Office of Operations
21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

7 Potential Tools

The intent of this section is to identify available tools for use in evacuations and/or areas where further research and development may be useful to develop tools to respond to evacuation issues. Tools were found during the literature search, but there was no focused research effort to identify every applicable tool. Later in this project, there will be a more focused effort to identify appropriate tools to assist with evacuations.

7.1 Integrated Corridor Management

Transit can be used as a redundant transportation system that can transport evacuees out of and transport first responders into the incident area. After the incident, public transit can also relieve congestion and provide mobility around the incident area.

Public transit systems are not necessarily perceived this way and, in rural areas, may not be perceived as a tool for evacuations. The Federal Transit Administration is addressing the integration of public transit into the transportation network with its involvement in the Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) System currently under development. While this system does not appear to be specifically targeted to the transportation of evacuees, it could possibly be used during an evacuation situation.

According to the Overview of ITS Initiatives: What Do They Mean to Transit, presented at the Transportation Research Board 84th Annual Meeting Public Transportation Forum, surface transportation systems are made up of several independent networks—freeways, including managed lanes; arterials; bus routes; and rail transit. These parallel networks overlay to form transportation corridors. To date, congestion reduction efforts have focused on optimizing the individual networks. However, the capability to respond to demand from other networks is lacking, including: 
  • Institutional Integration – Lack of operational capability and technology that supports cross-network distribution of responsibilities and sharing of control
  • Operational Integration – Lack of integrated cross-network operational strategies and analysis capabilities
  • Technical Integration – Lack of cross-network device-to-device data, communication, and procedure integration.

Overview of ITS Initiatives: What Do They Mean to Transit reports: “ICM offers an opportunity to operate and optimize the entire system as opposed to the individual networks.” The purpose of ICM is “to demonstrate that ITS technologies can be used to efficiently and proactively manage the movement of people and goods in major transportation corridors by facilitating integration of the management of the networks in a corridor.”

The presentation lists the following goals for ICM:
  • Provide guidance to agencies in implementing integrated corridor operations
  • Create supporting analysis tools, approaches, and technical standards
  • Demonstrate the value of integrated corridor management.

Transit’s contribution to the roadway is that it offers increased capacity. In addition, ITS increases transit flexibility, efficiency, and coordination. As a result, transit is a more convenient and attractive alternative. According to the presentation, “Transit can assist in managing demand in corridors during normal operations, and during planned and unplanned events.”

February 7, 2006
Publication #FHWA–HOP-08-015