Flooded Bus Barns and Buckled Rails: Public Transportation and Climate Change Adaptation


Tina Hodges

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, policy - environment, planning - environmental impact, mode - mass transit


Climate change, adaptation, public transportation, transit, asset management, safety, state of good repair, risk management, weather, flooding, heat, sea level rise, and precipitation


The objective of this project is to provide transit professionals with information and analysis relevant to adapting U.S. public transportation assets and services to climate change impacts. Climate impacts such as heat waves and flooding will hinder agencies’ ability to achieve goals such as attaining a state of good repair and providing reliability and safety. The report examines anticipated climate impacts on U.S. transit and current climate change adaptation efforts by domestic and foreign transit agencies. It further examines the availability of vulnerability assessment, risk management, and adaptation planning tools as well as their applicability to public transportation agencies. The report provides examples of adaptation strategies and discusses how transit agencies might incorporate climate change adaptation into their organizational structures and existing activities such as asset management systems, planning, and emergency response. By focusing specifically on public transportation, and the unique assets, circumstances, and operations of that mode, the report supplements transportation sector wide studies whose scopes did not allow for more in-depth treatment of transit.