National Academies Press: OpenBook

Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency (2018)

Chapter: Appendix E - Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
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76 Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency new assets, educating staff, or informing the development of adaptation strategies; (2) based on the objectives, assess vulnerability through tasks such as information gathering on assets as well as historical and projected weather events, and assigning a level of risk of the impact on the assets; and, (3) incorporating results into decision making.8 The study also identifies establishing the criticality of assets as a valuable component of the vulnerability assessment.9 FHWA’s Vulner- ability Assessment Framework is shown in Figure E-1. Figure E-1. FHWA Climate Change & Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessment Framework.10 8Ibid, p. v 9Ibid, p. 9 10U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, “Climate Change & Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessment Framework” December 2012, p.2

Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance 77 According to the Volpe Center’s “Infrastructure Resiliency: A Risk-Based Framework,” natu- ral disasters are no longer rare; it is necessary to focus on long-term resiliency impacts; and global connectivity is at risk. The factors that are contributing to these weather-related disasters include rising sea levels and water temperatures and changing precipitation. While the climate patterns have been changing slowly, the effects have become more severe; and the impacts to society have become larger due to accelerated growth in the coastal regions, and growth in the value of assets lost during events.11 Furthermore, global connectivity is at risk as transportation infrastructure is interlinked with information, trade, and financial systems. The Volpe Center study cites a Brookings Institution (2011) study that indicated “every dollar spent on mainte- nance for bridges saved $4 to $5 on repair costs after failure of asset;” and a Healy and Malharta (2009) study that indicated “every dollar spent on pre-disaster preparedness saves $15 in terms of future damage.”12 The Volpe framework is a systematic, risk-based, and layered defense approach which involves a lifecycle approach to design, construction, operation, and protection of complex infrastructure systems (see Figure E-2). The study defines resiliency as a process for managing complex infra- structure—not a single outcome. As indicated, the FTA report that focused on seven pilot projects at transit organizations across the country is soon to be released. Interim reports to FTA indicate the pilots have focused on (1) the use of Environmental Management Systems to address adaptation; (2) determin- ing criticality approaches; (3) determining vulnerability; (4) developing asset management approaches; and, (5) integrating adaptation into business practices. Tools to Support a Risk-Based Approach A common theme within the studies cited above is the need for a risk-based approach in managing severe weather impacts that recognizes criticality and vulnerability. The studies are consistent in stressing that the risk-based approach should be integrated into any existing management system and reviewed on an ongoing basis so as to provide a proactive, reactive, and cost-effective response. Over the past few years, transit agencies such as MTA New York City Transit and LACMTA have been developing resiliency plans that generally follow the FTA, the FHWA, and the Volpe Center frameworks. They are developing systematic methodologies to prioritize and incorporate resiliency into projects. These methodologies could be utilized system-wide to assist in prioritization for capital planning and maintaining an SOGR. The elements of this methodology are to: • Develop a process to evaluate and rate criticality of assets. • Develop a process to evaluate and rate vulnerability to severe-weather threats over time, such as fluvial flooding, storm surge (including effects of potential sea level rise), heat, wind, snow and ice, and more. • Develop a process to prioritize the most at-risk (critical and vulnerable) assets. 11U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center, “Infrastructure Resiliency: A Risk Based Framework,” June, 2013, p. 2 12U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center, “Infrastructure Resiliency: A Risk Based Framework,” June, 2013, p. 4–5

78 Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency Graphic Source: The Volpe Naonal Transportaon Systems Center Figure E-2. The Volpe Center Infrastructure Resiliency Framework.13 13U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center, “Infrastructure Resiliency: A Risk Based Framework,” June, 2013, p. 4 • Develop a process to address the most at-risk (critical and vulnerable) assets through resil- iency improvements to the system and by incorporating resiliency strategies into capital proj- ects, emergency response planning, and operations. • Develop a process to monitor and re-assess the resiliency planning. Table E-1 summarizes different tools and resources that are available to support a risk-based approach to planning resilient transit systems.

