The U.S. Senate has amended bill H.R. 4954, the Port Security Improvement Act of 2006, to include $3.5 billion for transit security over three years.
The amendment requires that the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security award grants directly to public transportation agencies for allowable capital security improvements, including tunnel protection systems; chemical, biological, radiological or explosive detection systems; surveillance, communications and emergency response equipment; and evacuation improvements.
Additionally, the grants may be used for other programs, such as security training for employees, live or simulated drills, public awareness campaigns and canine patrols.
The House version of the bill does not include the provisions for transit security investments, therefore, if the Senate version is passed this week, a conference committee will need to resolve the differences between the two bills.