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Rail News: Security

MARTA, San Diego MTS increase security, training

MARTA on Sept. 30 will hold a crisis simulation at its Midtown Station.
Photo – MARTA's website

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) police department will hold a terror attack simulation at the agency's Midtown rail station on Saturday.

The event will include explosions, smoke and actors to help create a realistic setting for first responders, MARTA officials said in a press release.

"These exercises are a critical tool that enable us to assess our response to crisis situations and identify areas for improvements," said MARTA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Keith Parker. "The recent terror attack on London's rail system as well as natural disasters such as hurricanes Harvey and Irma underscore the importance of running various scenarios."

In what is expected to be the largest emergency preparedness exercise in Georgia, the simulation will begin Saturday night and end early Sunday morning.

MARTA is letting local businesses and residents know about the planned exercise to minimize alarm. The event will interrupt Red and Gold line rail service.

Meanwhile, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) has launched a new security staffing plan aimed at boosting uniformed police presence.

Code Compliance Inspector Ricardo Favela checks a rider's fare during a routine inspection on a trolley.
Photo – San Diego MTS

The agency will add 30 for a total of 64 code compliance inspectors, who conduct random fare inspections on light-rail trains and in fare-paid zones.

The additional inspectors will enable MTS to set up a "beat" system of three to five trolley stations each. A team of one security officer and one compliance inspector will patrol each beat.

The new strategy will triple presence of inspectors at any given time, MTS officials said in a press release.

The agency's other security efforts include body cameras for code compliance officers and enhanced video systems on all trolleys and most transit stations. MTS also has  a canine unit to patrol trains and respond to reports of suspicious packages and bomb threats.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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