic IMPROVE AND UPDATE PLANNING • Pandemic plans (who does what) are a variation of existing plans such as Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plans and Emergency Response Plans. • Pandemic vulnerability assessment is different. » Infrastructure undamaged, people at risk. » Often longer term than typical event. » Essential functions can vary. • Cyber plans and weather plans may also be relevant. • Operational plans (how and when) are dynamic and change with phases of the event. » You may want to use the ICS Incident Action Plan format (see Appendix B). » As the event progresses, Operational Period may vary (one day if the pandemic is fast-moving, one-week or longer if things are not changing rapidly). • You may need to develop a “Sustainment Plan” to help you get through a long-term pandemic. • Organizations you support and that support you may be different than “normal”; account for this in your planning. • Natural, technological, or human-caused disasters still happen during a pandemic, so make sure your plans consider multiple hazards. CONDUCT TRAINING • In addition to ongoing training, you may want to conduct short training interventions specific to job responsibilities in the pandemic phase. » Toolbox talks with operational staff. » Distance learning for teleworking staff. » On-site talks by health experts can help respond to staff questions and concerns. • Cross train staff so they can perform different functions. • You may be using new software or collaboration tools. Make sure staff has an opportunity to train on them. • Your organization may need to perform new functions requiring staff training, such as contact tracing or supporting other state organization surge responsibilities, e.g., unemployment claims. • Use the opportunity of teleworking to facilitate taking online training programs and courses, such as those offered by FEMA and FHWA. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 19

DO EXERCISES • Short tabletop exercises can be valuable. Good topics include: » Employee rights and protections. » Distribution of PPE to employees and customers. » Distribution of vaccines or elements of the Strategic National Stockpile. • Longer tabletop exercises can incorporate full pandemic considerations into planning for more typical emergencies such as hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, flooding, and tornadoes. • Involve partner organizations, such as the health department, in your exercises and participate in theirs. PLAY: Planning, Training & Exercises, cont’d Colorado DOT completed a tabletop exercise early in the pandemic, considering responsibilities and authorities and anticipating issues ranging from making sure to protect personally identifiable information when reporting health statistics, to recommendations regarding PPE (Figure 2). California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) conducted an exercise regarding distribution of elements of the Strategic National Stockpile (Figure 3). FIGURE 2: CDOT EXERCISE - SITUATION MANUAL COVER Source: Colorado Department of Transportation FIGURE 3: CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION INTERIM PANDEMIC PLAN Source: California Department of Transportation MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Preparedness All Pandemic A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 20

PLAY: Employee Impact MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Mitigation All Pandemic OVERVIEW Employee health and safety are paramount in a pandemic. Like other events, pandemics impact employees’ availability for work because of family circumstances, illness, and safety. During pandemics, exposure or illness in the family may require isolation or quarantine. COVID-19 community “lock downs” disrupted schools and daycare centers, creating childcare issues for many employees. Work responsibilities change as tasks are halted or reduced while new tasks emerge. ESTABLISH APPROPRIATE POLICIES • Address absenteeism, including family sickness leave. Your organization may provide additional sick leave or other paid time off (PTO) for employees who are required to quarantine for a designated period. You may choose to institute more flexible sick leave/leave policies to encourage employees to stay home when they are feeling ill. • Establish compliance requirements/standards regarding use of PPE/respiratory protection. • Confirm and communicate requirements and guidelines for personnel health information related to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and personally identifiable information (PII). • Assign staff nontraditional functions on a temporary basis. • Work with public health officials regarding testing or vaccinating your employees and families. DEMONSTRATE GOOD LEADERSHIP AND EMPLOYEE RELATIONS • Executives should support “demonstrable, long-term, substantive commitment” to enhance organization morale (Figure 5). Leadership, especially CEOs, play a critical role. • Create clear expectations for employees through Human Resources (HR), with worker and union input (Figure 4). Provide reasonable accommodation regarding performance of certain tasks due to personal safety or health risks. • Work with employees and union(s) to establish safe work processes and procedures. Be alert for improvements as public health guidance changes or new opportunities are presented. • Encourage employees to stay home when sick to avoid exposing others. Have a simple system to aggregate and report employee absences, following HIPAA guidelines. FIGURE 4: CDOT GUIDANCE FOR SUPERVISORS Source: Colorado Department of Transportation FIGURE 5: HILLSBOROUGH AREA REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITY (HART) ADVERTISEMENT (APRIL 2020) Source: Frank Wyszynski, Sr. Comm. and Marketing Specialist A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 21

Kansas DOT reported a significant number of employees have spouses who are essential service workers, some of whom are frequently exposed to COVID. To accommodate their needs, the organization expanded the availability of telework. Vermont Agency of Transportation (Vermont AOT) recognized morale problems with employees temporarily reassigned to track crossings at state borders, so rotated the duty to not fall disproportionately on a few. Vermont AOT helped those furloughed with unemployment claims. Louisiana DOTD was sensitive to many experiences of event impacts on employees, engaged workers in brainstorming options and attempted to address as much as possible. They even considered providing day care at agency locations but recognized that would not be wise. Caltrans engaged a professional worker stress program to work with employees. MDOT MTA created an electronic system to track employee health status and do contact tracing. System was based on an agency application already in development that could be modified for new purposes, resulting in less time and development costs. Maryland DOT MTA used an existing Safety Management System (SMS) Phone Line to track/monitor employee status as a COVID hotline. Charlevoix County Transit, Michigan, to meet new needs and to keep workers employed, began new services, such as providing free rides for school food programs, food delivery, and a new food shopping/delivery service for seniors and people with disabilities. • Reinforce family disaster preparedness information. Make sure family notification procedures and survivorship choices are updated for all employees. • Recognize the stress and psychological impacts and provide support services for stress reduction. Make sure employees understand how to access programs as needed. • Try to keep staff working, if possible. Assign staff nontraditional functions on a temporary basis and facilitate working from home if possible. Recognize and address potential morale impacts of new or different duties. If furloughs are necessary, be open and honest with employees about decisions and future expectations. • Keep lines of communications available with employees up and down the chain so you can identify issues early and adjust if advisable. It not, explain why not. Continue communicating with furloughed employees and help them gain government assistance if available. • Have good methods for tracking employee availability and accountability while providing flexibility for family needs and multiple priorities. • Have good mechanisms for letting employees know about new policies and procedures. • Explain how employees will be evaluated during the pandemic. • Document policy and procedure successes and failures for future reference and lessons learned. PLAY: Employee Impact, cont’d MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Mitigation All Pandemic A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 22

