Emergency Evacuation Planning and Preparedness of Transit Facilities: Traffic Simulation Modeling

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, land use - planning, organisation - management, mode - bus, mode - rail, mode - mass transit


VISSIM (Computer model), Transit operating agencies, Transit lines, Transit, Traffic simulation, Traffic flow, Strategies, Strategic planning, Rapid transit facilities, Rapid response (Emergencies), Rail transit facilities, Public transit lines, Public transit, Priorities, Objectives, Mass transit lines, Mass transit, Local transportation, Local transit, Intracity bus transportation, Goals, Evacuation, Emergency response time, Emergency management, Bus transit


The growing need for evacuation planning is addressed by using a computer-based model of traffic simulation. The VISSIM traffic simulation tool was used to evaluate a current plan and alternative plans for the deployment of transit during an emergency situation in a transit facility such as a bus depot. Different strategies were simulated to study the effect of evacuation on the surrounding traffic network as well as to help the local transit company (LYNX) evaluate its evacuation plan and consider different possibilities without the risk and cost of actual evacuation drills. Nine evacuation scenarios were simulated and analyzed to reach the best evacuation strategy for the LYNX company’s main bus depot. Evacuation strategies evaluated include traffic diversion, bus signal optimization, access restriction, different destinations, and evacuation of pedestrians. Total network delay for each scenario was compared with the base case, and results indicate that pedestrian evacuation was better than using buses. Traffic rerouting also could potentially reduce delays and evacuation clearance time.