March 23, 2004
Members will hear testimony on actions that have been taken to enhance the security of passenger and freight rail transportation since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001; additional steps that should be taken to protect the rail system from terrorist attack; and improvements that could be made to ensure these efforts are effectively coordinated among the agencies with responsibility for rail safety and security. Senator McCain will preside. Witnesses will be announced at a later time.
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The Honorable Thomas R. Carper
Senator Tom Carper Statement on Rail Security Commerce Committee Hearing on Rail Security 3/23/04 I’d like to thank the Commerce Committee for inviting me here today to discuss something that is a serious concern to millions of Americans, especially in light of the tragedy that occurred in Madrid, Spain a few weeks ago. As a daily Amtrak passenger and a former member of the Amtrak Board of Directors, I have known for some time about the unique security needs of our nation's rail transportation system. Today, approximately 24 million passengers ride Amtrak annually and there are nearly 3.4 billion rail transit trips each year. With that in mind, I have worked since September 11th, 2001 with a number of my colleagues, including you, Mr. Chairman, and Senator Hollings, to improve the security of our nation's passenger, freight and commuter railroads. We are mindful every time we visit an airport or board an airplane of the work we have done in the years since September 11th to make air travel safer in this country. We have also made strides in other areas, such as port security. I firmly believe that we have an obligation to ensure that Americans who ride trains are as safe as those that travel by air or any other mode of transportation. Likewise, citizens across America deserve to know that the thousands of rail shipments carrying hazardous materials that pass through their communities on a daily basis are as secure as is reasonably possible. Amtrak, freight railroads, and local transit agencies are doing all that they can to strengthen the security of their systems, but the federal government must do more to help them, as we have done with other transportation sectors. I come before the Committee today as a member of the Governmental Affairs Committee, which has general oversight over the Department Homeland Security. During the creation of the Department and through numerous oversight hearings, I've attempted to bring the issue of rail security to the attention of my colleagues. In hearings with Homeland Security officials such as Secretary Ridge and Deputy Secretary Loy, I've urged that they consider the needs of rail security and have sought to understand what rail security efforts are ongoing at the Department. On the legislative front, I cosponsored Senator Hollings' original rail security measure in the 107th Congress and worked to support his efforts with Chairman McCain to pass the Rail Security Act of 2001. Following this, I successfully offered a rail security amendment to the bill creating the Department of Homeland Security that was reported out of Governmental Affairs. That language was ultimately dropped from the bill before final passage, despite my opposition to its removal. Since then, I've introduced ARRIVE-21 with Senators Hollings and Collins, a comprehensive rail infrastructure financing package and Amtrak reauthorization, which includes funding for rail security. I've also cosponsored a separate effort, S. 2216, the Rail Transportation Security Act, introduced last week. Time after time, I've been told that the Department understands the real security needs of our rail transportation system. During his confirmation process in January 2003, Secretary Ridge stated; "I believe that Congress will need to address Amtrak and freight rail security. Amtrak and freight rail are at considerable risk to terrorist attack. Moreover, state and local police and fire officials have confirmed their limited ability to respond to a major attack.….I look forward to working with Congress to support legitimate security enhancements such as better fencing, enhanced lighting, video surveillance for stations, bridges and tunnels, and implementing measures to screen passengers and baggage for dangerous weapons and explosives." Additionally, the Secretary acknowledged the role that the Department has in ensuring the security of Amtrak, saying; "I think there is a need for us to take a look at the legitimate security enhancements with Amtrak, and obviously, through whatever appropriation measure that the Congress may be supportive of in the future….and if you don't fund it, then we will have to work with you to find some other ways to help them on a priority basis deal with most problematic vulnerabilities. I can't tell you what they are, but we need to do a vulnerability assessment and then set priorities and then go about addressing them." Secretary Ridge has also stated that the Transportation Security Administration was working on a number of its own initiatives. He said they were considering installing Radiological Dispersal Devices (RDD) at key freight rail locations and were addressing the movement of bulk hazardous materials through a "chlorine