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Six U.S. transit agencies have earned the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) "Gold Standard" for their efforts to build strong security programs, the federal agency announced yesterday.The recognition was based on the agencies' 2013 Baseline Assessments for Security Enhancement (BASE), TSA officials said in a press release.The agencies receiving the award for 2013 are Sound Transit, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, Hampton Roads Transit, the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority/Tri-Rail, Valley Metro and Capital District Transportation Authority."These agencies are to be commended for their commitment and hard work that this level of achievement requires and for their continued dedication to ensure the security of travelers nationwide," said TSA Administrator John Pistole.In addition to the six winners, 37 other agencies have previously earned the Gold Standard Award since 2010, TSA officials said.The BASE program is designed to establish a security standard for individual system security programs and assess progress. The voluntary comprehensive review focuses on categories identified by the transit community as fundamentals for a sound transit security program. They include a review of security plans, security training, drills/exercise programs, public outreach efforts and background check programs. The BASE program analyzes the security program for each transit system and identifies opportunities to further enhance security.
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