Climate Change and Public Transit

A recent round of thunderstorms brought public transit operations in Philadelphia to a screeching halt.

August 11, 2019, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

"Thousands of SEPTA riders were stranded during Wednesday’s powerful thunderstorms. The storm triggered flash flooding and sent trees careening into catenary wires. Buses were diverted," reports Ryan Briggs.

SEPTA General Manager Jeff Kneuppel is quoted in the article saying the storms ranked in the "top five or ten" worst storms he'd encountered in 30 years at the transit agency.

Kneuppel also thinks storms are getting worse, a view shared by Franco Montalto, a Drexel engineering professor. "Most scientists concur that climate change is causing more severe and more frequent storms –– and transit agencies are struggling to keep up," writes Briggs.

The article includes details of SEPTA's work to make the transit system more resilient. "The agency is upgrading rain signals and placing them on stilts to enhance flood resistance. The agency is also moving away from its reliance on commercial power generation to minimize outages. Prepping rescue buses ahead of weather events is now a standard practice, and the agency is working to improve customer service to better notify customers of delays," according to Briggs.

Thursday, August 8, 2019 in WHYY

Chicago Commute

Planning for Congestion Relief

The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.

May 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

LAX Cars

Car Noise Is Killing Us

It’s not just traffic collisions that kill—a new study from researcher at Rutgers finds that the loud noises emanating from cars has direct impact on heart health in Americans.

May 6, 2022 - Streetsblog USA

Rittenhouse Square, a park in Philadelphia, framed by large buildings.

Parks as a Weapon Against Climate Change

The 2022 ParkScore finds that cities are increasingly employing green space as a tool for mitigating heat and extreme weather effects, but the distribution of parks remains inequitable.

May 16 - Trust for Public Land

View of Louisiana state capitol building and downton Baton Rouge, LA

Louisiana Capital Shifting to Electric Transit

The Baton Rouge area is now served by a fleet of nine all-electric buses.

May 16 - American Journal of Transportation

Mount Rainier

New Community Engagement Practices for Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan Update

A major update of Seattle’s comprehensive plan is just getting under way, with new opportunities for local groups to get involved with outreach and engagement.

May 16 - Capitol Hill Seattle Blog

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.