Managing Extreme Weather at Bus Stops

A chronic problem for transit operations involves clearing bus stops, shelters, and adjacent walkways when extreme weather events occur. This creates not only a major inconvenience for transit riders, but a safety hazard for passengers who need to wait for buses in the street, and a potential accessibility barrier for persons with disabilities. Who, if anyone - property owners, municipality, county agency, transit authority - is responsible for bus stops, shelters, adjacent walkways varies greatly from one city to another (and sometimes depending on whether the stop is on a city street or state road). There is also great variety in terms of who actually performs maintenance - municipal or transit agency employees, private contractors, volunteers, or other resources (for example, during the recent snow emergency in Boston, prison inmates were used to clear snow; in other places, individuals required to perform community service in lieu of prison are used). In some cities, maintenance of certain bus shelters is paid for with advertising revenue. A synthesis is needed to report on the state of the practice in this area. This synthesis will survey North American transit operators affected by extreme weather events to determine what methods and procedures are used for clearing bus stops, shelters, and access walkways. The synthesis will document but, not be limited to the following: (1) Agency (or private property owner) responsibilities for clearing bus stops, shelters, and access walkways? (2) Who performs the work-public agency personnel, private contractors, etc.; (3) Innovative arrangements that other transit agencies might emulate; (4) Sample ordinances and contracts; (5) Standards/specifications applied (e.g., amount of snow accumulation allowed before removal); and (6) Experience with liability claims arising from bus tops, shelters, walkways that are not accessible This synthesis will explore these issues and document successful practice. A literature review, survey of selected transit agencies and/or other stakeholders, and detailed case examples/profiles will be accomplished to report on the state-of-practice, including lessons learned, challenges, and gaps in information. A draft further research needs statement might also be prepared.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project J-07, Topic

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Vlasak, Donna

  • Start Date: 20150609
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 39777

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01566084
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project J-07, Topic
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jun 10 2015 1:01AM