Equitable Investment in Passenger Security

Issue

Since the horrific events of September 11, 2001 and the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013 security of public transportation systems continues to be a national concern. In 2012 the federal government spent over $1.5 billion to train, prepare and support private and public sector frontline responders and staff. However, not one new federal dollar was expended to protect Americans traveling on the nearly 700 million passenger trips provided by the private intercity bus fleet.

Background

In 2010 the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a Motorcoach Threat Vulnerability Analysis which concluded that it was in the interest of national security to maintain a distinct security program for the intercity bus industry. The TSA report concluded that an independent program such as the now shuttered Intercity Bus Security Grant Program (IBSGP) was the best way help protect the traveling public.

The IBSGP provided training, planning and tools to bus operators so that they were prepared and knew how to identify people as potential threats, communicate with authorities and if needed react to protect passengers. The program also helped harden facilities, provide equipment to screen passengers and protect drivers.

  • Eligible funding categories under the IBSGP
  • Training & Exercises (hiring security consultants for training programs, exercises, drills, etc.)
  • Facility Security Enhancements (lights, fences, id badges, cctv, etc.)
  • Vehicle Security (GPS, kill switch technology, streaming video, panic buttons, driver shields, etc.)
  • Passenger Screening (wanding devices, detection technology, canine patrols, etc.)
  • Security Planning (development of security plans, vulnerability assessments, etc.)

ABA Position

ABA seeks congressional action to reestablish and fund the Intercity Bus Security Grant Program as recommended by TSA’s Motorcoach Threat Vulnerability Analysis. People depend on our industry for cost effective, safe transportation every day and communities depend on the tourist dollars our buses bring. A serious attack on the motorcoach industry would create major disruptions in service and put over $145 billion in economic impact and as many as 1.4 million jobs at risk[1].


[1] ABA Foundation, The Economic Impact of the Motorcoach Travel and Tourism Industry; 2012