PLAY: Pandemic Protective Actions MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response All Pandemic “Controlling exposures to occupational hazards is the fundamental method of protecting workers.” CDC OVERVIEW During a pandemic, voluntary or mandatory protective actions may be required to ensure the safety of employees and passengers. Because employees’ work requirements may differ, there may be different types of protective actions necessary. Many agency positions require physical presence and public interaction, such as bus, train, or ferry operators; train conductors; flight attendants and some customer service and supervisor positions; security personnel or safety inspectors; highway or vehicle maintenance crews; port specialists or laborers; and airline baggage crews. APPLY GENERAL PUBLIC HEALTH PRINCIPLES TO PROTECT EVERYONE • Follow credible health authority guidance, which can include social distancing, requiring wearing masks in common areas in the workplace and on the job, regular handwashing and surface disinfection, and quarantine in the event of symptoms, potential exposure, or confirmed infection. • Develop active health monitoring and contact tracing for employees who become ill or are exposed to an active infection. Communicate employee tracking plans. • Establish clear policies and procedures on PPE, supplies or equipment (e.g., cleaning/fogging) procurement and usage, and training. • Involve employees in developing safety protocols. Facilitate feedback on effective procedures and available alternatives. • Monitor complacency and weariness with restrictions as a pandemic continues, which may prove a major impediment to compliance and contribute to resurgence of disease rates. FACILITATE REMOTE WORK FOR POSITIONS THAT ARE SUITABLE • Consider providing laptops, webcams, headphones, and other equipment for employees eligible for remote work to facilitate the transition. • In addition to computers for employees, consider letting them take their office chair home. Employees may appreciate this consideration. Be sure to maintain good records on all equipment leaving the workplace. • When examining software policies and programs, consider expanding collaborative software options. Many recent technology improvements facilitate group work regardless of location. • Consider and where possible set up or allow employees to set up hot spots for internet connectivity, particularly in rural areas. • Consider a transition phase for moving back to the office. Spacing of desks and other adaptive measures for facility use can promote social distancing in the office environment, in tandem with mask protocols for common areas. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 23

ENHANCE PROTECTION FOR EMPLOYEES WITH PUBLIC FACING JOBS • For COVID-19 and similar respiratory-based pandemics, public health guidelines are likely to recommend that all employees and travelers wear masks to protect themselves and others, in addition to following regular handwashing and sanitation measures. Make sure you have a clear policy and enforcement guidelines for employees. • Inspectors, supervisors, and security personnel move in and out of environments where mask wearing is required; these personnel must continue to socially distance themselves unless all are wearing masks. • Include information about WHY these policies are in place in your training so employees continue sound public health practices while on breaks or commuting. • Clarify expectations of employees, such as wiping down truck cab surfaces at the end of the shift; wiping down and possibly fogging a bus; and regularly cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces in common areas such as door handles (Figure 6). Consider changes in protocols over time as conditions change. • Consider contactless systems for reducing spread of disease such as automatic doors, soap dispensers, and touchless fobs instead of keys. PLAY: Pandemic Protective Actions, cont’d FIGURE 6: EXCERPT FROM COLORADO DOT REGULAR SITUATION REPORT Source: Colorado Department of Transportation MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response All Pandemic A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 24

PLAY: Pandemic Public Transit Protective Actions MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response Transit Pandemic “Just as riders rely on us, we rely on our passengers to protect themselves and one another by respecting these commitments.” American Public Transportation Association (APTA) OVERVIEW To ensure the safety of employees and passengers, voluntary or mandatory protective actions may be required. For the COVID-19 pandemic, public health authorities recommended for transit the universal use of masks (PPE); social distancing on transit vehicles and in transit stations; frequent sanitizing of high-touch surfaces; and measures for passengers to avoid having to touch public surfaces. ESTABLISH CLEAR PROGRAMS REGARDING PROTECTIVE ACTIONS Wearing Masks/PPE • Clarify your policies and procedures regarding compliance, exceptions, and enforcement. Be aware there may be aggression involved with noncompliance, and make sure employees know their limits and boundaries. • Incorporate a mask mandate into your organization’s passenger code of conduct that is enforceable; consider it similar to clothing mandates (shirts, shoes). • Establish how to and who should enforce wearing a mask. Encouraging compliance with messaging and free mask distribution is considered a better, safer, strategy than active enforcement of compliance by agency personnel. • Clarify expectations for potential passengers through a comprehensive public awareness campaign involving multiple media, including social media. Use words, pictograms, and multiple languages as appropriate to clearly convey your messages (Figure 7). • Use the mask program as an opportunity for improving customer relations, such as with mask giveaways at community events, agency-branded masks, or agency ambassadors at stations. FIGURE 7: THE COMET - BUS POSTER Courtesy of Flock and Rally for the Comet FIGURE 8: THE COMET - SANITIZING BUSES Courtesy of Michael Dantzler Photog. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 25

Social Distancing • Carefully establish and communicate social distancing policies with staff and passengers. • Enforcing social distancing requires information and agility. A real-time passenger count can ensure limits are not exceeded. If passengers know passenger counts in advance, they may be able to time travel accordingly. Dispatchers may need to notify operators to pass people up, alerting waiting passengers that an additional bus has been dispatched to avoid overcrowding. • Keep some flexibility in social distancing rules so family groups can sit together. • Social distancing may require additional equipment as ridership recovers. MOBILE POSITIONS (Train Conductors, Flight Attendants, Inspectors; Supervisors, Security Personnel, Employee Work Crews, On-site Staff, and others) • Limit crews to one per truck or two in a split cab, with both wearing masks or allow crews to use their own vehicles. If the logistics of parking multiple vehicles at a work site is unwieldy or impractical, limit the number of individuals in the cab, and require ventilation (open windows), and masks with regular surface sanitation. • Organize employees into self-contained units/sheds/pods/teams, intentionally and deliberately eliminating interaction with other teams. With this framework, if one member of a team is exposed to or infected with the virus, the team can be quarantined. Other teams can step in to help with the workload, but the entire organization is not sidelined. • If possible, provide supplies, such as hand sanitizer, to encourage safe practices. PLAY: Pandemic Public Transit Protective Actions. cont’d A paratransit organization split itself into two stand-alone teams to cover all functions of administration, dispatching, and driving; ensuring that their customers would have at least one healthy team to provide essential services. Oahu Transit, HI, erected tents outside the headquarters office building, to allow employees to spread out more. MD MTA had many employee meetings on mask usage, to make sure everyone understood proper ways to wear the masks and requirements to do so. The Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (COMET) Transit, SC, offered COVID tests at their facilities. MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response Transit Pandemic A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 26

SEMI-STATIONARY POSITIONS (Bus and Train Operators, Station Attendants) • Require the public to adhere to specific protocols such as masks to protect other passengers and operators or station attendants. • Train operators and station attendants are typically in a cabin or kiosk that offers protection under most circumstances. Decide whether your mask protocols (if in place) also extend to train operators and station attendants; extending such protocols models appropriate behavior to the public. • Protect the bus operator from infection through social distancing: » Implement rear-door boarding. » Use barriers such as a chain or partition to keep passengers at least six feet from the operator; or you can use shower curtains, Plexiglas, or other materials to protect operators when front door boarding resumes. • Consider providing bus operators for mobility services such as paratransit with protective masks, visors, and training in safe securement under pandemic conditions. These operators are often required to closely assist passengers (securing seat belts to a wheelchair or applying other fasteners to secure a mobility device). Passengers can be requested to turn their heads during securement and should wear masks or face shields if physically able. • Provide regular cleaning and disinfection of surfaces, particularly high-touch surfaces. Review air filtration systems and improve ventilation wherever possible. • If passengers are confirmed or suspected to be infected, you may request the public health agency to provide transportation. In at least one small community, volunteers in full protective medical attire volunteer to transport such patients to medical appointments. PLAY: Pandemic Public Transit Protective Actions. cont’d MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response Transit Pandemic A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 27

