APTA President William Millar Statement to the Senate

Millar gives APTA stance on rail security to Committee on Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs


A vital component of ensuring public transit's ability to prepare and respond to critical events is the timely receipt of security intelligence in the form of threats, warnings, advisories and access to informational resources. Accordingly, in 2003, the American Public Transportation Association, supported by Presidential Decision Directive #63, established an ISAC for public transit systems throughout the United States. A funding grant in the amount of $1.2 million was provided to APTA by the Federal Transit Administration to establish a very successful Public Transit ISAC that operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and gathered information from various sources, including DHS, and then passed information on to transit systems following a careful analysis of that information. However, given that the Federal Transit Administration was subsequently unable to access security funds, and given the decision of DHS to not fund ISAC operations, APTA then had to look for an alternate method of providing security intelligence through DHS's newly created Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN). APTA continues to work with DHS staff to create a useful HSIN application for the transit industry. It is clear, however, that while the HSIN may become an effective resource, it does not match the 24/7 two-way communication functions provided through the Public Transit ISAC. However, we believe that consistent, on-going and reliable funds from Congress should be provided for the Public Transit ISAC that has been proven an effective delivery mechanism for security intelligence. Therefore, we respectfully urge Congress to provide $600,000 to maintain the Public Transit ISAC. In addition, APTA's membership includes many major international public transportation systems, including the London Underground, Madrid Metro, and the Moscow Metro. APTA also has a strong partnership with the European-based transportation association, the International Union of Public Transport. Through these relationships, APTA has participated in a number of special forums in Europe and Asia to give U.S. transit agencies the benefit of their experiences and to help address transit security both here and abroad.

COST OF HEIGHTENED SECURITY

Following the attacks on London in 2005, APTA was asked to assist the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in conducting a teleconference between the TSA and transit officials to discuss transit impacts pertaining to both increasing and decreasing the DHS threat levels. There is no question that increased threat levels have a dramatic impact on budget expenditures of transit systems and extended periods pose significant impacts on personnel costs. These costs totaled $900,000 per day for U.S. public transit systems or an estimated $33.3 million from July 7 to August 12, 2005 during the heightened state of "orange" for public transportation. This amount does not include costs associated with additional efforts by New York, New Jersey and other systems to conduct random searches. Many transit systems are also implementing other major programs to upgrade security. For example, New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (NY- MTA) is taking broad and sweeping steps to help ensure the safety and security of its transportation systems in what are among the most extensive security measures taken by a public transportation system to date. NY-MTA will add 1,000 surveillance cameras and 3,000 motion sensors to its network of subways and commuter rail facilities as part of a $212 million security upgrade announced late in 2005 with the Lockheed Martin Corporation. In fact, NY- MTA plans to spend over $1.1 billion through 2009 on transit security.

SECURITY INVESTMENT NEEDS

Mr. Chairman, since the awful events of 9/11, the transit industry has invested more than $2.5 billion of its own funds for enhanced security measures, building on the industry's already considerable efforts. 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, which include research, best practices, education, information sharing in the industry, and surveys. As a result of these efforts we have a better understanding of how to create a more secure environment for our riders and the most critical security investment needs.

Our survey of public transportation security identified enhancements 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 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 improvements. Priority examples of operational improvements 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 improvements 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.