An Emergency Evacuation Planning Model for Special Needs Populations Using Public Transit Systems

Journal of Public Transportation Article in Volume 15, Issue 2 (2012) by  Evangelos I. Kaisar, Ph.D., Linda Hess, E.I., and Alicia Benazir Portal Palomo, E.I.

The need to have evacuation plans in place for ready implementation for special needs populations became evident after catastrophic events such as Hurricane Katrina. For the purpose of this study, special needs populations will include, but are not limited to, people with physical disabilities, older adults, non-English-speaking populations, residents and employees without vehicles, and tourists. The main objective of this study was to evaluate different evacuation procedures for special needs populations from large urban areas using current public transit systems. A microscopic simulation model was constructed to analyze real-life scenarios for evacuation methodologies. A linear programming optimization model was developed to find the optimum locations for evacuation bus stops for the case study area. The results from this study are very interesting and can aid evacuation planners in the future. View the full article or the entire Journal issue.