Comparison of Urban Transit Planning Responses to Pandemic Influenza
Pandemic influenza and other large scale communicable disease outbreaks pose a unique public safety concern in respect to transit and emergency planning. While local transit agencies, supported by federal funds, have identified disaster planning and response as critical to maintaining continuity of service and quality of life, most plans contend solely with event-based scenarios such as responding to natural hazards and manmade disasters. A pandemic is particularly challenging, given no discrete event but a slow accumulation of organizational and social disruption. Contending with second order consequences and of the long-term effects of an influenza pandemic is of equal importance in city planning and operations. A major objective for City of New York and the Metropolitan Transit Authority will be to mitigate the effects of second order consequences. Pre-planning and connecting the public and employees to those plans will serve to minimize concerns and aid in the continuity of transit usage, service delivery and potentially minimize negative economic, social and political impacts.
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