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1 Lessons from the December storm Board Meeting January 26, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Lessons from the December storm Board Meeting January 26, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Lessons from the December storm Board Meeting January 26, 2011

2 Storm chronology – major storm affecting entire region Pre-December 25Storm severity downgraded but forecasts volatile Dec 25 (Sat)Storm severity upgraded Blizzard warning issued Subway cars stored underground, General Orders suspended Dec 26 (Sun)MTA activates special snow advisory homepage Continued deployment of snow-fighting equipment across agencies Snowfall begins Service difficulties across region begin ( ) –Storm rapidly intensifies –Amtrak suspends NYC-Boston service –JFK/LGA/EWR close; JFK AirTrain service suspended –NJT suspends all bus service –NYCT service affected due to stranded trains in outdoor areas –LIRR suspends all service –Many in-service buses begin to become immovable due to rapidly accumulating snow Dec 27 (Mon)Significant service disruptions across region –MNR service suspensions begin –Bus service curtailed severely –Several Subway and MNR trains are stuck and then eventually rescued –Significant snowfall ends but high winds and drifting continue –Amtrak resumes NYC-Boston service with delays –Limited LIRR and MNR service resumes –Suspended Subway services begin to be resumed –JFK/LGA/EWR reopen with limited capacity Dec 28 (Tue)MNR operates Saturday schedule Majority of suspended Subway services restored Majority of suspended Bus services restored NJT resumes bus service JFK AirTrain service resumes Dec 29 (Wed)Regular service restored at MNR and LIRR (except buses provided east of Ronkonkoma until 12/31) All runways clear at JFK/LGA/EWR Stuck buses fully retrieved Dec 30 (Thur)All routes restored for Subways and Buses All NYC streets plowed 2

3 Successfully managing storms has 4 phases Track storm forecasts Continuously assess storm impact and response required Update and disseminate alert levels Formulate plan for operation and recovery Storm tracking and readiness Mobilization Execution Recovery Pre-position equipment Call in staff Activate situation rooms, as required Issue customer advisories Fight snow/ice/water Endeavor to maintain service while being mindful of customer/employee safety and impacts on equipment Be prepared to switch from service delivery to curtailment/suspension strategy Care for stranded customers and employees Provide up-to-date service information Restore normal service Provide up-to-date service information Assure storm equipment is ready for next storm 3 Effective coordination with OEMs and other external agencies required throughout

4 MNR successfully adapted to quickly changing conditions but had some issues with delayed and disabled trains and restoring service Early meeting of Emergency Management Task Force Situation room activated early Equipment and employee pre-deployment Rapid observation-based decision to suspend service reduced duration of service outage and recovery time Detailed and consistent messages delivered through all channels Advance creation and deployment of recovery service plans Successful execution of recovery service plans in the face of rapidly changing conditions PositivesIssues Imbalance of service supply and rider demand on Tuesday left some customers waiting on platforms Negative effects on New Haven Line fleet availability Delayed and disabled trains in the Bronx and Westchester 4 Storm tracking and readiness Mobilization Execution Recovery

5 LIRRs pro-active suspension of service and early mobilization avoided stuck trains but some communication and recovery issues Level 4 (highest level) staffing activated on Dec 24 even though storm at Level 1 due to forecast volatility Situation room activated early Clear pre-storm communications regarding potential service interruption Pro-active suspension of service avoided stuck trains Comfort trains successfully deployed Clear and timely communications Effective staged restoration of service PositivesIssues Only limited service available Tuesday Platform communication systems crashed Did not clearly communicate train times for limited service operated during recovery period (on platforms in particular) Only limited service available Inability to keep Jamaica switches functioning Employee availability not optimal 5 Storm tracking and readiness Mobilization Execution Recovery

6 Subways inability to quickly adapt to deteriorating conditions led to stuck trains and under-estimation of stranded customer issues Large portion of network delivered un-interrupted service Clear and consistent communications Prioritized recovery strategy Clear and consistent communications PositivesIssues Internal alert level not formally upgraded until storm well underway Inadequate central coordination of field actions Not curtailing/suspending service led to stuck trains, stranded customers and slow recovery No robust plan to care for customers on stuck trains Insufficient number of experienced managers on duty No formal implementation of Plan IV Situation room not activated Several aspects of Plan IV activated – underground train storage; deployment of storm fighting equipment system-wide Not understanding implications of providing full service before and during storm 6 Storm tracking and readiness Mobilization Execution Recovery Frequent planning conference calls to monitor changing storm forecasts

7 Buses/Paratransits not quickly curtailing service led to large numbers of stuck vehicles. Monday service updates were untimely. Pre-storm mobilization of personnel and snow-fighting equipment Night and articulated buses equipped with chains as planned PositivesIssues Highest internal alert level not activated Poor coordination with non-MTA transport modes left some riders stranded Not curtailing/suspending service led to increased numbers of stuck vehicles, stranded customers and slow recovery Insufficient route-level detail in service interruption communications Situation room not activated Route-specific service detail eventually communicated Held back some service that could not be operated effectively 7 Storm tracking and readiness Mobilization Execution Recovery Bus radio system crashed

8 Bridges and Tunnels performed well Significant mobilization of staff despite holiday beginning early December 25 No service interruptions Successful sharing of equipment with Buses GPS tracking of snow-fighting vehicles PositivesIssues Storm alerts issued and updated as forecast deteriorated Quickly assessed and assured serviceability of snow-fighting equipment immediately after storm 8 Storm tracking and readiness Mobilization Execution Recovery

9 Learning and applying the lessons of the December storm Immediate actions taken Application to recent storms In-depth review 9

10 Actions have already been taken to address the identified issues Situation rooms / incident command centers resourced and ready at operating and support agencies Subways created a blizzard response Plan V that includes specific service curtailment/suspension actions in response to high winds and high rates of snow accumulation Pro-active cancellation of non-essential paratransit trips Customer advocate role at all agencies Coordinated effort by bus road operations and depot staff to assess service conditions route-by-route during storm and aftermath Updated list of priority bus routes to be operated during curtailed service Buses updated guidelines for applying chains and replacing articulated buses with standard-length buses to improve service resilience Internal coordination procedures in place to provide route-specific bus service information through website MTA HQ disseminating incoming weather notifications across agencies MTA HQ coordinating regular inter-agency calls to compare forecast information and approach and communications strategy LIRR developing limited service schedules for publication in advance MNR established procedure to quickly add service (where possible) in response to customer demand during recovery period Actions completed since December storm 10 Storm tracking and readiness Mobilization Execution Recovery

11 Actions were proven during recent storms Incident centers activated at Bridges & Tunnels, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, NYC Transit and MTA Bus before the first snow fell Near normal service for Subways and LIRR Planned modifications to MNR service No trains stuck for any significant period of time No buses or paratransit vehicles stuck for any significant period of time Full coordination with NYC OEM and regional OEM offices Jan 7 – minor storm Jan 11/12 – moderate storm in NYC; significant in MNR service area Jan 21 – moderate storm 11

12 An in-depth review to be completed during the second quarter will identify additional actions that could improve response to all storms Cross-agency effort led by MTA COO Identify issues and solutions including: –Best practices in other systems around the world that contend with snow regularly –Review agencies internal assessments –Equipment and infrastructure vulnerabilities –Practices and rules that may inhibit effective storm mobilization or response –Equipment and technology that would make MTA agency response to storms more effective –Training and simulations that better prepare staff for infrequent events –Follow-up by Internal Audit to review relevant recommendations from previous storm reports and confirm implementation of agency-initiated actions –Generalizing from December snowstorm lessons to other weather-related events 12

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