CLEANING AND DISINFECTING • High visibility of cleaning crews and sensory cues, such as scent, can reassure passengers (Figure 8). Frequency of surface cleaning will vary depending on health guidance, organization policy, operations schedules, and use. • Investigate ventilation systems in your equipment and see if there are ways to improve air circulation and fresh air replenishment if necessary. Air circulating through subway cars and buses is typically replaced with fresh air close to 18-times an hour, more frequently than 12 times recommended for airborne isolation rooms in medical facilities. • Contactless access can reduce spread of disease. Evaluate options for reducing or eliminating passenger contact with surfaces such as temporarily eliminating fare collection until alternative collection means are established. • Monitor employee and public responses, and adjust program to address issues that may arise. PLAY: Pandemic Public Transit Protective Actions, cont’d After implementing robust cleaning protocols, TriMet in Portland, Oregon, was able to increase ridership per vehicle and maintain safety. Its mandate went from 10-15 to 19-24 riders per bus and rider spacing from six feet to three feet on light rail. Vancouver’s TransLink tracks the regional infection rate and modifies load targets daily accordingly. After installing physical separation for the operator, such as plexiglass shields, many agencies are returning to front-door bus boarding and fare collection. Several transit organizations have hand sanitizer and mask dispensers available at stations or on vehicles. The COMET, SC, gave away branded masks as a public service and to make sure passengers are aware of the mask policy. New York City MTA’s “Operation Respect” campaign encourages compliance through celebrity public service announcements and a volunteer “Mask Force” distributing free masks to bus, subway, and commuter rail riders. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS Organizations that operate in multiple jurisdictions may need to coordinate to achieve a common set of standards or enforce different standards at different locations. Consistent, clear communication is the key to success. Document successes and failures, and adjust policies and plans accordingly. Be alert for health advisories and policy recommendation updates on PPE and social distancing recommendations on transit vehicles, which may vary depending on passenger adherence to mask policies; passenger adherence to limit conversations; local infection rates; and bus or train ventilation systems. Keep your customers informed of the changes. Develop screening and tracking tools for symptoms and support of contact tracing for outbreaks. MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response Transit Pandemic A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 28

PLAY: Situational Awareness & Reporting MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response All Pandemic “It’s what you know, what you learn, and what you can confirm.” Shelton Shaw, Utah Transit Authority OVERVIEW Situational awareness allows the organization to understand the existing environment in which it works, comprehend the current situation, and project appropriate actions for the future. Although maintaining situational awareness presents a significant challenge during emergencies and crises, it provides an essential common view for the organization to develop and use for decisions up and down the line. Situation reports, passed through pre-established reporting channels, contain verified information and details (who, what, where, when, and how) related to events. Status reports, which may be contained in situation reports, relay specific information about resources. During a pandemic, disease spread outside your jurisdiction may be informative, preparing you for future situations in your jurisdiction. Likewise, techniques for mitigating spread, such as protective measures for people and sanitation techniques for equipment, if discovered and tested by others, can help your organization get a head start on your response. UNDERSTAND YOUR ENVIRONMENT • Continuously monitor relevant sources of information to discover emerging issues and understand context that could impact your organization. • Prevent information overload. Find ways to sort credible, verified information from rumors and opinions. Both can be helpful but need to be clearly identified. • Establish protocols for data collection, information updates, and reporting within your organization and those who receive information from you. The scope and type of monitoring varies based on the type of incident, and reporting thresholds. • Consider using the Operational Period concept from the Incident Command System so the rhythm for updated information submitted to you and reports generated by you can be anticipated. COMPREHEND THE CURRENT SITUATION • Monitor logistics and travel through and into your State, and on your system. Unlike during natural disasters, where the impact is usually to the physical environment, pandemics focus impact on people- staff and customers. • Although data elements may change, to the extent possible, use or modify existing information exchange protocols and systems. Setting up an entirely new system can result in confusion and delays. • In addition to monitoring your staff and customers served for your operational purposes, you may need to track information of use to others, such as the number of vehicles crossing into your state or traffic counts within your jurisdiction. Be alert to opportunities to help your community improve overall situational awareness through tools accessible to you. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 29

CONTINUOUSLY MONITOR AND EVALUATE • Track health and availability of operators and key staff every day, division by division (Figure 9). • Strategize and consider options for quick adjustments to routes should illnesses increase among your staff. • Watch for emerging issues in equipment availability due to maintenance issues, lack of spare parts, or other logistics considerations. • Recognize that the virus may mutate, and new approaches may be needed. • Undertake serious and periodic risk analysis. PLAY: Situational Awareness & Reporting, cont’d FIGURE 9: CALTRANS EXAMPLE SITUATION REPORT (PARTIAL) Source: California Department of Transportation MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response All Pandemic A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 30

CONSIDER FUTURE OPTIONS • Use your community’s or organization’s disaster experience, whether from response to storms, cyber- attacks, or exercises to help guide planning for future actions. Recognize the differences and similarities between a pandemic and previous events. • Build flexibility into your decisions about the future so you can course correct as needed. • Identify lessons learned through After-Action Reviews and incorporate recommendations into existing plans and procedures. PLAY: Situational Awareness & Reporting, cont’d FIGURE 10: VERMONT AOT INCIDENT ACTION PLAN EXCERPTS - MISSION ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS Source: Vermont Agency of Transportation Vermont AOT used field staff to manually count vehicle crossings at state borders and to assist the Department of Health and the National Guard to set up and resource food distribution, as well as testing sites. Utah DOT, Vermont AOT, and others created or modified “dashboards” to provide simple visual representations of key data (Figure 10). Caltrans maintains an up-to-date digital warehouse to ensure that “everyone knows what resources we have and who is getting what.” New York MTA is sending transit workers out across the subway system to report overcrowding in real time — information that they provide to riders on a new data dashboard on the agency’s website. MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response All Pandemic A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 31