initiative" pilot project. He also said they had been developing a Rail Inspection Guide for use by rail employees in identifying security risks. I urge my colleagues to inquire today as to the status of these efforts. At his confirmation hearing this past November, Admiral Loy also acknowledged our nation's rail security needs and said rail would need to be a part of the transportation security plan that Homeland Security is apparently developing. At that same hearing, however, he hinted that it probably is not possible to make rail as secure as the aviation sector, saying we should focus more on how to recover from an attack than on how to prevent one. While this statement is alarming, Admiral Loy makes a valid point. It is not possible, nor necessarily desirable, to implement exactly the same kinds of security measures at train stations as we have at airports. However, there is much we can do and I have not seen a concerted effort at Homeland Security to strengthen rail security using all available and reasonable means. In a lot of ways, our nation's rail infrastructure is probably as vulnerable today as it was on September 10th, 2001. To date, the Department of Homeland Security has been unable to tell me the amount of resources and the number of staff that are specifically dedicated to rail security. To my knowledge, they have not undertaken a coordinated, systematic assessment of the vulnerabilities of our national passenger and freight railroads, beyond ad hoc local efforts. In addition, no funds other than those granted to Amtrak to reimburse security costs directly associated with 9/11 have been made available for increased intercity passenger rail security. In fact, when my staff recently asked Homeland Security officials, they said that they were not sure if Amtrak was even eligible for funds from the Department through any existing grant program. On a related point, the $100 million for life safety improvements given to Amtrak through the U.S. DOT for the New York rail tunnels in 2002 is primarily for safety improvements, not security, as the Administration has claimed. Indeed, we still have $775 million in unmet safety improvements for Amtrak's Northeast Corridor tunnels. Much has also been made of the $115 million Homeland Security has made available for transit security grants. It is my understanding, however, that only $35 million of this $115 million has actually made it out to local transit agencies. In addition, this money does nothing to address Amtrak and freight rail security. President Bush's FY 05 budget, like its predecessors, requests no specific funding for rail security efforts. The budget we passed just before recess also includes no specific rail security money. The Department of Homeland Security announced a handful of new rail security initiatives just yesterday but it is unclear right now how they will be funded and how aggressively they will be pursued. I believe the recent tragedy in Madrid has opened the eyes of many of my colleagues to the security risks that our railways face. I urge them and the Department of Homeland Security to step up efforts to improve the security of our railroads. The first step should be to begin conducting comprehensive risk assessments of our major rail assets, as Secretary Ridge has already endorsed. We should also have TSA study the possibility of selected screening of rail passengers. Secretary Ridge stated before the Governmental Affairs Committee that TSA is already engaged in such a study, saying; "TSA is working with Amtrak to identify requirements for a test project using screening technologies as designated locations. The team's effort is focused on identifying cost-effective technologies that can be implemented with minimum impact on the passenger flow and efficiency of rail operations….. DHS and TSA will continue to work closely with the rail carriers to implement appropriate countermeasures and technologies that will ensure the security of the tunnels and bridges on Amtrak's northeast corridor and in Washington, DC area specifically." However, I'm unaware of the status of this effort and understand that a pilot screening project at a station near Washington, D.C. has been indefinitely postponed. We need to begin a serious effort to help railroads, states, cities, and transit agencies pay for key rail security efforts, such as more police and bomb sniffing dogs. Many rail operators, especially Amtrak, barely have enough resources to operate from day to day. We can't expect them to shoulder 100 percent of their security costs, just as we don't expect the aviation industry to cover all of its security costs. S.2216, the Rail Transportation Security Act, incorporates many of these suggestions and provides dedicated resources for rail security to the DHS. I urge its quick review and adoption by the Senate. I hope the Committee today will ask tough questions of our witnesses and attempt to ascertain the full scope and status of the Department of Homeland Security's rail security efforts. We have received a lot of assurances, but I believe we've seen very little action. I hope today's hearing can help us build momentum for efforts to strengthen the security of our rail system.
The Honorable Joe Biden
Mr. Peter Guerrero
Click here for a PDF version of Mr. Guerrero's remarks.
