Feds look to increase transit security

News Chicago Tribune September 16, 2004
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Acting on a terrorist threat that appears to be growing, the House of Representatives introduced a $3

Acting on a terrorist threat that appears to be growing, the House of Representatives introduced a $3.5 billion package that would strengthen mass transit systems. Don Young (R-Alaska), chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, introduced the bill.


According to the Chicago Tribune, if Congress and the Bush administration ok the move, grants would be issued to mass transit agencies and city bus and rail operators for the next three years. Those systems currently the most vulnerable would be funded first.


Terrorist activity on the tracks has been on the rise globally. The Madrid train bombings last March killed 200, and there was a car bombing outside a Moscow subway station earlier this month.


Bloodshed on the road, however, has been a constant for decades. The Tribune reported that almost half of the international terrorist attacks in the last 80 years occurred on buses or in bus stations.


The proposed plan on Capitol Hill represents the largest government expenditure to protect mass transit, which carries almost eight times as many passengers as the commercial aviation system. According to the Tribune, the federal government has contributed about one-half cent per passenger to upgrade transit security.


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