Multimodal transit connectivity for flexibility in extreme events

Rae Zimmerman, Carlos E. Restrepo, Joshua Sellers, Arundathi Amirapu, T. R. Pearson, Hannah B. Kates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transportation services and their networks are vital in providing users with flexibility under both normal and extreme conditions. The availability of alternatives is essential in emergencies to provide critical support services for evacuation and supplies, yet disasters often impair transportation's ability to provide these services. In the populous and dense New York and New Jersey area, weather disasters often set records, have occurred historically, and are expected to recur. Vulnerabilities particularly affect disadvantaged populations. Multimodal connectivity for rail and bus transit is evaluated for New York City and several northeastern New Jersey cities for passenger flexibility and risk reduction in emergencies. The U.S. Department of Transportation's Intermodal Passenger Connectivity Database is evaluated as a general multimodal connectivity context. For rail transit stations, bus counts are computed for each station for buses stopping within a 0.1-mi radius; this requirement reflects the needs of less mobile users. Geographic information systems are used for database construction for statistical analysis with publicly available transit and census databases. The New York City statistical analyses of census tracts within which stations are located show variable bus connectivity for different stations and suggest availability by poverty level. A subanalysis for New York City's terminus stations shows greater bus connectivity and different transit activity characteristics. Results provide ways of operationalizing connectivity for transit resilience as critical infrastructure. Methods can be extended to other areas. Recommendations for flexibility in terms of passenger multimodality are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-73
Number of pages10
JournalTransportation Research Record
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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