Review of Climate Adaptation Tools and Guidance 79 Tool Source Link Description Applicability to Transit FTA Hazard Mitigation Cost Effectiveness Tool FTA None FTA tool developed based on a FEMA HMCE tool and supplied to transit agencies applying for post-Sandy resilience project funding. Expected to be modified for wider release in the next year or two. Helps transit agencies calculate benefit-cost ratios of proposed resilience projects based on anticipated capital and maintenance costs of project, expected construction delays, historical frequency and severity of extreme events, impacts of historical extreme events (in terms of agency costs and passenger delays), and anticipated impacts avoided from resilience project. Yes, transit-specific Vulnerability Assessment Scoring Tool (VAST) U.S. DOT https://www.fhwa.dot. gov/environment/clim ate_change/adaptation /adaptation_framework /modules/index.cfm ?moduleid=4 VAST provides a framework for conducting a quantitative, indicator-based vulnerability screen for vulnerability. The tool is intended for state DOTs and MPOs interested in assessing how components of their transportation system may be vulnerable to climate stressors-including, but not limited to, changes in temperature, changes in heavy precipitation, sea level rise, and severe storms. Detailed instructions are included within the tool. Some transit-specific indicators/methods included, broader framework is applicable to any type of infrastructure CMIP Climate Data Processing Tool U.S. DOT https://www.fhwa.dot. gov/environment/clim ate_change/adaptation /adaptation_framework /modules/index.cfm ?moduleid=4 The Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) Climate Data Processing Tool, developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, will process raw climate model outputs from the World Climate Research Programme's CMIP3 and CMIP5 into relevant statistics for transportation planners. These statistics include changes in the frequency of very hot days and extreme precipitation events and other climate characteristics that may affect transportation infrastructure and services by the middle and end of the century. Detailed instructions are included within the User's Guide, including information on the difference between the CMIP3 and CMIP5 Climate Data Processing Tools and how to select the right one for your situation. Provides transportation infrastructure-specific climate change projections (e.g., number of days > 100 degrees). Many of these variables may be applicable to transit (e.g., heat kinks or flood projections) Cities Impacts and Adaptation Tool U. Michigan Graham Sustainability Center https://toolkit.climate. gov/tool/cities-impacts- adaptation-tool-ciat The Cities Impacts & Adaptation Tool (CIAT) is an online climate adaptation planning support tool for decision makers at the municipal level in the Great Lakes region. The site provides local-scale data for cities with populations of 20,000 or higher, including current and projected climate trends, demographic and socioeconomic data, and descriptions of adaptation strategies pulled from existing planning documents for municipalities across North America. For any city in the database, the tool identifies a custom network of "climate peers" through an interactive map interface. Climate peers are cities whose current climate reflects the selected city's projected climate in 2041-2070. Midwest only. Would help identify “climate peers” Climate Change & Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessment Framework FHWA http://www.fhwa.dot. gov/environment/climate _change/adaptation/ publications/vulnerabil ity_assessment_frame work/index.cfm FHWA’s vulnerability assessment and adaptation framework provides guidance for state and local transportation agencies for use in analyzing the impacts of climate change and extreme weather on transportation infrastructure. Principles are broadly applicable, but this is not a “tool” per se CMIP5 Global Climate Change Viewer (GCCV) USGS https://toolkit.climate. gov/tool/cmip5-global- climate-change- viewer-gccv The Global Climate Change Viewer (GCCV) displays future temperature and precipitation changes simulated by global climate models in CMIP5. Users can view projections for any county, for all available models, and all Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) emission scenarios. The GCCV also provides access to plots and quantile breakdowns of monthly temperature and precipitation from 1850-2100. Data from the experiments are binned into 25- year climatologies that span the 21st century. Easy access to some climate variables that may be of interest to transit agencies (similar to U.S. DOT CMIP Climate Data Processing Tool). The GCCV is a bit easier to use, but results are coarser and potentially not as useful, but worth checking here first because you can see outputs instantaneously. Table E-1. Summary of tools to support a risk-based approach to climate adaptation and resilience. (continued on next page)

