FTA Transit Asset Management Guide

The Federal Transit Administration's guide provides a framework for transit-specific asset management, and includes a section on climate change adaptation. State departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, and transit providers are now required to develop asset management plans to comply with regulations that were finalized by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and FTA in 2016. Although FTA's final rule does not require transit providers to conduct formal climate resiliency analysis in investment prioritization processes, FTA recommends that transit providers have an understanding of and consider risks posed by climate change and extreme weather events.

The guide addresses different concepts of asset management, including basic principles of asset management, asset management plan requirements and updates, investment prioritization, measuring asset condition, performance measures for capital assets, performance targets, and more. The guide indicates which sections of FTA's Transit Asset Management Rule are implicated by these different topics in the guide, but also contains many activities and best practices not required by regulation but helpful to effective maintenance and management of transit assets.

The guide includes an extensive supplement to help transit providers apply asset management processes to major asset classes (e.g., stations, tracks, signal systems), with a particular focus on lifecycle management. The supplement incorporates a section on how climate adaptation planning can be factored into lifecycle management. It indicates how lifecycle costs can be reduced by considering climate change at different stages of an asset's lifecycle:

  • Design and procurement, such as through technical specifications that account for temperature tolerance of materials, and resizing of climate control systems;
  • Operations and maintenance, through more preventive practices such as water conservation strategies in drought-prone areas and stormwater management in floodprone areas; and
  • Rehabilitation, to prevent future premature deterioration, such as by switching to pervious pavement in areas where pavements experience frequent flooding.

The guide suggests overlaying climate modeling and projections with an asset inventory to help evaluate vulnerabilities and risks, and then incorporating these findings into the lifecycle management process.


Publication Date: November 2016

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  • Planning guides

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