Award Categories

The Rail Security Award is presented in three categories which are derived from the National Transit Database. Please check the category that applies best for your agency or organization:

  • Commuter/Intercity Rail
  • Heavy Rail
  • Light Rail/Street Car (includes “Intermediate Rail”)
  • Rail COVID-19

This year, we have added a special  Rail COVID-19 category (safety and/or emergency management).

The Rail COVID-19 category will recognize extraordinary and innovative aspects of safety and/or  emergency preparedness specific to a pandemic virus not normally covered in an all-hazards Continuity of Operations Plan and efforts an agency used to respond to the challenges created by the pandemic and the innovative endeavors utilized to respond to new situations. Some examples of innovative projects may include: strategies for service reduction and service restoration planning; social distancing efforts such as apps, wayfinders and dashboards to ensure passengers can social distance or ride less crowded trains; cleaning and sanitizing, limited touchpoints and touchless fare payments; acquiring and distributing PPE or facial coverings; protection for operators; and the distribution of hand sanitizer throughout the transit system and agency.

Security Program/Project Effectiveness (30 percent)

Describe the high level of resource allocation and management participation in the development and implementation of security initiatives that promote or create a secure transit environment for employees and passengers.

When considering what to include in your application/nomination, ask yourself:

  • Does the program/project have a clear focus with specific intended results?
  • Is there before/after data that will support the efficacy of the program/project?
  • Does data support that reductions are being sustained?
  • Can the program/project be reasonably assumed to have led to the improvements?

Security Program/Project Benefit Level (35 percent)

Describe evaluations of security or emergency management projects, programs, and initiatives that reflect the benefits (including financial benefits) the organization has derived from the program or practice. Detail the gains or efficiencies of how the projects, programs, or initiatives made employees and passengers more secure or mitigated risk.

Organizations should be able to demonstrate gains or efficiencies in a variety of formats by being able to address some of the following questions:

  • What net financial benefits were accrued through implementation of this program/project?
  • How do direct savings compare to the program/project costs?
  • What indirect or non-financial benefits were achieved?
  • Did the program/project address a significant security issue facing the agency?
  • Did the program/project save money?

Security Program/Project Innovation (20 percent)

Rail transportation is a dynamic environment that is constantly changing and challenging organizations to adapt to new situations. This is especially true in rail system security and emergency preparedness. Describe the innovative efforts having a positive effect on the operating environment and the safety/security of employees, passengers and the general public inhabiting that environment.

Your submittal should illustrate the following:

  • How does this program/project differ from other security approaches to the problem?
  • Does the program/project enhance common practices?
  • How do the unique or innovative attributes of this project/program contribute to the effectiveness/ benefits achieved?
  • How are these innovations different than what’s been done in the past?

Security Program/Project Transferability (15 percent)

To truly be considered an Industry Leading Effective Practice, other transit providers must be able to adapt the program and implement it with similar results. Programs and practices should be described in such a way that other operators or organizations may benefit from the success that you have had. Programs can then be implemented within other systems, and in doing so, the entire industry is improved over time.

Organizations should submit descriptions of initiatives they developed that can address the following:

  • Does this program/project address an issue that is of significance to many agencies?
  • Can the program/project be reasonably incorporated by other agencies?
  • Is the program/project likely to be more attractive than other existing approaches to the same types of security issues?
  • How can this program/project be transferred to other transit agencies?

Nomination Instructions:

  • Provide security program element descriptions on this nomination form and attach any data that documents their effectiveness.
  • Please attach any supporting documentation (i.e. letters, data, articles, etc.)
  • All security-related data and program summaries should be accurate and verifiable.
  • Along with the nomination form, submit a cover sheet with the signature of the agency’s Chief Executive Officers, or equivalent, attesting to the legitimacy of all information included.
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