FTA and Climate Change Adaptation: Synthesis of FTA-Funded Pilots

In 2011, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced its Climate Change Adaptation Initiative and committed $1 million in research funding to pilot projects in seven geographically-diverse locations, including nine transit agencies. This report offers a brief summary on each of those seven pilot studies, including:

    1. An Integrated Approach to Climate Adaptation at the Chicago Transit Authority
    2. A Vulnerability and Risk Assessment of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s Regional Rail
    3. Gulf Coast Climate Change Adaptation Pilot Study (Houston Metro, Tampa HART, and Island Transit)
    4. Los Angeles County MTA Climate Change Adaptation Pilot Project
    5. San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) Climate Change Adaptation Assessment
    6. Puget Sound Transit Climate Risk Reduction Project - Seattle, Washington
    7. Transit Climate Change Adaptation Assessment/Asset Management Pilot for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority

The impacts of flooding and extreme precipitation, heat-related effects, sea level, and increases in storms and hurricanes are problems found across the pilot areas - and these climate impacts are expected to grow in the 20- to 50-year analysis time frame. System vulnerabilities found from these climatic hazards were generally similar for each of the studies - including suspension of and delays in service, and significant damage to infrastructure.

Adaptation strategies are identified for each of the pilot projects. Examples include:

• Proactively designing new and more resilient facilities and infrastructure and reassessing existing facilities

• Integrating vulnerabilities to climate change impacts into asset management practices

• Integrating the adaptation and analysis solutions developed into current management practices

 

Publication Date: August 2014

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