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A New Role for Rail Transit: Evacuation

Urban areas in the U.S. and around the world are facing increasing extreme events often requiring decisions to move large numbers of people to safety. New York City (NYC) has experienced numerous extreme weather events associated with flooding, and one response by NYC is to provide evacuation resources. New York University’s Wagner School, which is a consortium member of the U.S. DOT Region II University Transportation Research Center at the City University of New York is evaluating the proximity to evacuation centers of residential populations. This work also includes the demographic, socioeconomic and transportation characteristics of those populations and the proximity of rail transit stations to the centers. The objective is to identify those areas in need of better public transit access, especially for vulnerable populations, if a voluntary or mandatory evacuation occurs particularly prior to an impending extreme event.

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