Transit-based evacuation planning for carless and vulnerable populations in Florida
Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering
Depends on lab fundingResearch CreditUnpaid with future paid opportunities
Location of Research
When a major hurricane hits, Florida residents living in flooding-prone zones often have to evacuate. But carless and vulnerable populations such as older, low-income, and disabled people often lack the means to evacuate on their own, in which case public transit can provide vital support for these individuals. With a few exceptions such as the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority, most transit agencies in the state of Florida have not yet developed an evacuation plan for carless and vulnerable populations. This means that many people may not get the essential support they need during the time of a hurricane emergency.
Which Florida regions have developed a transit-based evacuation plan and which ones have not? What are the major elements in a transit-based evacuation plan? How to assess needs and how to plan evacuation routes and determine pick-up sites? How does this plan relate to other hurricane emergency plans, specifically, is there a coordination between the plans? How can emergency managers optimize the deployment of transit fleet to help the most people? What are the main strategies to promote the role of public transit during hurricane evacuations?
Students interested in the topic may explore a variety of research questions, including but not limited to, the ones listed above. This study can make Florida be safer and more resilient, and it can improve social equity by addressing the critical needs of vulnerable populations in hurricane evacuations.