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Transit roads increase security after Office of Homeland Security issues 'high' terrorist alert

Several transit agencies wasted no time increasing security measures after the Office of Homeland Security increased the national security alert March 17 to "level orange," the second-highest level on the Homeland Security Advisory System.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority transit police began wearing orange vests to make officers more visible to passengers. The agency also is increasing facility and station checks, surveillance at rail yards, and system announcements advising passengers to be alert and report suspicious activity.

New Jersey Transit increased security at major passenger and employee and maintenance facilities. The agency also is increasing police presence at stations and on trains, establishing checkpoints at several stations and terminals, and placing barriers and K-9 patrols at major terminals.

Finally, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority placed its police officers on 12-hour shifts. Since Sept. 11, 2001, special squads were trained in anti-terrorism tactics, federal security experts reviewed SEPTA’s system, and emergency drills were conducted with federal, state and local authorities.

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More News from 3/19/2003