The Honorable Asa Hutchinson
Good morning Mr. Chairman, Senator Hollings, and Members of the Committee. It is my pleasure to be here today to speak with you about the Department’s ongoing and planned efforts to enhance Passenger Rail and Mass Transit security. The tragic bombings that occurred in Madrid on March 11, and those that occurred in Moscow on February 6 were terrible reminders that the war on terror is not yet over and that much work remains to be done. Our prayers and our deepest sympathies are with the families and friends of the hundreds of innocents who died in these attacks, and with those for whom the road to recovery will be long and painful. And our resolution remains firm. We will not tolerate these sorts of cowardly acts, nor will they deter us from support of the liberties that make our nation great. I would like to begin by stating that we do not have any specific indications that terrorist groups are planning such attacks in the U.S. Furthermore, in the months preceding the Madrid and Moscow incidents, the Department, in close cooperation and coordination with our partners at the Department of Transportation, and state and local governments and transit and rail operators, has taken a number of steps to respond to vulnerabilities in the rail and transit systems and improve our security posture against similar attacks. In the immediate aftermath of the Madrid attacks, the Department released two Information Bulletins on the Madrid Bombing to the transportation sector, state and local homeland security officials, public safety community, and law enforcement. The Bulletins provided specific indicators of such operations and suggested protective measures. It is important to note that over the last year, the Department has issued a number of such bulletins to rail and transit operators. We have long been aware of the possibility of such attacks and have sought to provide as much information as possible to those at the state and local level who are responsible for keeping the trains running on time, so to speak. After Madrid, the Department also hosted a National Conference Call with over 170 participants from federal, state and local public safety communities, all State and Territorial Homeland Security Advisors, and officials from 50 major urban areas. In addition, we hosted a conference call with approximately 75 participants from Association of American Railroads (AAR), American Public Transportation Association (APTA), and the Surface Transportation Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ST-ISAC), and representatives from the nation’s largest transit systems. We used these calls to communicate current information on the attacks, obtain an assessment of the level of preparedness of transit and rail systems in the U.S., and determine what short-term measures ought to be taken to reduce vulnerabilities across our nation’s transit and rail systems. It is also very important that we analyze carefully what happened in Spain two weeks ago and apply lessons learned in order to deter and prevent similar attacks in the United States. To that end, DHS is working closely with Spanish authorities to examine available information, and generate “lessons learned” on how these terrible attacks transpired for application here in the U.S. In addition, the Department continues to share intelligence and other information with state and local authorities, as well as with the private sector, to ensure vigilance in light of these incidents. DHS Initiatives Prior to the attacks in Moscow and Madrid, agencies within the Department were already working with their Federal and state counterparts to bolster the security of rail and mass transit systems for the approximately 11.3 million passenger trips each weekday. DHS efforts have focused on information sharing, awareness, prevention, response and recovery to a potential terrorist rail attack in the United States. Over the last two years, DHS and DOT have worked with transit and rail operators to improve security significantly. TSA, the Infrastructure Protection Division of the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection (IAIP) Directorate, and DOT’s FRA and FTA have conducted criticality assessments of rail and transit networks operating in high-density urban areas. As a result of these assessments, these systems produce robust security and emergency preparedness plans. Between FY 2003 and this year, DHS has used information from these assessments to allocate $115 million to high-risk transit systems through the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) in the Office of Domestic Preparedness. Sixty-five million dollars ($65 million) was allocated in fiscal year 2003 and $50 million was allocated in fiscal year 2004. Grantees may use these funds for such expenses as the installation of physical barricades, video surveillance systems, motion detectors, thermal/IR imagery and chemical/radiological material detection systems, integrated communications systems and for prevention planning, training and exercises, among other things. The Department is coordinating information and threat sharing through the Information Sharing and Analysis Center in partnership with the Association of American Railroads and American Public Transportation Association. As part of the significant partnership that the Department has developed with AAR and the ST-ISAC, TSA hosts ST-ISAC representatives at the Transportation Security Coordination Center (TSCC) in Virginia. TSA has partnered with FTA on its “Transit Watch” Program, and is coordinating with FRA to develop a rail system inspection guide for use by rail law enforcement and security personnel to inspect trains for explosives and other threats. The BTS Federal Law Enforcement Training Center has provided security training to rail and transit operators; and TSA has distributed educational information to transit system employees on how to recognize and respond to potential terrorist attacks. TSA has also hosted numerous security exercises to bring together rail carriers, federal and local first responders, and security experts, to address potential gaps in antiterrorism training among rail personnel. One such security exercise occurred at Union Station Washington, DC in July 2003 and involved stakeholders, emergency responders and enforcement agencies all working to implement the station’s Emergency Response Plan. The lessons learned from this exercise are being utilized to enhance rail security for the entire Northeast corridor. In another security exercise, DHS, through TSA, co-partnered with the Naval War College Gaming Department to conduct the exercise game, “Operation