WASHINGTON -- Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Acting Federal Security Director Jim Sikes announced today a $578,799 grant to the Charlotte (N.C.) Area Transit System (CATS) to improve security at bus facilities at North Davidson and South Tryon streets and provide additional safety and security staff training. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant to Charlotte is being administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Capabilities Division.
These awards are part of $14.2 million in grants to Tier 2 urban areas across the nation. The funds are available through the Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP), which is part of the DHS Infrastructure Protection Program (IPP). The resources provided by this program strengthen the nation's ability to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies that could impact the country's critical infrastructure.
"This award will help CATS upgrade key security features in its transportation infrastructure, a prime goal of these grants," said Sikes. "DHS's two-tiered approach ensures that cities such as Charlotte have the opportunity to compete for grants that will make a significant difference in protecting transit passengers."
"The $578,799 transit security grant will help CATS upgrade its perimeter fencing and add controlled security gates at bus facilities at North Davidson and South Tryon streets," said Ron Tober, CATS chief executive officer. "Staff and security personnel will also receive additional safety and security training with the assistance of this grant."
The Transit Security Grant Program utilizes a two-tiered, risk-based approach that focuses on high risk and high consequence transit systems. On May 9, DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff announced $157 million in funding to Tier 1 urban areas, which are comprised of high passenger density and rail systems with significant infrastructures, such as underwater tunnels and stations and ferry systems. Urban areas that received funds in previous years, but were not eligible in Tier 1, qualified to apply and compete for TSGP Tier 2 funds.
TSGP Tier 2 allocations place a strong emphasis on the training and preparedness of TSA's front-line workforce. Eligible Tier 2 transit systems were also permitted to focus on other priorities, including emergency drills, employee training, and public awareness programs that support overall system preparedness.
This year, nearly $445 million has been allocated under the Infrastructure Protection Programs.
Infrastructure protection grants take threat, vulnerability and consequences into consideration, and recognize the unique characteristics of our nation's seaports, transit systems and other critical infrastructure assets. Since 2003, the IPP has awarded nearly $2 billion to critical infrastructure sectors.