Analyzing Transit System Vulnerability and Resilience to Earthquakes

Research Team: Kenichi Soga (lead), Jonathan P. Stewart, Yousef Bozorgnia, Louise Comfort, Tianyu Han, Bingyu Zhao, Yili Tang, Henry Burton, and Esra Zengin

UC Campus(es): UC Berkeley, UCLA

Problem Statement: California's transit systems are vital for urban living and eco-friendly mobility, especially in megaregion centers like the San Francisco Bay Area. Despite being managed by multiple agencies, transit systems lack comprehensive statewide resilience assessments and recovery plans. California's transit systems face various seismic events, with key nodes in the network crucial for post-earthquake transportation functionality. Closing these nodes could significantly impact regional mobility. Evaluating the seismic vulnerability of transit systems is vital for improving California's transportation network resilience.

Project Description: This study intends to bridge this gap through two key objectives: (i) consolidating existing tools for scenario analysis and impact assessment and (ii) assisting California's jurisdictions and agencies in creating multimodal plans and protocols to expedite recovery after an earthquake. To achieve these objectives, the project will establish a methodology for assessing seismic hazard and risk at critical transit nodes. The research team will collaborate with UCLA ITS and local transit agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area to identify essential nodes and links within the transit system. They will utilize models from the UCLA Natural Hazards Risk and Resiliency Research Center for hazards assessment. The project will subject selected nodes and edges to fragility assessments, involving the transformation of engineering design documents into a high-definition model for risk evaluation. The team will then combine the results of hazard and fragility analyses to assess the risk of function loss in transit nodes or edges across different timeframes, along with estimating the restoration process. To analyze the post-earthquake recovery stage, the team will collaborate with stakeholders to create various scenarios. They will employ a multimodal traffic simulator for each scenario to evaluate the earthquake's impact on regional average travel times and formulate optimal strategies to mitigate these effects. These outcomes will enhance existing short-term response plans and support the development of comprehensive pre-disaster long-term recovery plans.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $100,000