American Bus Association (ABA) President Peter Pantuso sent letters to the chairmen of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees urging them to adequately fund the Intercity Bus Security Grant Program for Fiscal Year 2018.
In his letter, Pantuso said:
"I write to respectfully request that you fund the Intercity Bus Security Grant Program (IBSGP) for FY2018. Terrorist related incidents involving large commercial vehicles, like the recent tragedy in New York City, continue to threaten our transportation network. A critical component to mitigating this threat for the passenger motorcoach industry is the IBSGP; however, the FY 2018 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill has not yet been reported out of your Committee. There is still time to properly fund this critical program, and I urge you to act.
"Following the recent vehicle attack in New York City, your colleague, Sen. Cassidy (R-La.), acted by introducing the Vehicular Terrorism Prevention Act. But this is not enough, and our industry calls on you, too, to do your part by supporting funding for the IBSGP. Please consider adequately funding the program for FY18 when negotiating the year-end spending bill with the House. The intercity bus industry must stay prepared in this ever-changing threat environment, and IBSGP funding is critical to meeting this need."
In the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, Congress recognized the need to address security risks threatening the surface transportation network, specifically identifying the intercity bus industry as a vital mode of transportation through establishment of the IBSGP in the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. Our world today has not changed much from the initial threats provoking this action. In fact, the threat is even more apparent today. According to the National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin released by the Department of Homeland Security on Nov. 9, 2017, terrorist groups continue to actively promote the use of vehicles for ramming attacks against civilian populations. Numerous incidents have occurred both in this country and abroad.