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7/10/2006



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Transit security bill enters the House


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Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) recently introduced the Rail and Public Transportation Security Act of 2006 (H.R. 5714) in the House.

The bill calls for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop and implement a National Rail and Public Transportation Security Plan, which would outline the responsibilities of federal, state and local agencies, and transit authorities in the event of a terrorist attack. DHS would identify and address gaps or overlaps in the agencies’ roles, and identify and recommend legislative, regulatory and organizational changes to improve coordination among the groups.

In addition, the department would designate Area Rail and Public Transportation Security Committees. Comprised of transit agency representatives, the committees would develop and submit to DHS a security plan for their region.

H.R. 5714 also would require the department to establish standards and procedures for conducting vulnerability assessments and developing security plans. Agencies would be required to conduct an assessment, and prepare and implement a plan that addresses vulnerabilities.

Under the proposed legislation, DHS also would establish a grant program and conduct security assessments to prioritize agencies’ need for federal security funds, add at least 200 security inspectors and create a public transportation worker security training program.

The bill was referred to the House's Homeland Security, and Transportation and Infrastructure committees.


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