PLAY: Communications MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response All Pandemic “Overcommunication is your best friend – when people are stressed and fearful, they have a hard time absorbing information.” Dana Hendrix, Caltrans OVERVIEW Clear, consistent messaging across levels of government and organizations is crucial for agency credibility and for public and employee confidence and compliance. During events, regular communications keep the agencies’ partners, press, and public informed and address rumor control. Although messages and directions will change over time as situations evolve, “one voice” is much more effective than “many voices.” Determine who speaks for the department or agency and when. Confirm and clarify roles with the governor, the state emergency manager, and the state health commissioner. WITH YOUR STAFF • Meet in small groups for two-way communication, such as toolbox talks. • When employee or public compliance with health directives declines, renew public health information and education. • Emphasize personal resilience and stress reduction. • Find ways to communicate other than email; many employees may not have access (e.g., over half MD Transit employees did not have access to agency email.) • Use familiar formats for communicating among operational staff, such as an Incident Action Plan, which helps communicate and refresh priorities. • Explore and use collaborative platforms, such as WebEOC, DLAN, Microsoft Teams, or other technology tools. • Make sure you have opportunities and methods for staff to tell you their concerns and ideas. MD MTA conducts onsite training programs for employees, with an RN coordinating with a union representative at each location with the theme: “Communicable diseases are preventable. We have a stake and you have a stake.” When supervisors notice reduced compliance with protective actions, they go back for another session. Kaiser Hospitals set up a Zoom Lunchroom – an open Zoom meeting around the lunch hour where people can “drop by” virtually for a chat with coworkers and other colleagues. KS DOT set up weekly conference calls among district staff and HQ, to help clear up miscommunications instead of waiting until their customary quarterly meetings. MD MTA uses the Safety Hotline (originally for use by employees and contractors regarding possible safety violations or questions) for staff to get up-to-date information about department policies and plans – it became so popular employees from other departments started calling, too. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 32

WITH EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP • Jointly establish routines for ongoing communications so leaders know what to expect and when. • Use key indicators or dashboards to reflect status. Select elements that are readily available to keep reporting from becoming too burdensome (Figure 11). • Be ready for impromptu reports depending on need. PLAY: Communications, cont’d FIGURE 11: CDOT INTRANET WEBPAGE Source: Colorado Department of Transportation Caltrans Night Missive that provides an internal brief to executive and senior leadership every evening with latest information. Delaware DOT distributed a regular internal email from senior leadership that included status and statistics plus uplifting messages and suggestions that support morale and reduce stress such as “spend time with family” and “take a walk.” MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response All Pandemic A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 33

WITH THE PRESS • Maintain relationships with newspaper, radio, and television reporters who understand the transportation context. • Provide regular briefings and press releases on policies, service changes, and events. WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS • Keep current with public health guidance and leadership policies for your area. • Changes in the policies and procedures of others can change your requirements – for example, opening and closing of schools and other public facilities. Keep communicating with them so you can anticipate your future needs. • Stay in touch with your mutual aid organizations, especially in preparing for additional hazards and sharing resources – communicate both what you have available and what you need. • Work with your union(s) – use this as an opportunity for improved relationships and partnership. PLAY: Communications, cont’d WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS • Use all media, including social media and apps – many people spend a lot of time online (Figure 12). • Develop a special web page regarding the pandemic and highlight not only schedule changes but also public health precautions and expectations of customers. • Put visible vests or other markings on cleaning crews so customers can notice and easily identify them. • Understand customers’ diverse communications needs such as those with visual or hearing impairments or both; people with limited English skills; who are distracted (e.g., wearing headphones and focused on electronic devices); who are not familiar with the system or the schedules; with cognitive disabilities; and with mobility issues who may require accessible information about accessible entrances and exits (See Appendix D). • Consider that anxiety due to the pandemic may make people less open to information and changes when preparing communications. • Allow public access to some of your virtual meetings. • If you make a mistake, own and clear it up immediately to retain trust. FIGURE 12: ROGUE VALLEY TRANSIT AUTHORITY SAFETY POSTER Source: Rogue Valley Transit District MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response All Pandemic A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 34

PLAY: Communications, cont’d STATE DOTs • Use variable message signs for public health messages in compliance with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). • Notify travelers if there is a mandatory mask order in your state and of other highway travel restrictions, such as an area closed to traffic as a result of quarantine or other actions. • Provide tips for fighting disease spread in public spaces such as rest areas and where employees gather. • Be careful to balance public health with safety messages, such as regarding fire season. • Communicate about service reductions e.g., trash pickup, rest areas. TRANSIT ORGANIZATIONS • Keep employees and customers informed on what, how, and why changes are made to your services. Use signage, apps, and social media to keep information flowing. • Make sure your service planners and schedulers communicate with dispatchers, supervisors, communications managers, and other on-the-ground personnel such as operators and customer service staff to ensure that timely, pertinent information is reflected in evolving service adaptations. • Notify passengers of bus capacity limits and “next bus” available if they are passed by. Some organizations modified their apps to show this information. • Publish information about your sanitary procedures and cleanliness to reassure customers. • Report Information about infected bus operators or public-facing staff not only to your superiors but also to the public while maintaining compliance with HIPAA requirements (see Exceptional Ideas). • Modify your transit app to include bus, subway car, or light rail car crowding information. • Repeat messages frequently using many different delivery methods. » Display reminders on-board, at bus stops, in stations; include pictograms where feasible to overcome language differences; use public messaging (visual and spoken) for service announcements; employ and publicize service availability apps; make use of electronic bus and train message signs as reminders of safety policies as well as service status. • Step up suicide prevention messages. Oahu Transit issues press statements with bus number, routes, and times for any operators who test positive, so passengers can get tested too. The COMET Transit, SC, uses a QR code on buses for customers to take a survey with feedback on bus conditions. Utah Transit Authority held a free mask giveaway to communicate with incoming university students. Louisiana DOTD offers free “branded” masks. Chicago Transit Authority has an interactive website with crowding information by route by hour. COMET Transit wrote an OpEd about their decisions regarding limiting routes and enhancing on demand services. MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response All Pandemic A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 35

PLAY: Restore Public Confidence MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response/Recovery All Pandemic “Winning riders back is a process, not a one-time action.” Phil Washington, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority OVERVIEW Employees, customers, and the general public may fear returning to the workplace, resuming riding buses or trains, and resuming interactions with co-workers, in restaurants, and other facets of everyday life. Those who are in high-risk health categories, or have family members at high risk, may be particularly concerned. One of most important tasks of transportation organizations, especially transit agencies, will be restoring confidence to employees and the traveling public. ENSURE THAT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM LOOKS AND FEELS SAFE • Perform high-visibility cleaning, such a clearly identifying how and when the system will be cleaned and what cleaning agents are being used. Some agencies have cleaning staff wear distinctive vests or uniforms or use scented cleaners to reassure riders. • Create a system culture that reinforces safety and compliance with health recommendations, using a multi-layered approach – policies, education, communication - for employees and the public. • Use Ambassador programs to place agency staff at locations in the system to promote safety recommendations and compliance. Be sure these staff and volunteers are visible and actively work with customers for safety and comfort. PSYCHOLOGICAL COMFORT IS IMPORTANT • Provide accurate information to customers on arrival times to reduce wait times, especially in subways and other enclosed areas. Riders feel more comfortable above ground than in trains and underground stations, and they want to limit the time spent in contained areas. • Report demand and overcrowding in real time to customers so they can make their own decisions on the safest times to travel. • Recommend actions that the traveling public can take to contribute to their safety such as personal hygiene (e.g., use of hand sanitizers) and PPE (e.g., facial coverings). INSTITUTE CONCRETE MEASURES AND COMMUNICATE WHAT IS BEING DONE • Provide regular reports to the public on the measures you have taken, any modifications that were made due to updated information, and any changes in the pandemic (See Appendix D). • Create education and communication campaigns to build confidence among riders, e.g., RTD Denver developed an education and communication campaign called “Let’s Get The Region Moving.” • Partner with others in your region to develop a joint plan to reinforce trust in the transportation system, e.g., Bay Area transit agencies released a joint plan, “Riding Together: Bay Area Healthy Transit Plan,” to bolster trust in their transit systems. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 36

