Delivery insights

Enabling the coordination of response to multi-agency transport incidents in a major metropolis

Client Situation

Our client needed to design and operate a Coordination Center for the city's transport and traffic operations during a major multi-day event. Public transport providers and traffic network managers were required to work in partnership for the first time, to exchange information and to collectively ensure smooth transport for hundreds of thousands daily purpose passengers, while preserving unimpeded city operations. As part of the model of operations and the detailed operating plans for the Center, it was required to develop contingency plans to be used in the event of transport related incidents that would require multi agency interventions.

The way to problem solving

The starting point of our approach for the Center's contingency plans was the development of a long list of potential incidents related to the Center's operations and to the city's transport modes and road networks. More than 250 incidents were identified and classified in broad categories based on significant characteristics, such as:

  • The location/system related to an incident
  • The reasons that may trigger an incident
  • The impact of an incident on the city's transport and traffic operations
  • The stakeholders required to play a role in incident resolution.

By appropriately analyzing the above, incidents were grouped into 25 contingency classes with respect to the location or the system affected. Subsequently, the initial list of incidents underwent a two stage assessment (filtering) process in order to identify the top-ranked scenarios in terms of criticality, and to better prepare the stakeholders in addressing potential consequences.

In the first stage of the assessment process, we evaluated the long list of incidents with respect to their impact on the Center's ultimate clients and the extent of involvement of stakeholders in incident resolution. The second stage of the assessment process focused on estimating for each incident i) the likelihood of occurrence and ii) severity of impact, in close consultation with the stakeholders of the city's transport environment. Incident duration, impacted clients, size of population affected and spatial extent were used to assess the severity of impact. The threat posed by incidents was quantified as the product of the resulting severity and the likelihood of occurrence. Incidents with a criticality above a certain threshold were included in the final list of the Center's contingency plans.

We also developed a standardized structure for all contingency plans that allowed to organize best the data and information to be included in each plan. This template included the incident description, the resources required and the resolution activities, along with the related responsibilities. Based on this template, we developed 23 contingency plans.


The contingency plans developed for the event specific Coordination Center, are complementary to the existing contingency plans of the stakeholders with respect to the special circumstances of the event. They provide a uniform approach that will enable the staff of the Center to familiarize quickly with i) the possible causes for failure in transport and traffic systems during the event, ii) the activities/ tasks to be implemented in case of an incident, iii) the players involved and their respective roles in incident resolution and iv) the affected parties that need to be readily informed as well as the key messages to be communicated to them.