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The tragic events of September 11th, 2001 (9/11) have had a profound and unimaginable impact on activities in all of lower Manhattan, and the New York City metropolitan region. Profound, of course, because of the huge loss of life, and because of the continuing sense of trauma of the survivors. These events have also provided a monumental challenge to transportation and city planners because there are no guidelines in US planning/engineering literature on how to manage after such an event occurs.

The scale of the event was enormous: 13.4 million square feet of office space were lost in the World Trade Center (WTC), while 12.1 million square feet were rendered temporarily unusable in the adjacent properties (New York Times, 2002). Over 100,000 jobs were displaced. Tens of thousands of additional jobs have been lost or interrupted because they serve the WTC and its neighborhoods. Additional acts and threats of terror, such as the Anthrax attacks, have made New Yorkers cautious about where and how they travel to participate in activities.

The changing perception of the safety of the transportation modes is, in particular, impacting the way in which the traveling public makes choices concerning mode, place of work and residence. On September 10th, most travel analysts would say that reliability, travel time and cost were the primary determinants of mode choice. On September 12th, personal security became, and still remains for many New Yorkers, a key concern. As a result of 9/11, businesses and individuals are making choices that will impact whether or not: (a) they remain in their jobs in a new location, outside the impacted site; (b) they change jobs; (c) they change travel mode or its route; (d) they move from the New York region; among many other possibilities. While all of these choices are extremely complex, closely inter-related and changing over time, two dimensions of choice stand out. The first is the individual’s overall response to the tragedy, and their personal relationship to it. The second is the individuals’ sense of security as it applies to each mode available for their given trip. Travel choices will vary according to the individual and their personal response to the tragedy.

The main objective of this project is to assess the impacts of 9/11 upon passenger travel behavioral. This knowledge may assist transportation, and emergency response, agencies to speed up the process of recovery after an extreme event.