The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced more than $9.5 million in intercity bus security grants.
The Intercity Bus Security Grant Program endeavors to enhance security for millions of bus and motorcoach passengers.
The funds will help to prevent and detect possible explosive devices, as well as chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents. Funding will also go toward passenger and baggage screening, training, bus facility security and the improvement of systems to better monitor, track and communicate with vehicles.
Grant recipients will be selected on the basis of a competitive application process.
“While the American Bus Association (ABA) and the United Motorcoach Association (UMA) support both congressional and administration efforts to promote motorcoach security through the availability of federal security grants for our industry, we strongly oppose limiting those funds to only designated operators. Though fixed-route operators are and should be a high priority for security grant funding because of the volume of passengers they operate, it has been ABA and UMA’s position that all operators should have access to the competitive process of applying for those funds based on the merits of their application and the intended use of the requested funds,” said ABA President and CEO Peter Pantuso and Victor Parra, president and CEO of UMA, in a joint statement.
Meanwhile, as part of its Transit Security Grant Program, the DHS also allocated $108 million for rail transit systems, $22.4 million for intra-city bus systems, $5 million for ferry systems and $6.4 million for Amtrak. The New York region received the highest allotment, with $42 million to be shared by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Port Authority, New Jersey Transit and the Connecticut Department