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Modeling of Bus Transit Driver Availability for Effective Emergency Evacuation in Disaster Relief

Morgul, Ender Faruk
Cavus, Ozlem
Ozbay, Kaan
İyigün, Cem
Potential evacuees without access to personal automobiles are expected to use transit, especially buses, to reach safer regions. For a transit agency, operation problems to be considered include establishing bus launch areas, positioning the minimum number of required buses, and coordinating transit operators, especially determining whether the number of drivers will be sufficient to cover the number of vehicles (i.e., buses) to be used during the evacuation. It is also highly probable that during an emergency, absenteeism rates for bus drivers might increase. In this study, the authors developed two stochastic models to determine the need for extra drivers during an emergency evacuation and to provide optimal solutions using well-established concepts in mathematical programming. First, the authors reviewed the literature to develop an effective methodology for the development of optimal extraboard management strategies. The authors found that although several recent reports clearly mentioned the problem of not having enough bus drivers during emergency evacuation operations, no analytical study incorporated the optimal extraboard size problem into emergency evacuation operations. Second, two mathematical models are presented in this paper. The aim of the developed models is to fill the gap in the literature for determining optimal extraboard size for transit operations during emergency evacuations. The models are specifically designed to capture risk-averse behavior of decision makers. Finally, these models were tested with hypothetical examples from real-world data from New Jersey. Results show that both models give reasonable extraboard size estimates, and under different conditions, these models are responsive to the changes in cost and quality of service preferences. The results are encouraging in terms of the models' usefulness for real-world applications.