Heartland” at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island on January 27-28, 2004. Operation Heartland was designed to exercise and evaluate security awareness, prevention, response and recovery of the national transportation system to a security incident. Participation included eleven federal agencies, state and local agencies from Iowa and Illinois, Amtrak, and representatives from private industry including BNSF Railroad, Union Pacific Railroad, and Ingram Barge Company. State/local/private sector actions: In addition to the Federal government’s actions and initiatives, I would be remiss if I didn’t commend the mass transit and rail industry, and State and local governments, for their proactive response in addressing homeland security issues, both pre and post-9/11, and following the Moscow and Madrid bombing incidents. Most recently, transit and rail system operators have enhanced their existing security plans by taking various preventive measures in cooperation with the Department. While specific examples should not be given in a public forum, significant commitments have been made in increased canine and uniformed patrols, increased surveillance, and reporting and awareness campaigns in the passenger environment. Relatedly, cargo rail companies are continuing their Alert Level 2, which includes increased security at designated facilities, security plan review, and increased spot identification checks. Near Term Actions In the wake of Madrid, the Department immediately identified additional measures that could be implemented in the near term to further strengthen our rail and transit systems. A working group comprised of senior members of my staff, officials from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection (IAIP) Directorate; the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA), identified several such measures. Yesterday, Secretary Ridge and I met with rail and transit officials and announced the following measures to provide additional federal leadership and guidance in the rail and transit security arena: Leadership The Department will build on many of the security measures recommended during the past two years for implementation to mass transit and passenger rail authorities by DHS, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The Department will engage the industry and state and local authorities to establish base-line security measures based on current industry ‘best practices’. This includes all existing security measures currently being implemented consistently in the mass transit system and the commuter rail environment. These base-line measures could be adjusted in consultation with transit and rail system owners and operators in response to higher threat levels or specific threats in the future. Additional measures could be achieved through the use of security directives or technical assistance, which would specifically target mitigation of identified vulnerabilities. DHS, in coordination with DOT, will ensure compliance with security standards for commuter and rail lines Threat Response Support Capability Mass Transit K-9 Program The Department will develop a rapid deployment Mass Transit K-9 program by utilizing existing Homeland Security explosive K-9 resources. These mobile DHS response teams will be prepared to assist local law enforcement teams. Federal Protective Services K-9 teams would also be cross-trained for utilization in the rail and transit environment. Building upon TSA’s work in the aviation context, DHS will partner with local authorities to provide additional training and assistance for local K-9 teams. The mobile program would predominantly be used in special threat environments and provide additional federal resources to augment state and local transit and rail authorities security measures. Transit Inspection Pilot TSA will implement a pilot program to test the feasibility of screening luggage and carry-on bags for explosives at rail stations and aboard trains. The initial program will be implemented at one station with commuter rail service in conjunction with Amtrak and the Federal Railroad Administration. The pilot program would not resemble an aviation-type solution to transit and rail, but rather provide the Department with a venue to test new technologies and screening concepts. The lessons learned from the pilot could allow transit operators to deploy targeted screening in high threat areas or in response to specific intelligence. Education and Awareness DHS will integrate existing passenger and rail education and awareness programs that have been developed by industry, TSA and FTA. Where necessary, the Department will create new programs to increase passenger, rail employee, and local law enforcement awareness through public awareness campaigns and security personnel training. A number of training templates and rider education materials are currently in development by TSA and FTA allowing the Department to leverage existing efforts to generate additional public awareness. The Department’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Center will also accelerate current security training programs for transit law enforcement personnel. Future Technological Innovations The Department’s Science and Technology division is focusing on development of a number of homeland security technologies. Many of these could or are being used in the mass transit environment including chemical and biological countermeasures. High Explosives Countermeasures The Department’s Homeland Security Advanced Research Project Agency is developing a Broad Agency Announcement on bomb interdiction for truck and suicide threats with approximately $5 million in funding that will be released in the coming months. This program will focus on research and development of next generation technology for High Explosives Countermeasures. In the future, these countermeasures could address the threat that terrorists might use explosives in attacks on buildings, critical infrastructure, and the civilian population of the United States. The goal of the program will be to develop and test field equipment, technologies and procedures to interdict suicide bombers and car and truck bombs before they can reach their intended targets while minimizing the impact on the American way of life. This effort will be closely coordinated with the activities ongoing in TSA to ensure that research and development activities are complementary and allow potential future testing be carried out through TSA’s Transit Inspection Pilot. Thank you again for the opportunity to appear before you on this important topic. I look forward to answering any questions you may have.
