Transit Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment


The goal of the course is to present FTA’s procedures and methods for predicting and assessing noise and vibration impacts from proposed mass transit projects. The training modules in this three-day course closely follow the procedures contained in FTA’s recently updated guidance on the subject (Transit Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment, May 2006). The course gives an overview of the environmental review process and how noise and vibration assessment fits into FTA’s planning and project development processes. Fundamentals of noise and vibration are discussed along with the specific metrics and impact criteria that are used in noise and vibration assessments. Different levels of analysis for noise and vibration are presented, along with considerations in choosing the appropriate level of analysis depending on the type of project and the stage of project development. The emphasis is on predicting impacts from operation of new transit systems; however, construction impacts are also covered. The course covers all the typical transit modes as well as multi-modal highway/transit projects. Various measures to mitigate excessive levels of transit noise and vibration are also discussed. A number of class exercises and case studies are brought in to reinforce the concepts, procedures, and practices introduced in the course. Ample time is allocated toward the end of the session to discuss attendees questions and issues related to specific projects.

Participants are strongly encouraged to bring their own laptops to the course to fully participate in class exercises.


Upon completion of this course, each participant should be able to:

  • Discuss the fundamental concepts that provide the foundation for predicting and assessing noise and vibration impacts
  • Use the screening procedures to determine whether a project is likely to cause impacts to sensitive sites
  • Identify the types of land uses that are noise- or vibration-sensitive
  • Conduct simple noise and vibration impact assessments using the General Assessment procedures
  • Determine the additional project information and data needed for Detailed Analysis of noise and vibration
  • Identify the most common types of noise and vibration mitigation measures and the situations in which they are feasible
  • Discuss how the different levels of analysis (screening, general assessment, detailed analysis) fit into FTA’s planning and project development process



Duration: 3 Days (in person)
Contact: Andrea Dixon
Audience: This course is aimed at practitioners who conduct noise and vibration analyses as well as those who prepare and review environmental impact assessments for transit projects. Managers overseeing the environmental review process for a major project may also benefit from this course.