80 Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency Tool Source Link Description Applicability to Transit Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper NOAA https://toolkit.climate. gov/tool/coastal-flood- exposure-mapper The site provides maps that show people, places, and natural resources exposed to coastal flooding. Provides a source of coastal flooding inundation projections, applicable to transit agencies in a coastal area Coastal Resilience Mapping Portal The Nature Conservancy http://maps.coastalres ilience.org/network/ Users have access to interactive tools to visualize future flood risks from sea level rise and storm surge. Other tools can help users identify areas and populations at risk from coastal hazards and gain a better understanding of ecological, social, and economic impacts. This information is particularly helpful for officials involved in coastal planning, zoning, and land acquisition who must take rising sea levels and increased storm intensity and frequency into consideration. Provides a source of coastal flooding inundation projections, applicable to transit agencies in a coastal area Coastal Resilience Index Mississippi- Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and NOAA's Coastal Storms Program https://toolkit.climate. gov/tool/coastal- resilience-index The Coastal Resilience Index is a self-assessment tool. To complete the index, community leaders get together and use the tool to guide discussion about their community’s resilience to coastal hazards. The Index provides a simple, inexpensive method for community leaders to perform a self-assessment of their community’s resilience to coastal hazards, identifying weaknesses a community may want to address prior to the next hazard event and guiding community discussion. The Index is not intended for comparison between communities. Not designed for transit agencies specifically, but some questions may be applicable Federal Highway Administration Scenario Planning Guidebook FHWA https://toolkit.climate. gov/tool/federal- highway- administration- scenario-planning- guidebook Transit agencies can use this guidebook for scenario planning to address transportation issues, changes in land use, and population growth or decline, as well as climate change and uses of alternative energy. Not designed for transit agencies specifically, but some components may be applicable HAZUS-MH FEMA https://toolkit.climate. gov/tool/hazus Hazus is a nationally applicable standardized methodology developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). A downloadable software package called Hazus- MH (for Multi-Hazard) gives users access to FEMA's models for estimating potential losses from earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes. Integrated Rapid Visual Screening for Tunnels DHS https://toolkit.climate. gov/tool/integrated- rapid-visual- screening-tunnels Integrated Rapid Visual Screening (IRVS) for Tunnels is a software-facilitated procedure for assessing the risk to tunnels from natural and human-caused hazards that have the potential to cause catastrophic losses. Using the tool requires downloading and installing software on a computer or tablet running the Windows® operating system. Completing the IRVS procedure for a tunnel results in a quantifiable assessment of the risk of a given tunnel to a terrorist attack or natural disaster leading to catastrophic losses (fatalities, injuries, damage, or business interruption) and a quantifiable assessment of the resiliency of the tunnel (ability to recover from such an event). Not specifically climate change-related, but potentially could be used for climate change analysis if hazard risk probabilities are manually adjustable Inundation Analysis Tool NOAA http://tidesandcurrents .noaa.gov/inundation/ Coastal storms and other meteorological phenomenon can have a significant impact on how high water levels rise and how often. The inundation analysis program—an online, interactive map-based tool located on NOAA's Tides & Currents website—is beneficial in determining the frequency (or the occurrence of high waters for different elevations above a specified threshold) and duration (or the amount of time that the specified location is inundated by water) of observed high waters (tides). Statistical output from these analyses can be useful in planning marsh restoration activities. Additionally, the analyses have broader applications for the coastal engineering and mapping community, such as ecosystem management and regional climate change. Since these statistical outputs are station- specific, use for evaluating surrounding areas may be limited. Provides a source of coastal flooding inundation projections, applicable to transit agencies in a coastal area Table E-1. (Continued).

Abbreviations and acronyms used without definitions in TRB publications: A4A Airlines for America AAAE American Association of Airport Executives AASHO American Association of State Highway Officials AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials ACI–NA Airports Council International–North America ACRP Airport Cooperative Research Program ADA Americans with Disabilities Act APTA American Public Transportation Association ASCE American Society of Civil Engineers ASME American Society of Mechanical Engineers ASTM American Society for Testing and Materials ATA American Trucking Associations CTAA Community Transportation Association of America CTBSSP Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis Program DHS Department of Homeland Security DOE Department of Energy EPA Environmental Protection Agency FAA Federal Aviation Administration FAST Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (2015) FHWA Federal Highway Administration FMCSA Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FRA Federal Railroad Administration FTA Federal Transit Administration HMCRP Hazardous Materials Cooperative Research Program IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ISTEA Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 ITE Institute of Transportation Engineers MAP-21 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (2012) NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASAO National Association of State Aviation Officials NCFRP National Cooperative Freight Research Program NCHRP National Cooperative Highway Research Program NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NTSB National Transportation Safety Board PHMSA Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration RITA Research and Innovative Technology Administration SAE Society of Automotive Engineers SAFETEA-LU Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (2005) TCRP Transit Cooperative Research Program TDC Transit Development Corporation TEA-21 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (1998) TRB Transportation Research Board TSA Transportation Security Administration U.S.DOT United States Department of Transportation