PLAY: Restore Public Confidence, cont’d APTA developed a Health and Safety Commitments Program (Figure 13) that identified four key areas that transit systems need to address to earn riders’ confidence: • Following public health guidelines from official sources. • Cleaning and disinfecting transit vehicles frequently and requiring face coverings and other protections. • Keeping passengers informed and empowered to choose the safest times and routes to ride. • Putting health first by requiring riders and employees to avoid public transit if they have been exposed to COVID-19 or feel ill. New York MTA, Boston MBTA, and others have rolled out apps that relay real-time information about how many passengers are on incoming buses and trains, so riders can decide whether to take the next train or wait for another. New York MTA, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and NJ TRANSIT joined on “Operation Respect,” a multi- layered strategy to encourage universal face covering compliance by customers on the region’s trains, buses, and commuter rails. SEPTA established “social distancing coaches”—transit authority managers and administrative employees who have offered to swap their regular duties for giving out masks and promoting social distancing as riders return to SEPTA. FIGURE 13: APTA HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMITMENT PROGRAM POSTER Source: American Public Transportation Association MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response/Recovery All Pandemic A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 37

PLAY: Traffic Management MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response Highway Pandemic “Develop a broader view.” PennDOT OVERVIEW Pandemics can disrupt community life, involving changes in commuting patterns, closures of schools, stores, and gathering places, and creating new services, such as testing or distribution centers, disrupting traffic management. Traffic monitoring at state borders and enforcement of local quarantines can interrupt normal traffic flow. Commonly used traffic management tools and techniques such as disseminating traffic information, controlling traffic, and managing traffic demand can be effective approaches for pandemics. Recognize that traffic instability may last for a long time. ADAPT AND IMPROVE TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT • Analyze emerging traffic needs and priorities using traffic management techniques for Planned Special Events as a model, to support pandemic testing or vaccination sites and other high traffic demand locations such as food distribution sites. • Use traffic control devices (cones, barriers, portable static signs) to guide and regulate traffic and enforce social distancing. • Incorporate lessons learned from exercises and experiences with animal disease for state border traffic management. • Be prepared to use detours and alternate routes to enforce local travel restrictions as needed. • If your community uses policies like permitting outdoor dining, consider how traffic management, such as closing lanes nearest the sidewalk, can contribute to public health and safety. • If your community has initiated alternate uses of traffic lanes for bikes, pedestrians, and/or dedicated bus lanes, consider impacts of maintaining those changes. • Work with partner organizations like health departments and school districts to anticipate traffic changes and proactively meet new challenges. • Coordinate with border states for enforcing traffic restrictions. • Actively manage your inventory of traffic control devices to support needs and establish priorities if required. • Be prepared to both request and provide mutual aid, especially if there are additional hazards like a natural disaster or civil action. • Document successes and failures for lessons learned and corrective actions. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 38

PLAY: Traffic Management, cont’d Many State and local transportation organizations use signage, traffic barriers, and cones to facilitate traffic flow at COVID testing sites (Figure 14). Florida DOT provided traffic management around virus testing sites and reduced construction projects around hospitals. Westchester County, NY, used traffic management to isolate a quarantine area in New Rochelle. Kansas DOT used lessons from agricultural exercises regarding cattle/stock state quarantines to facilitate their preparedness for border screening if needed. Many DOTs used Dynamic Message Signs to share recommendations on restricting travel to essential purposes. PennDOT transitioned all its Traffic Management Centers (TMC) to remote operations to ensure that essential traffic management systems continue to function. MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response Highway Pandemic FIGURE 14: COVID 19 DRIVE-THROUGH TESTING AT VEHICLE EMISSIONS INSPECTION SITE Source: Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 39

PLAY: Service Operations Adjustments MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response Highway Pandemic “As a public service provider, you don’t restore your service just to restore your service, you try to identify where you can accomplish the most good.” Carl Sedoryk, CEO of the Monterey-Salinas Transit District OVERVIEW During a pandemic, it is critical to continuously monitor and dynamically adjust service and operations in response to both passenger demand and operator/vehicle supply and capacity. Demand can change dramatically: passenger volumes by time of day, definitions and requirements for essential travel, and passenger trip patterns. The ability to provide service can change rapidly related to the availability of operators, vehicle capacity constraints due to social distancing requirements, and impacts of current or anticipated funding shortfalls. SET GOOD POLICIES • Set clear policies regarding pandemic requirements and consider them in service planning, schedules, and procedures. Your policies should reflect priorities of jurisdictional leadership; if public health and policy decisions are to reduce interactions, your policies should reinforce that guidance. • Consider designating several levels of employees as “essential.” Recognize and acknowledge additional expectations and hardships essential employees face and reward them as possible. • Consider waiving fares or move to a cashless system to avoid contagion through contacts. No longer accepting cash may require an agency to perform a Fare Equity Analysis and take mitigation actions to comply with Title VI of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. • Consider adjusting or temporarily waiving requirements for licensing and medical exams (e.g., for operators or maintenance personnel) if enforcing them presents an undue hardship. • Be aware of the potential for local leaders to establish a “quarantine zone” involving an area with a particularly high infection rate, and be ready to quickly implement your existing standby procedures. CONTINUOUSLY MONITOR AND ADJUST ROUTES • Identify routes that must be continued “no matter what.” Although overall demand may fall, routes to hospitals and other essential services may experience increased demand. • Use schedules that the riding public is already familiar wiith, if possible, such as weekend or holiday schedules. Consider closed businesses and changes in destinations that may require route adjustments. • Be alert for new opportunities such as working with local government to establish new bus lanes and priority signal timing to facilitate higher operating speeds. Investigate maintaining some of these changes for the long term. • If your service coordinates with routes of another jurisdiction, be sure you adjust routes considering these interfaces. • Monitor traffic and usage—some systems have been able to maintain equivalent headways with fewer buses due to less congestion and higher operating speeds. Track ridership by time of day, by line, and A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 40

