The US Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is soliciting proposals for transit climate change adaptation assessment pilots. The pilots will fund transit agencies or partnerships with transit agencies to assess the vulnerability of transit agency assets and services to climate change hazards such as heat waves and flooding.
The solicitation notes that climate change has particular impacts on public transportation. Subway tunnels, busways, tracks, and maintenance facilities are vulnerable to an increase in flooding from more intense rain storms, sea-level rise, and storm surge. Extreme heat can cause deformities in rail tracks, at minimum resulting in speed restrictions and, at worst, causing derailments. Public transportation is also called upon to provide evacuation services during the type of extreme weather emergencies that are projected to become more common with climate change. Transit dependent populations are particularly vulnerable. Adapting transit to climate change impacts is critical to maintaining a state of good repair, protecting the safety of travelers, and ensuring mobility, the agency says.
The pilots will thus also assess initial adaptation strategies and link these strategies to transit agency organizational structures and activities. One of the pilots will focus on demonstrating the integration of adaptation assessment within an asset management system.
Each pilot will submit to FTA a final report on the activities conducted, main findings, and applicability to other transit agencies. FTA contemplates making approximately four cooperative agreement awards, ranging from $50,000 to $175,000 each. Total funding available is $525,000.
Eligible recipients are either 1) a public transportation provider or, 2) a university, non-profit, private, or public entity working in partnership with a public transportation provider.