The Honorable Robert Jamison
The Honorable Allan Rutter
Witness Panel 2
Mr. William W. Millar
Mr. Chairman, thank you for this opportunity to testify on the security and safety of passenger rail and public transportation systems. We commend the Senate Commerce Committee for holding this hearing today particularly in light of the recent terrorist attacks in Madrid, Spain. ABOUT APTA The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of over 1500 public and private member organizations including transit systems and commuter rail operators; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient, and economical transit services and products. Over ninety percent of persons using public transportation in the United States and Canada are served by APTA member systems. PASSENGER RAIL AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SECURITY Mr. Chairman, we do not need to emphasize the critical importance of keeping America’s public transportation secure in this time of heightened national security. While this Committee has jurisdiction over passenger and freight rail, we must look at the security of our surface transportation program in its entirety and that includes the full spectrum of public transportation services. At intermodal hubs such as Washington’s Union Station there are blend of services including -intercity passenger rail, commuter rail, subway, and bus transportation. Congress should examine the unique security needs for all of America’s public transportation. This intermodal relationship extends to the nation’s freight railroads, and APTA is pleased to work closely with the Association of American Railroads in this regard. Many commuter rail services are operated on freight-owned lines. Moreover, many commuter rail systems handle significant amounts of rail freight traffic. For example, the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) provides the right-of-way for the movement of 50 to 75 freight trains a day on property it owns, including all the rail freight traffic out of the Port of San Diego and 10-15% of the rail freight traffic out of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. America’s public transportation services are by design and necessity an open environment. Over 9 billion transit trips are taken annually on all modes of transit service. People use public transportation vehicles over 32 million times each weekday. This is more than sixteen times the number of daily travelers aboard the nation’s domestic airlines and over 450 times the number used by Amtrak intercity services. The numbers of customers using public transportation each and every day creates ongoing challenges for enhancing security within our transit environments. In addition, transit employees are on the front line in our nation’s effort against terrorism. They are the first responder evacuation teams who will assist in getting the public out of critical incident areas and our cities in the event of a terrorist attack. This was evident on September 11, 2001, when public transportation in New York City, New Jersey and Washington D.C. helped safely evacuate citizens from center cities. Indeed, this same story was true around the country as transit systems quickly and efficiently evacuated people from closed airports and downtown areas. We remember that the interstate highway program was begun by President Eisenhower as a national defense interstate highway program. It is clear now that public transportation too has a significant national defense component and is a fundamental element in responding to community disasters and emergencies. In that connection, APTA is honored to play a critical role in transportation security, and works closely with a number of federal agencies in this regard, notably the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Federal Railroad Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Office of Domestic Preparedness (ODP), and the Directorate of Information Analysis & Infrastructure Protection of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. At the program level, APTA works closely with these agencies to administer an industry audit program that oversees a system safety and security management plan for transit systems around the country. Our safety audit program for commuter rail, bus, and rail transit operations has been in place for many years, and includes elements specific to security planning and emergency preparedness. Separately, in connection with Presidential Decision Directive Number 63, we are pleased to have been designated a Public Transportation Sector Coordinator by the Department of Transportation, and as my testimony notes below, we have established a Transit Information Sharing Analysis Center that provides a secure two-way reporting and analysis structure for the transmission of critical alerts and advisories to transit agencies around the country. Since the events of 9/11, state and local public transit agencies, like all state and local entities, have spent significant sums on police overtime, enhanced planning and training exercises, and capital improvements related to security. In response to a 2004 APTA survey, transit agencies around the country have identified in excess of $6 billion in transit security needs. These include both one-time capital investments and recurring operating expenses related to security. It is important to note that these costs are above and beyond the capital infrastructure needs we have identified under the TEA 21 reauthorization effort. BACKGROUND Mr. Chairman, prior to and following September 11, 2001—the date of the most devastating terrorist attack in U.S. history—APTA has played a key role in addressing the safety and security issues of our country. American public transportation agencies have also taken significant measures to enhance their security and emergency preparedness efforts to adjust to society’s new state of concern. Although agencies had a wide range of security initiatives in place at the time of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks and already had developed emergency response plans, the September 11 incidents focused, strengthened and prioritized security efforts throughout the industry. Transit agencies have had a good