Transportation Resilience

Defining and understanding transportation resilience

In the context of risk management, “resilience” is defined as a system’s ability to continue to function at an acceptable level of efficiency in the face of disruptive or unexpected conditions. This concept has been imported into the world of transportation demand management, giving rise to the idea of “transportation resilience.”

Transportation resilience is defined as the ability of a transportation system to move people around in the face of one or more major obstacles to normal function. These obstacles can include extreme weather events, major accidents, and equipment or infrastructure failures. More specifically, the concept of transportation resilience has even more precise implications, depending on how the term is applied:

  • For individuals, transportation resilience means being able to get around if the person’s vehicle breaks down, or if the person is injured, becomes disabled, or suffers a loss of income
  • For communities, it means that public transit is accessible, and that traffic can continue to move despite accidents, emergencies, seasonal construction projects, or special events
  • On a design level, it means that transportation systems have specific built-in features to deal with extreme levels of demand and critical, unexpected problems
  • On an economics level, it enables personal transportation to continue functioning even if an important resource, such as oil or gasoline, becomes unavailable or prohibitively expensive
  • On a strategy level, it means a transportation system is created to accommodate future growth and possible changes to future usage or access patterns

At the day-to-day level, transportation resilience is of greatest concern to individuals and communities. It is something businesses and commuters need to think about, since the availability of transportation is critical to the function of both these entities.

What types of organizations have the most pronounced need for resilient transportation strategies?

Transportation resilience is critical to organizations with high concentrations of commuters. The more dependent those commuters are on single-occupancy vehicles, the more important it becomes.

All kinds of unexpected events can disrupt a person’s commute — car trouble, bad weather, traffic congestion, transit outages, accidents. The key to transportation resilience is to offer commuters alternatives that enable them to get around despite these issues.

The RideAmigos commuter hub is replete with features that support transportation resilience for commuters and the businesses that employ them. With easy-to-use planning features and connections to a complete range of transportation alternatives, users can take part in rideshare and carpooling programs, make better use of public transit, use carshares, and much more.

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