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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

BART awarded $12.8 million in homeland security funds

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) $12.8 million in Transit Security Grant Program funds to enhance security and better protect the Transbay Tube, BART officials announced on Friday.

The funds are "critical in helping [us] pay for needed enhancements" to the existing security system, said BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey in a press release.

The DHS funds will be combined with state and local dollars to protect the Transbay Tube, one of BART's most critical assets, he said.

In addition, the federal money will help BART pay for critical asset patrol teams that provide a visible police presence in the system's core. The team is made up of eight highly trained personnel who specialize in anti-terrorism prevention and detection, BART officials said.

A congressional delegation — including House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) — supported the agency's request to DHS for the grant.

The DHS provides the funds to transit systems to protect critical transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from potential terrorism acts.

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More News from 8/26/2013