July 18, 2013

16 transit systems awarded TSA ‘Gold Standard’ rating

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) commended 16 rail and public transit agencies from across the U.S. for earning its highest rating of “Gold Standard” on their most recent Baseline Assessments for Security Enhancement (BASE) for their dedication to building a strong security program.

The BASE program is designed to establish a security standard for individual system security programs and assess progress. This voluntary comprehensive review of transit agency security programs focuses on multiple categories identified by the transit community as fundamentals for a sound transit security program. They include a review of topics, such as an agency's security plans, security training, drills/exercise programs, public outreach efforts and background check programs. The BASE program analyzes the security program for each transit system and identifies opportunities to further enhance security.

“These agencies are to be commended for their commitment and hard work that this level of achievement requires and for their continued dedication to ensure the security of travelers nationwide,” said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole.

These agencies were reviewed in 2012 and attained high scores across all categories. TSA considered this caliber of performance as reaching a “Gold Standard” and recognized them for having strong security programs. TSA continues to work with all transit agencies across the country to develop and implement robust security practices systemwide.

The 16 agencies recognized for achieving the Gold Standard in 2012 are:
N.Y. Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bus Co.; Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority;  San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District; Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corp.; Metro Transit Minneapolis-St. Paul; Metra-Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corp.; San Diego Metropolitan Transit System; Port Authority of Allegheny County; Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority; Utah Transit Authority; Pace-Suburban Bus Co.; Westchester County (N.Y.) Department of Transportation’s Bee-Line System; Connecticut Transit-Hartford Division; Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority of Ohio; Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Staten Island Railway; and Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.

In addition to these agencies, there have been 21 others that have previously earned the Gold Standard Award level of security since 2010.

The BASE program was developed to increase domain awareness, enhance prevention and protection capabilities and further response preparedness of transit systems nationwide. BASE is aimed at meeting the requirements in the 9/11 Commission Act's security assessment section, which directs TSA to identify critical assets, infrastructure and systems and their vulnerabilities and assist bus and public transportation authorities to address their security programs.

RELATED: "Focus on Day-to-Day Transit Security Helps Mitigate Larger Threats"

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