Bus Security and Safety Act Passed by Committee

May 1, 2003

Washington, DC -- The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation today approved by voice vote S. 929, the Max Cleland Over-the-Road Bus Security and Safety Act of 2003. Senators McCain, Hollings, Hutchison, Breaux, Lautenberg, Smith, and Snowe introduced the bill on April 28, 2003.

The purpose of the bill is to authorize funding assistance to the intercity bus industry to implement security improvements. It would authorize $25 million for FY 2003 and $99 million for FY 2004 to fund an intercity bus security grant program that would be administered by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and require that recipients of federal grants fund 10% of the security improvement expenses. The bill would help improve bus security by authorizing grants for:

-- security improvements at terminals; 

-- the installation of surveillance equipment;

-- improvements to protect or isolate the driver; and

-- other security improvements.

The legislation also would require the Department of Homeland Security to complete a preliminary report assessing the adequacy of over?the?road bus security and determine what, if any, additional steps should be taken to improve bus security.