The Federal Transit Administration has guidance on how to assess noise and vibration impacts of proposed mass transit projects: Transit Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment (PDF). This guidance is used by project sponsors seeking funding from FTA to evaluate these impacts during the environmental review process. All types of bus and rail projects are covered. The focus is on noise and vibration impacts during operations, but construction impacts are also covered. The guidance also describes a range of measures for controlling excessive noise and vibration.
The procedures for a General Noise Assessment are incorporated in a spreadsheet program (MS Excel) (update coming soon) that allows users to readily predict noise levels from a proposed project and assess impact based on FTA’s noise impact criteria. The instructions accompanying the spreadsheet program are supplemented by a full description of the General Assessment procedures in the FTA guidance manual.
A three-day training course, Transit Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment, is offered by the National Transit Institute. This course will be of interest not only to technical specialists who conduct noise and vibration analyses, but also to those who prepare and review environmental impact assessments for transit projects. Managers overseeing the environmental review process for a major project may also find the course useful.