safety record and have been working for many years to enhance their system security and employee security training, partly responding to government standards, APTA guidelines, and by learning through the attacks on transit agencies abroad. For example, the 1995 sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway system caused U.S. transit properties managing tunnels and underground transit stations to go on high alert. The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, for instance, responded to the possible threat of chemical weapons attacks by sending a police team to Fort McClellan, Alabama, to learn response tactics from U.S. Army chemical weapons experts. In the months following the September 11 terrorist attacks, transit agencies of all sizes worked to identify where they might be vulnerable to attacks and increased their security expenses for both operations and capital costs. The agencies subsequently upgraded and strengthened their emergency response and security plans and procedures, taking steps to protect transit infrastructure and patrons and increase transit security presence while giving riders a sense of security. Some initiatives around the country include: · Increased surveillance via closed circuit TV · Increased training for employees · Hired more police, K-9 units added · Chemical detection systems being tested · Infrastructure design to eliminate hiding places · Drills are routinely held with first responders · Encouraging riders to be vigilant for suspicious activities or items. After September 11, many transit organizations worked to prevent unauthorized entry into transit facilities. The need for employees and passengers to stay alert and report suspicious occurrences became a key goal of many agencies. These efforts are paying off. While many transit agencies are more secure than prior to September 11, more needs to be done. Since the attacks, APTA and the Federal Transit Administration have emphasized the need for effective transit security and emergency preparedness. FTA has sent security resources toolkits to transit agencies; completed security-vulnerability assessments of the nation’s largest transit systems; and provided technical support and grants of up to $50,000 to fund agency emergency drills. FTA continues to provide emergency preparedness and security forums nationwide. In emphasizing the importance of enhancing transit security, FTA Administrator Jennifer L. Dorn noted that thousands of lives were spared on September 11 in New York City and Washington “because of the quick action of first responders and transit workers.” APTA has launched many additional efforts to further transit industry security and preparedness, collaborating with FTA in developing emergency preparedness forums, and sponsoring and organizing security-related conferences and workshops. Moreover, APTA developed a list of critical safety and security needs faced by the transit industry, which it has provided to the Department of Transportation and the U.S. Congress. Mr. Chairman, I would be pleased to submit this and other data discussed in my testimony for the record. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION SHARING ANALYSIS CENTER (ISAC) Presidential Decision Directive #63 authorizes and encourages national critical infrastructures to develop and maintain ISACs as a means of strengthening security and protection against cyber and operations attacks. APTA is pleased to have been designated a public transportation Sector Coordinator by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and in that capacity has received a $1.2 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration to establish a transit ISAC. APTA recently formalized an agreement with a private company to implement the ISAC and make it available to public transit systems around the country. This ISAC for public transit provides a secure two-way reporting and analysis structure for the transmission of critical alerts and advisories as well as the collection, analysis and dissemination of security information from transit agencies. The public transit ISAC also provides a critical linkage between the transit industry, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Transportation Security Administration, and the Office of Homeland Security. A request for funding to continue this ISAC has been submitted to the Department of Homeland Security’s Directorate of Information Analysis & Infrastructure Protection. ONGOING TRANSIT SECURITY PROGRAMS Mr. Chairman, while transit agencies have moved to a heightened level of security alertness, the leadership of APTA has been actively working with its strategic partners to develop a practical plan to address our industry’s security and emergency preparedness needs. Shortly after the September 11 events, the APTA Executive Committee established a Security Task Force under the leadership of Washington Metro’s CEO, Richard A. White. The APTA Security Task Force has established a security strategic plan that prioritizes direction for our initiatives. Among those initiatives, the Task Force serves as the steering group for determining security projects that are being implemented through over $2 million in Transit Cooperative Research funding through the Transportation Research Board. Through this funding, APTA held four transit security workshop forums for the larger transit systems with potentially greater risk exposure. These workshops provided confidential settings to enable sharing of security practices and applying methodologies to various scenarios. The outcomes from these workshops were made available in a controlled and confidential format to other transit agencies unable to attend the workshops. The workshops were held in New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Chicago. In partnerships with the Transportation Research Board, the APTA Security Task Force has also established two TCRP Panels that identified and initiated specific projects developed to address Preparedness/Detection/Response to Incidents and Prevention and Mitigation. The Security Task Force emphasized the importance for the research projects to be operationally practical. In addition to the TCRP funded efforts, a generic Checklist For Transit