PLAY: Service Operations Adjustments, cont’d by bus, compared with capacity under social distancing policies. Also track “pass-bys” or passengers not picked up due to exceeded bus capacity. • Experiment and innovate—some organizations have been able to implement floating operator assignments for more nimble scheduling, others have started Mobility as a Service initiatives to use buses in higher density routes while subcontracting with transportation network companies (TNCs such as Uber and Lyft) for low-density or late-night service with accessible paratransit as an on-call backup. • Make flexible plans for mid-term and long-term operational adjustments. You may want to consider dynamic scheduling to rapidly adjust to changes in demand. COMMUNICATE CHANGES CLEARLY WITH PASSENGERS AND STAFF • Keep employees and customers informed on what, how, and why changes are made to your services. Use signage, apps, and social media for timely notifications (Figure 15). • Make sure your service planners and schedulers communicate with dispatchers, supervisors, communications managers, and other on-the-ground personnel such as operators and customer service staff to reflect pertinent information in evolving service adaptations. • Notify passengers of capacity limits and “next bus/train” available if they are passed by. Some organizations modified their apps to show this information. MTA’s Long Island Railroad TrainTime app now displays crowding conditions for each rail car. FIGURE 15: ROGUE VALLEY TRANSIT DISTRICT TEMPORARY RIDE GUIDE Source: American Public Transportation Association MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response Highway Pandemic A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 41

Oahu Transit, HI, uses dynamic scheduling to adjust buses and routes depending on need. Drivers are trained on multiple lines and can be shifted as needed during the day. Passengers follow an app rather than a set schedule. Rogue Valley Transit, OR, adjusts service based on demand and jurisdiction policies. With many stores closed, they eliminated Saturday service which was mostly for shopping; when stores reopened, Saturday service was resumed. At The Comet, SC, bus operators track passenger numbers and radio to dispatch when they are full, with signs notifying prospective passengers of the status, and when the next bus can be expected. If this occurs regularly, headways are adjusted. Miami-Dade Transit Authority reduced large buses on selected low-density late night routes and reallocated them to higher density requirements. Agreements with TNCs provided service to routes with passengers within a quarter mile of the corridor, improving service, reducing costs, and providing additional capacity where needed. They reserved on-call paratransit vehicles to be available for people without smart phones and/or people requiring lift-equipped or wheel-chair accessible vehicles. Flagstaff, AZ, Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (NAIPTA) reframed its mission from “Getting you Where You WANT to Go” to “Getting You Where You NEED to Go” to discourage ridership beyond essential trips at the outset of the pandemic. Boston MBTA made its schedule more flexible, adding services to accommodate health care workers in early morning hours and in locations where essential workers are riding. They added dedicated bus lanes in Boston and its suburbs on bus routes with the highest rates of ridership – those for essential workers. Chicago Transit Authority redirected buses to areas with a high concentration of transit- dependent riders, such as low-income neighborhoods. SEPTA began to offer a new three-day pass to attract office employees who may report to work on a shortened schedule. PLAY: Service Operations Adjustments, cont’d MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response Highway Pandemic A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 42

PLAY: Evacuations/Shelter-in-Place: Pandemic Impact MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response All Concurrent/Pandemic “We’re planning for evacuation buses and mobilizing our people, but from a pandemic perspective, we’re also having to take into account screening people and providing PPE.” Dr. Shawn Wilson, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development OVERVIEW Certain events, such as hurricanes, wildfires, and major flooding, require people to evacuate their current locations and move to safer ones. Evacuations - moving large populations outside their communities - can spread the risks of infection during a pandemic. Several states have backed off conducting mass evacuations in recent years. Shelter-in-place (or shelter nearby, in the community) may be an alternative to evacuations, depending on the location and event. CONSIDER IMPACTS OF PANDEMIC ON EVACUATION PROCEDURES • Recognize that during a pandemic sheltering in place may not be possible for some events, and that infected people, many or most unknowing, will be escaping to who knows where. • Incorporate the potential for spread of the pandemic to the equation of assessing risk and cost/benefit of protective actions. • Reconsider standard evacuation procedures (See Appendix D). For example, during a pandemic it may be advisable to shelter carless populations in place in storm-proof facilities nearby in the community if feasible and safe instead of evacuating them by bus or other vehicles. • Consider alternative shelter locations to facilitate social distancing: family/friends, hotels, and college dormitories (if colleges are not in session), in places outside the hazard zone. Consider associated staffing if applicable. • Recognize that social distancing and other protective actions against a pandemic will increase the transportation requirements. Social distancing and sanitizing requirements will impact how many evacuation buses and drivers are required to carry out an evacuation of carless residents in the available time. Evacuations will typically require more transportation; buses can only safely be partly filled. Communities will likely use non-congregant shelters, such as hotels, meaning more stops for the arriving vehicles. • Determine the level and type of screening for evacuees you transport. If transporting sick or contagious passengers, try to keep them separate from the general population. An urgent, no-notice evacuation due to a wildfire, dam burst or other catastrophe may require crowding for life safety. Collect as much contact information as possible to enable contact tracing after the event if an infectious outbreak occurs. • Develop plans to address critically ill patients, incapable of bus or auto transport. • Understand how pandemic restrictions may impact agreements with other states on evacuations and contra flow. How will out-of-state visitors be viewed? Can they get food/gas/other supplies as they pass through? Will they need to quarantine while in state? Will they be turned back at the state border? A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 43

PLAY: Evacuations/Shelter-in-Place: Pandemic Impact, cont’d SHELTERING-IN-PLACE OR IN THE COMMUNITY • Identify transportation implications if the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) is considering recommending shelter-in-place (or shelter nearby, in the community) as an alternative to evacuations, depending on the location and event. Prepare for the possibilities of shorter trips and more dispersed destinations. • The shelter administrator may require screening tests to anyone entering a shelter; minimize entries and exits. • Ensure that people feel comfortable that the risk of the pandemic at mass shelter locations is lower than the risk of loss of life by staying home during the event. You must present a unified message that people’s health and safety is the primary consideration – safety from the event and safety from infection. RECOVERY AND REENTRY • Local governments make the decision on who can come back to the community and how. In the case of pandemic, the public health organization will be closely involved in that decision. The DOT may be called upon to support local directives. Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) increased their cadre of “road rangers” who are prepared to help those who are stranded in an evacuation and included social distancing precautions in the training program. Louisiana made special plans for bus loading for evacuations to keep families together while maintaining social distancing from other, non-related individuals. MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response All Concurrent/Pandemic A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 44

PLAY: Financial Management MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Recovery All Pandemic “With limited resources, an agency needs to think differently, more creatively.” Laura Mester, Michigan DOT OVERVIEW Pandemics can have broad-ranging impacts on the financial aspects of an agency – ranging from the tracking and documentation necessary for reimbursement of emergency responses, immediate loss of agency revenue (tolls, fares, sales tax, and related revenues) as travel shuts down to the long- term impacts of potentially reduced federal/state/local funding and business demand as the economy settles into an altered state. RECOGNIZE IMPACTS ON REVENUE • Your organization may lose income from shortfalls in tax revenue, executive decisions to redirect funds, fewer paying customers, or other shortages. • Eliminating fares may be a wise public health strategy but review this decision periodically. Consider implementing contactless fare systems. • Distinguish between short-term and longer lasting reductions. Keep projections up to date and clarify between actuals and projections. • Identify availability of financial assistance from other government levels. Explore and take advantage of all opportunities to supplement your funds or receive in-kind donations. • Prioritize your organizational costs and project outlays. If possible, delay some projects and transfer funding to operations. MANAGE EXPENDITURES • Set up accounting/functions codes to track pandemic-related resources, expended time, and expenses. Some may be reimbursable. • Review your priorities and cut where possible. Provide options to executive leadership with cost/ benefit analysis. • Be prepared for some expenses to increase, such as those for sanitation and cleaning and initial costs of establishing employees to work at home. Agencies found that some expenses may decrease. • Review current project and vendor contracts to determine if they can be terminated or accelerated if necessary, without significant penalty. • Consider options to furloughing employees (e.g., partial across-the-board furloughs), after making careful analysis of short- and long- term implications, and/or consider reassigning staff to a capital program (staff costs are capitalized), and/or consider assigning staff to other agencies with surge requirements, such as contact tracing or processing unemployment claims. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 45

