DOT unveils $3.6B to make transit systems climate resilient

The Department of Transportation (DOT) announced $3.6 billion in disaster relief funding for communities affected by Hurricane Sandy to help build public transit systems that are resilient to the impacts of climate change.

Transportation Secretary Anthony FoxxAnthony Renard FoxxWeek ahead in tech: Lawmakers turn focus to self-driving cars Six contenders to be Uber's new CEO Obama’s Transportation chief given Super Bowl tickets by Hollywood studio exec MORE, joined by White House adviser John Podesta, unveiled the funding for projects in Staten Island, N.Y. on Monday.

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Roughly 90 percent of the funds will go to projects primarily in New York and New Jersey, which sustained the worst damages from the storm.

The rest of the funds will go to transit systems in Connecticut, Washington D.C., Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.

“While no one can predict the future with certainty, we believe these investments will help to harden transit facilities against future storms that Mother Nature dishes out, supporting President Obama’s call to address climate change now and reducing the risk of service disruptions and future damage to some of the nation’s busiest rail and bus services," Foxx said on Monday.

In order to receive funding, the projects had to prove they would reduce the risk of damage to public transportation caused by natural disasters.

From flood protections to alternate control centers, and watertight barriers, the new projects needed to show they would protect "vulnerable infrastructure" and improve cooperation and coordination between local and regional governments, the DOT said.

The new actions come as President Obama is preparing to address 125 heads of state at the United Nations climate summit on Tuesday. Obama will make the case that other nations should follow the U.S.'s lead on climate change.