The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has commended five rail and mass transit agencies from across the nation for earning TSA’s highest rating of “Gold Standard” on their 2014 Baseline Assessments for Security Enhancement 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 Acting Administrator Melvin Carraway.
These agencies were reviewed in 2014 and attained high scores acros s 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 system-wide.
The six agencies recognized for achieving the Gold Standard in 2014 are: Virginia Railway Express in Northern Virginia; the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority in Washington, D.C.; the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Long Island Railroad in New York; the Pinella s Suncoast Transit Authority in St. Petersburg, Fla.; and Hillsborough Area Regional Transit in Tampa, Fla.
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 c ritical assets, infrastructure and systems and their vulnerabilities and assist bus and public transportation authorities to address their security programs.