Assessing the Functionality of Transit and Shared Mobility Systems after Earthquakes

Research Team: Kenichi Soga (lead), Louise Comfort, Bingyu Zhao, Yili (Kelly) Tang, and Tianyu Han

UC Campus(es): UC Berkeley

Problem Statement: California’s public transit systems are under constant threat of a myriad of disasters and emergencies. For example, the wildfire-induced Public Safety Power Shutoff emergencies may impact the operation of electricity-dependent buses, while earthquakes and tsunamis pose dangers to underground BART tunnels and highway bridges. While there is a growing awareness of emergency preparedness among local jurisdictions and transit agencies in recent years, many have yet to formalize and publish their recovery plans.

Project Description: This study introduces an agent-based multimodal transportation simulation tool to enhance post-earthquake transportation resilience. Integrating a road network simulator with a metro system simulator, the tool employs an optimized Dijkstra-based algorithm to calculate optimal routes, travel times, and fares. A case study is conducted for the East Bay, using the simulator to gauge the impact of a compromised Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system. The results suggested that original BART passengers could face either longer commute times or higher costs during the recovery phase of a major earthquake without appropriate policies. Such outcomes could disproportionately burden low-income riders, affecting their mobility and overall travel time.

Status: Completed

Budget: $80,000

Policy Brief(s):