Statement by APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy
“In the wake of the horrific terrorist attack during the Boston Marathon, public transit systems across the country stepped up security measures and implemented security enhancement plans. As these steps have been taken to protect riders and transit employees, there has been much national dialogue regarding the vulnerability of public transportation systems to similar attacks. During the last several federal budget cycles, the American Public Transportation Association has urged Congress to significantly increase funding for public transportation security. Past appropriations have not come close to the levels called for in the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, which established a unique federal public transportation security program within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
“From 2010 to 2012, federal investment in transit security decreased by 65 percent, while public transportation ridership increased by 300 million trips. This represents a drop from a FY10 investment of $253 million to FY12 investment of $87.5 million. As transit ridership continues to grow, its security faces more exposure to risk and access to security tools and information must also increase. While no measures can prevent an attack on our open public transit systems with 100 percent certainty, public transit agencies desperately need greater investments for strengthening of critical public transit infrastructure. This includes physical security enhancements, state-of-the-art surveillance systems, explosive and chemical detection systems, enhanced communications technology, as well as anti-terrorism patrol teams (including canine units), first responder training, and public education campaigns. These enhancements are crucial in order to effectively combat and deter potential attacks.
“Public transit agency security and law enforcement personnel are hard at work to protect our riders. They can do more if federal security programs are funded as intended under the 911 Act. The security and safety of public transit riders and workers are the industry’s greatest priority.”
# # #
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.