Senators call on TSA to beef up rail transit security

Senators call on TSA to beef up rail transit security.
Senators call on TSA to beef up rail transit security.
U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Cory A. Booker (D-NJ) are calling on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to implement security and safety improvements to the nation’s passenger rail systems.

The senators -- both members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation -- point out the safety systems were mandated in legislation passed by Congress back in 2007.

In a letter to TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger, Blumenthal and Booker cited the attempted terrorist attack on a Paris-bound train last week in which three Americans subdued the attacker.

The senators wrote that sort of incident is the perfect example as to why TSA needs to ensure basic protections for the millions of people who rely on United States’ public transportation systems.

The 2007 legislation required TSA to create a regulatory framework that addresses possible threats facing passenger rail and transit agencies. The law requires emergency plans to be set in place while ensuring proper security training for employees and thorough vetting for those working on transit systems.

“Tens of millions of riders use our country’s public transportation and passenger rail systems every day, and these networks serve as the backbone of economic activity throughout the country,” the letter read. “Our rail and transit networks carry significantly more people per day than our airlines do. Penn Station in New York City, for example, handles half a million passengers each day -- making it busier than all three New York City regional airports combined, and the busiest transportation hub in our country. While aviation security is a vital focus of the TSA, your agency also has a critical role to play in protecting rail and transit passengers.”

Organizations in this Story

Penn Station New York City Transportation Security Administration U.S. National Transportation Safety Board United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

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