The role and importance of public transportation in every community throughout this country is growing rapidly. Bus systems are upgrading equipment and moving more riders than ever before. Commuter rail lines are helping regions manage increasing traffic problems while new or expanding light rail and bus rapid transit systems are connecting cities and revitalizing neighborhoods.
Gulf-coast hurricanes and wildfires in the west are particular examples of the threats and hazards that affect the nation. These hazardous events have increased the public awareness of public transportation's importance in a time of emergency. While you may not be an "essential" employee in the traditional sense, such as police officers and firefighters, your role as a public transportation employee and, in many instances, the "first responder" on the scene, is still as vital during a crisis as it is during a normal rush-hour commute.
To help you better prepare yourself and your family to cope with an emergency while still allowing you to effectively fulfill your duties, the Federal Transit Administration and the National Transit Institute have prepared the Emergency Preparedness Guide. My hope is that you not only read, but truly embrace the suggestions in this guide, particularly those that apply to your own personnel preparedness. Recent history has reminded us that no region of our country is safe from all hazards and we all need to do what we can to ensure the safety of our families and loved ones as well as the public that we serve.
I hope you find the information in this guide useful in helping you improve your preparedness both on the job and at home. You are one of over 300,000 transit employees who are helping the nation’s public transit systems better serve their communities in times of calm and crisis. The Guide may be found here.
Thank you for your enduring commitment to your customers, your transit system, and to the public transportation community. The entire transit industry and riding public thrive due to your individual efforts.
Federal Transit Administrator