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Security Tightens on Rail Systems And Subways

May 24, 2004

Security Tightens on Rail Systems And Subways
May 24, 2004 – According to USAToday, new federal mandates go in effect today that will increase security at subways and rail systems nationwide.

New measures include the use of bomb-sniffing dogs, the removal of trash receptacles and announcements urging greater awareness of unattended packages or bags.

"Travelers may not see any difference, but they should feel a greater confidence that there are minimum security standards in place," says Asa Hutchinson, undersecretary for border and transportation security at the Department of Homeland Security.

New steps will be required of 14 subway systems, 27 light-rail operations and numerous commuter rail networks around the country. These steps include:

  • Training to make staff more aware of possible terrorism. Transit systems will also step up programs asking the public to watch for suspicious activity.
  • More staff on duty during heightened security alerts.
  • Checks of rail cars for unattended packages, random stops to check passenger identification and the use of bomb-sniffing dogs. Transit systems also will have to remove trashcans or replace them with hardened receptacles that can contain a bomb blast.
  • Designation of security coordinators to work with the Homeland Security Department and submit security plans for federal review.

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