TRA N SPO RTATIO N RESEA RCH BO A RD 500 Fifth Street, N W W ashington, D C 20001 A D D RESS SERV ICE REQ U ESTED ISBN 978-0-309-39032-3 9 7 8 0 3 0 9 3 9 0 3 2 3 9 0 0 0 0

ICF TCRP H-53 Final Report D-6 Interview Findings Response to Panel’s Input on the Work Plan The panel asked the team to use the interviews to specifically address transit agencies’ needs in two topic areas:  Financial and social sustainability  Articulating, quantifying, and monetizing the benefits that public transportation provides to regions Interviewees generally recognized financial and social sustainability as important topic areas, but tended not to emphasize them as areas of need for their sustainability programs. Some of the interviewees work in environmental departments, where financial and social equity concerns are not typically housed. Some people said that other departments, or even the transit agency as a whole, are responsible for financial and social sustainability. Opportunities to address financial and social sustainability are, however, embedded in broader opportunities identified by interviewees. For example, CTA mentioned that financial sustainability resonates with the decision makers within the transit agency, and that there is a need for the sustainability program to better engage those decision makers. So clearly, communication tools that address financial sustainability would benefit CTA. Several transit agencies mentioned a desire for guidance about how to structure and initiate a sustainability program. There are opportunities to integrate guidance about social and financial sustainability in that type of guidance. The need to communicate the regional benefits of public transportation came up in multiple interviews. Educating the public and regional stakeholders seems to be a higher priority for the people we spoke to than quantifying or monetizing any specific regional benefits. We find that the best opportunities in this area are likely to involve disseminating best practices for communicating regional benefits rather than developing quantification tools. Current Status of Sustainability Programs The interviews began with discussions of the status of the transit agencies’ sustainability programs in order to put their needs for tools in context. We found that:  Sustainability programs are in different of states of development. Half of the transit agencies we spoke with had undertaken sustainability initiatives for selected projects or facilities or within specific departments and were in the process of creating a comprehensive sustainability plans or policies to tie together disparate initiatives. Most of the remaining transit agencies either had more advanced programs, with comprehensive policies or plans in place. A few reported that they were in the initial stages of building support among staff and leadership.  Key initiatives of sustainability programs range widely. Some transit agencies are working primarily on establishing a formal structure for the sustainability program and staff responsibilities, while others are focused on collecting data and setting targets.  Most of the sustainability staff that we interviewed were focusing their programs’ efforts on environmental sustainability. Financial sustainability was generally considered to be important for its potential to communicate and promote the broader benefits of environmentally-focused initiatives. Social sustainability was generally considered to be the responsibility of other parts of the transit agency, or part of the mission of the transit agency as a whole, and therefore not implemented by the sustainability program. Two transit agencies felt their sustainability program addressed all three aspects of sustainability. Most transit agencies understood that sustainability

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TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Research Report 197: Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency explores the development of practical tools for improving sustainability at transit agencies:

  • The Sustainability Routemap: An interactive PDF, similar to a website, that guides the user to improve a transit agency’s sustainability program through application of change management principles, best practice examples, and references to online tools.
  • The Sustainability Checklist
  • The S+ROI Calculator: An Excel workbook that quantitatively evaluates potential sustainability projects in terms of financial, social, and environmental returns.
  • The S+ROI Calculator BRT Example
  • The S+ROI Calculator Solar Panel Example

The tools are available to download as a .zip file.

Disclaimer - This software is offered as is, without warranty or promise of support of any kind either expressed or implied. Under no circumstance will the National Academy of Sciences or the Transportation Research Board (collectively "TRB") be liable for any loss or damage caused by the installation or operation of this product. TRB makes no representation or warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, including without limitation, the warranty of merchantability or the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, and shall not in any case be liable for any consequential or special damages.

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