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September 12, 2013

Report: TSA Progressing on Mass Transit Security

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement in response to a Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) report on mass transit security entitled "Research and Development Efforts to Secure Rail Transit Systems" (OIG-13-111). The report by the DHS IG shows that TSA has successfully created a series of small and efficient working groups to address security gaps in our nation's mass transit infrastructure. These possible threats, which include IEDs, are identified and prioritized for research and development into proper countermeasures.

"I am encouraged that TSA has taken substantial steps to ensure effective use of its very limited surface transportation security resources," said Congressman Thompson. "With only a fraction of TSA's budget dedicated to mass transit security, TSA's needs to set up smart and nimble programs to help ensure our nation's subway and rail systems are protected from the most substantial threats. To help safeguard the millions of people who use mass transit every day, I urge TSA to implement the IG's recommendations and formally document the new processes it creates."

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), member of the Committee on Homeland Security, added the following statement:

"Defending against terrorism is not new to the Mass Transit industry. Since the early 1990s, the nation's 100 largest rail and bus properties, which combined move approximately 85 percent of all passengers who use public transportation, have been working to address possible threats from terrorism. Attention to security and emergency preparedness is a natural corollary to the public transportation industry's existing safety culture. Security and emergency preparedness programs protect both the community and the system. They keep the system operational and effective, even under adverse conditions. I am pleased that the TSA is doing all that it can do with its limited resources to protect our surface transportation entities."

Link to Report

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978