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


SEPTA Bus

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

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