Announcement of Project Selections: Transit Climate Change Adaptation Assessment Pilots

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FTA is pleased to announce just over $1 million in research funding for seven pilot projects to conduct climate change adaptation assessments. The pilot projects will advance the state of practice for adapting transit systems to the impacts of climate change. The effort is in keeping with broader long-term goals to address state-of-good repair needs and enhance transit safety. The selected projects will assess the vulnerability of transit agency assets and services to climate change hazards such as heat waves and flooding. Recipients will also develop initial adaptation strategies that fit with their transit agency’s structure and operations. At least two of the pilot projects will demonstrate the integration of climate impacts within an asset management system. At the conclusion of the pilot programs (15 months from kickoff) , each recipient will submit to FTA a final report on the activities conducted, main findings, and applicability to other transit agencies. This information will be shared with other transit agencies using the FTA website, webinars, and workshops.

The proposals were evaluated based on project plans, evidence of broad organizational involvement, applicability to other transit agencies, demonstrated interest and commitment, qualifications of key personnel, past performance, strategic partnerships, costs, and diversity. The competition for merit-based projects was strong. FTA received 23 eligible applications requesting a combined total of $3.2 million—about three times more than the available funding.

This effort is part of FTA’s climate adaptation initiative, which also includes a recently issued research report, workshops, and webinars. FTA invites broad participation in a workshop to be held March 21-22, 2012 in the Washington metropolitan area. The workshop will provide technical assistance on climate change adaptation free of charge. More information on the initiative and workshop is available here. For further information, please contact Tina Hodges at tina.hodges@dot.gov.

Selected Climate Change Adaptation Projects

Note: Click any column header to sort by that title.
Project Sponsor City & State Description FTA Funding
Georgia Tech, in partnership with Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) Atlanta, GA Project focuses on how a transit agency’s asset management system can be used to support strategic investment decision-making to respond to climate change impacts $175,000
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) Los Angeles, CA Will bring prior LACMTA climate change work to the next level by integrating it into LACMTA’s Environmental Management System, developing metrics to measure effectiveness of adaptation strategies, and conducting extensive outreach. $175,000
Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Chicago, IL Project will develop detailed analyses and implementation plans for three shovel-ready projects to improve resilience of CTA assets to climate impacts. Leverages City of Chicago Climate Action Plan. $159,500
Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority Seattle, WA Project will use workshops to engage staff and directors from across the agency and leverage University of Washington climate research and state DOT climate work. Project results to be incorporated into agency’s sustainability plan, environmental management system, and other agency programs. $105,000
Texas Transportation Institute in partnership with Island Transit (Galveston, TX) Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (Tampa, FL) and Metro (Houston, TX) Galveston, TX; Houston, TX; Tampa, FL Project will evaluate costs associated with service disruption, capital, labor and maintenance to maintain a state of good repair in the face of climate impacts for three Gulf Coast transit agencies. $146,200
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) San Francisco, CA Project will analyze BART’s vulnerabilities to sea-level rise and heavy downpours. Initial adaptation strategies will be developed through risk analysis, facility evaluation, and other methods. Leverages FHWA and NOAA-funded efforts $150,000
ICF Inc. in partnership with Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission Philadelphia, PA Project will conduct detailed analysis of past service disruptions, future climate scenarios, risks, and adaptation options for a selected SEPTA commuter rail line. $144,087

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