N.J. Congressman Calls for Passage of Mass Transit Security Bill

A New Jersey Congressman wants the federal government to boost the amount it spends on mass transit security.

Research done since 9/11 shows there have been five times as many terror attacks on rail lines and other ground transportation as on airports and airlines, with an even greater disparity in total fatalities.

But Representative Robert Menendez says federal spending per capita to protect air travelers is nearly a thousand times greater than comparable spending to protect trains, subways, buses and ferries. He says it works out to nine dollars per air traveler versus less than one cent per bus or train passenger.

The Democrat, who sits on the House Transportation Committee, discussed the data during a news conference today in Hoboken.

He's sponsoring legislation that would allocate $5 billion for security-related equipment purchases and other capital costs nationwide. It also would annually appropriate $800 million for police overtime and training, K-9 units and other security-related operating expenses.