PLAY: Financial Management, cont’d LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES • Manage contracts proactively – expedite ready-to-complete projects at reduced time/cost and stop projects that can be delayed conserving available budget if necessary. • Access funds that may become available in special legislation focused on “shovel ready projects.” Make sure you have a list available so you can respond quickly to opportunities. FIGURE 16: VERMONT AOT INCIDENT ACTION PLAN EXCERPT: OBJECTIVE 2- EXPENDITURE TRACKING Source: Vermont Agency of Transportation The Vermont AOT and others established accounting function codes (for time, expenses, resources) for the pandemic early on, avoiding backtracking and recoding later (Figure 16). Utah DOT “doubled down on construction” to take advantage of reduced traffic on highways. Maryland DOT completed the most complex rebuild of the heavily trafficked Chesapeake Bay Bridge Project one year early due to expedited construction during reduced traffic resulting from the pandemic. Charlevoix County Transit maintained fare revenue by using community contracts, such as with the Association of Aging, and the school district – to provide contracted fare payment for affiliated riders. Multiple highway agencies are using online and e-payment for tolls and Department of Motor Vehicle processes. Many transit agencies adopted e-payment apps and other cashless payment systems. Officials in a few cities are turning to voters to raise money to prevent transit cutbacks; e.g., a Cincinnati sales tax increase was approved by voters, and a Seattle sales tax increase is on the November ballot. Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York lawmakers decided in 2019 to roll out a fee for automobile drivers entering Manhattan’s business core; San Francisco and Los Angeles are considering similar ideas. MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Recovery All Pandemic A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 46

PLAY: Emergency Support Function 1 (ESF-1) and Community Support MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response/Recovery All Pandemic ”It’s important work that transit agencies are doing right now, even if it looks different than what we normally see.” Ann Rejewski with the Colorado Association of Transit Agencies OVERVIEW Transportation’s role in the National Response Framework requires state DOTs and transit organizations, among others, to support the community with resources and services. This support can take a different shape during a pandemic than most disasters. For example, during COVID-19, transportation has been called upon to support state, regional, and local partners in both traditional and novel spheres of influence. FACILITATE LOGISTICS AND THE TRANSPORTATION INDUSTRY • Identify key supply chain transportation routes and ensure that at least some essential interstate rest areas remain open to support truck movements. • Explore options to provide needed services at rest areas, especially if local authorities close restaurants and other food service options. Some DOTs licensed food trucks to work out of the rest areas during COVID-19. • It may be necessary for states to temporarily suspend weight and load restrictions, or Commercial Drivers Licence renewals due to the pandemic. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of USDOT can also selectively enforce hours of service limitations for motor carriers providing direct assistance to emergency relief efforts in a certain geographic area during certain dates. SUPPORT THE COMMUNITY • Some states directly support logistics, moving essential supplies and medicines in DOT vehicles and airplanes. • Use fixed and deployable messaging systems to display public health messages consistent with MUTCD requirements or with waivers. • Use transportation facilities as staging areas for testing or providing vaccinations or other medical countermeasures. • Transit agencies and DOTs can deliver food, medicine, and PPE to organizations and individuals in need. • Support other agencies by providing surge staff to help when possible. Agencies during COVID-19 assisted with unemployment claims, conducted passenger screening for cruise ships and airports, and conducted contact tracing. • Temporarily deploy employees to support other agencies. This works best when you analyze impacts on mission-essential functions, seek volunteers who are qualified, ensure staff is trained and equipped for safe performance, and ensure staff understand their responsibilities and resources. This is especially beneficial if your staff might otherwise be furloughed. • Provide support for other organizations, and investigate programs, regulations, or exemptions that may enable state or federal reimbursement for exceptional activities. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 47

PLAY: Emergency Support Function 1 (ESF-1) and Community Support, cont’d The Governor of Florida tasked Florida DOT with screening visitors coming into the state, first at seaports and airports, then arriving by road from adjoining states at one phase of the pandemic. They transitioned truck inspection waypoints into screening areas for passenger cars, and waved all trucks through. Florida DOT also coordinated with other state agencies to provide staff. At the request of the Salt Lake County Health Department, the Utah Transit Authority allocated a paratransit vehicle to be used specifically for transportation of COVID-19 positive citizens to healthcare facilities and quarantine facilities. Westchester County, NY, contracted with a private operator to supplement bus service for essential employees, especially to and from hospitals. Charlevoix Transit, MI, helped the Area Agency on Aging to deliver free hot meals, which the agency reimburses at the senior fare rate. They also partnered with other feeding operations and through these partnerships have delivered more than 8,000 meals in a rural area. They worked with local pharmacies and hardware stores to respond to critical needs. The Federal Transit Administration supported such actions and implemented a funding waiver. The COMET, SC, worked with seniors’ programs in two counties, including Meals on Wheels, to provide delivery services. They maintained their existing partnerships with TNCs to make sure passengers were able to take essential trips safely. Kansas DOT used their trucks and vans to transport food around the state. They also partnered with state police to deliver anti-viral medicine to remote areas using department airplanes. They donated most of their stockpile of N95 masks to hospitals early in the pandemic, replenishing as supplies became available. Westchester County, NY, used Access-a-Ride vehicles for food distribution to school districts and childcare programs. Colorado DOT transported healthcare resources from the Strategic National Stockpile using their equipment and contractors. They also donated some of their PPE stockpile to healthcare facilities in rural areas. Vermont AOT transported 90% of the PPE arriving in the state and partnered with the National Guard for food and commodity distribution. They provided staff to help the Department of Labor process unemployment claims. Louisiana DOTD helped hospitals move resources during surge operations. Utah DOT helped public health officials with contact tracing and assisted in procuring PPE. Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) parked its Wi-Fi-enabled commuter buses in rural areas to provide hot spots for farm workers and rural residents. MST provided two buses to be converted into mobile COVID-19 testing facilities, to get testing capability out to the workers in the fields to support the agricultural industry. It offered additional support by arranging for 7,500 masks received from the federal government to be distributed to families in farmworker communities. MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Response/Recovery All Pandemic A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 48