Agency Review Of Emergency Response Planning And System Review has been developed by APTA as a resource tool and is available on the APTA website. Also through the direction of the Security Task Force, APTA has reached out to other organizations and international transportation associations to formally engage in sharing information on our respective security programs and directions and to continually work towards raising the bar of safety and security effectiveness. Within this concept of partnership and outreach, APTA also continues in its ongoing collaboration with the Federal Transit Administration to help in guiding and developing FTA programs. Among these are regional Emergency Preparedness and Security Planning Workshops that are currently being delivered through the Volpe Center and have been provided in numerous regions throughout the U.S. The primary focus of such workshops has been to assist particularly smaller transit systems in building effective emergency response plans with first responders and their regional offices of emergency management. Also within this partnership, APTA has assisted the FTA and the National Transit Institute in the design of a new program “Security Awareness Training for Frontline Employees and Supervisors.” This program is now being provided by NTI to transit agencies throughout the nation. Collaborative efforts between APTA, FTA, Volpe Center, and the National Transit Institute are also underway to establish a joint website that will specifically gather and disseminate effective transit practices with initial emphasis on safety and security. As you may be aware, APTA has long-established Safety Audit Programs for Commuter Rail, Bus, and Rail Transit Operations. Within the scope of these programs are specific elements pertaining to Emergency Response Planning and Training as well as Security Planning. In keeping with our industry’s increased emphasis on these areas, the APTA Safety Audit Programs have similarly been modified to place added attention to these critical elements. APTA’s Committee on Public Safety, continues to provide a most critical forum for transit security professionals to meet and share information, experiences and programs and to also provide valuable input to programs being developed by the FTA. SECURITY INVESTMENT NEEDS Mr. Chairman, after the awful events of 9/11, the transit industry invested some $1.7 billion in enhanced security measures building on the industry’s considerable efforts already in place. At the same time, our industry undertook a comprehensive review to determine how we could build upon our existing industry security practices. This included a range of activities, some of which I discussed earlier in my testimony, including research, best practices, education, information sharing in the industry, surveys and the like. As a result of those efforts we are now at a phase where we know what we can most effectively do in terms of creating a more secure environment for our riders, and have accordingly identified critical security investment needs. Our latest survey of public transportation security identified needs of at least $5.2 billion in additional capital funding to maintain, modernize, and expand transit system security functions to meet increased security demands. Over $800 million in increased operating costs for security personnel, training, technical support, and research and development have been identified, bringing total additional transit security funding needs to more than $6 billion. Responding transit agencies were asked to prioritize the uses for which they required additional federal investment for security needs. Priority examples of operational needs include: Funding current and additional transit agency and local law enforcement personnel. Funding for over-time costs and extra security personnel during heightened alert levels. Training for security personnel. Joint transit/law enforcement training. Security planning activities. Security training for other transit personnel. Priority examples of security capital investment needs include: Radio communications systems. Security cameras on-board transit vehicles and in transit stations. Controlling access to transit facilities and secure areas. Automated vehicle locator systems. Security fencing around facilities. Transit agencies with large rail operations also reported a priority need for federal capital funding for intrusion detection devices. To date the DHS has allocated some $115 million for public transportation security through its Office of Domestic Preparedness, and we appreciate this support from the Department. We trust that we can now begin to build on those initial investments and address the $6 billion in critical needs the transit industry has identified; the Administration’s FY 2005 budget, however, does not specifically call for investment in public transportation security. We think it should. Currently ODP grants for transit systems are made available through the states, which means that our transit systems do not have a direct relationship with DHS, and which also means that the process of getting the funds to the local transit systems can be lengthy. Mr. Chairman, our nation’s transit systems have a direct and cooperative working relationship with DOT’s Federal Transit Administration which allocates federal capital investment quickly to the local level, and we believe this is an excellent model that we would like to see developed over time with the DHS. We stand ready to help in any way we can in that regard. CONCLUSION Mr. Chairman, in light of our nation’s heightened security concerns post 9/11, we believe that increased federal investment in public transportation security by DHS is critical. The public transportation industry has made great strides in transit security improvements since 9/11 but much more needs to be done. We look forward to building on our cooperative working relationship with the Department of Homeland Security and Congress to begin to address these needs. We again thank you and the Committee for allowing us to testify today and your commitment in the nation’s transportation infrastructure, and look forward to working with you on safety and security issues.
Dr. Jack Riley
Mr. John O’Connor