PLAY: Agency Stabilization MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Recovery All Pandemic “Normal functions wouldn’t return until a tested vaccine is available for everyone, the Stabilization Plan is a ‘working document’ that will change.” Pauletta Tonilas, Agency spokeswoman, Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) OVERVIEW Because pandemics can last for months or longer, an initial agency emergency response cannot be sustained long-term. Developing a Stabilization approach, strategy and plan that addresses when and how an agency can return to more stabilized operations, can allow the organization to fulfill its mission over the longer term during a pandemic. ESTABLISH A RECONSTITUTION OR STABILIZATION PLAN • Review your essential functions and priorities for the longer term. Note needed functions, personnel and facilities. Being careful to ensure flexibility, begin to scope out the longer term impacts. • Review your component organizations and parts, to assess capabilities and limitations that could impact stabilization. Consider units of effort, such as shed-by-shed or office-by-office. • Address differences in functional needs, such as operations vs. administration. • Recognize that stabilization may require changes of habits and modifications of normal operations. USE A PHASED APPROACH TO PROVIDE FLEXIBILITY • Identify and define phases to be used to roll out the stabilization. A phased approach allows an agency to “test” the safety and effectiveness of the approach and modify as necessary. • Consider using state or federal guidelines to establish phases, if possible. • Determine the “trigger points” and decision criteria for each phase. Consider the measures and data to determine when it is safe to move from one phase to the next. Think of how you will assess safety and effectiveness. ENSURE CONFIDENCE OF STAFF IN SAFETY OF APPROACH • Provide accurate information to employees about what is being planned, the specific approaches and measures being taken, and their role. • Clarify expectations and responsibilities of employees. • Provide regular reports to employees on results and modifications to be made due to updated information and any changes in the pandemic. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 49

PLAY: Agency Stabilization, cont’d MONITOR, ASSESS AND DOCUMENT LESSONS LEARNED • Monitor whether strategies and actions are fully implemented as intended and analyze data on how effective those strategies/actions are. • Consider using a safety assurance program with indicators to assess safety. Include performance measures to track staff pandemic cases and audits to monitor compliance with the policies and procedures. • Continually review data and information and be prepared to modify your approach. • Document results and lessons learned and modify plans accordingly. FIGURE 17: RTD RECOVERY RESPONSE MATRIX PHASES 3 & 4 Source: Regional Transit District, Denver Utah DOT created a “return to office” or stabilization plan based on the color-coded phases (orange, yellow, green) in the Utah Governor guidelines. The “Return-to- office” policies were established on a shed-by-shed, office-by-office basis. A continual monitoring of COVID-19 cases was done to support the approach. Denver RTD developed a Recovery Plan (Figure 17) to reinstate service that uses a phased approach. If certain milestones are met, like a sustained decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases, an increase in the availability of tests and effective contact tracing by public health agencies, RTD will reinstate reduced or eliminated services. The Plan is a “working document” that will change. MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS Recovery All Pandemic A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 50

PLAY: Concurrent Emergencies with Pandemics MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS All All Pandemic, Plus Hurricane, Wildfire, Flooding, Other Disasters ALL “It’s really a juggling act and you’re juggling some very fragile crystal balls.” Dr. Shawn Wilson, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development OVERVIEW The long-lasting nature of pandemics means one or more other major emergency events may also occur. Interconnected events are not simply additive- they create complications and stressors greater than the sum of the parts. CONSIDER IMPACTS AND INFLUENCES OF MULTIPLE SIMULTANEOUS EVENTS • Conduct tabletop exercises of your potential major events - hurricanes, civic protests, wildfires - with the overlay of a pandemic. What changes and what does not change? • Find creative ways to get additional bench strength for your staff. Consider using volunteers and/or retirees for certain tasks. Work with FEMA and local organizations to strengthen community volunteer resources with training on how to safely help while socially distancing. • Consider the emergency needs of remote working staff and encourage them to make viable family emergency plans that include evacuation. • During operations, ensure that public and employee safety remain priorities, along with other operational needs. • Review common protocols for response, damage assessment, and recovery to find safe and healthy ways to perform essential functions in a pandemic environment. • Make sure to update your support contracts to require adherence to health directives and that your contractors for debris management and reconstruction are available to support recovery efforts while adhering to safety guidelines. • Review your supply chain for traditional, emergency, and pandemic-related supplies. Make sure you have adequate stock and backup suppliers for critical items. • Help staff and systems develop flexibility: normalize change. With participant engagement, help build capacities for self-organization. Such capacities will pay off both during complex emergencies and in “normal” times. • Make sure you have a system for establishing priorities. Document them and communicate them throughout your organization. There may come times when not all priorities can be met initially. People generally are more understanding if they know all the facts. • Evacuations typically require more transportation because, with a pandemic, buses can only safely be partly filled. Communities will likely use non-congregant shelters, such as hotels, and arriving vehicles will require more stops. • Determine the level and type of screening for evacuees you transport. If you must transport sick or contagious passengers, try to keep them separate from the general population. • Be aware of social justice and equity concerns. Establish enhanced partnerships as needed. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 51

• Consider increasing use of technology to limit human exposure. For example, for damage assessment, use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, also known as drones), videos, LIDAR, Google Street View and 360 Imaging and geo-spatial imagery rather than on-site teams of individuals. • The recovery phase(s) in a multiple/concurrent disaster scenario is different because the crises will not end concurrently. Especially with stringent health directives still in place, supporting people through this phase will be more challenging because they will want to “get back to normal,” even though a crisis may still be taking place. • Coordinate fleet movements (such as power and communications restoration crews) for response and recovery with the fleets and other DOTs (e.g., via the non-profit All Hazards Consortium) to ensure consistent guidelines and safe and expeditious transit across state borders. PLAY: Concurrent Emergencies with Pandemics, cont’d ALL Utah Department of Transportation responded to an earthquake in March 2020 as the pandemic was starting, prompting them from the beginning to prepare for multiple disasters simultaneously. FDOT conducted tabletop exercises for hurricane planning for each district, working through their specific requirements and resource needs. They coordinated with their emergency response vendors to understand how their supplies have been impacted, and shared PPE with staff, vendors, and industry partners. NY learned from Hurricane Sandy to require backup generators at critical facilities, such as gas stations. Vermont AOT expanded their emergency management cadre so some could concentrate on the pandemic while others prepared for hurricanes and other disasters. MISSION AREA MODE EVENTS All All Pandemic, Plus Hurricane, Wildfire, Flooding, Other Disasters A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 52

Next: Part 4 »
A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies Get This Book
×
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

Understanding pandemics, their impacts to transportation, and potential effective response has become more important, not only for the response to COVID-19, but also if, as the World Health Organization warns, we are now “living in a time of viruses.”

TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program and Transit Cooperative Research Program have jointly issued this pre-publication draft of NCHRP Research Report 963/TCRP Research Report 225: A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies, which was created to improve transportation agency responses to a pandemic.

The Playbook concentrates on what needs to be done, when and by whom. It briefly addresses planning for a pandemic, a topic addressed in greater depth in NCHRP Report 769: A Guide for Public Transportation Pandemic Planning and Response. It summarizes effective practices currently used by transportation agencies based on interviews with state departments of transportation and transit agency leaders and operational personnel, supplemented with national and international research results.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!