DHS awards $898,530 transit security grant In Pittsburgh to protect bus and rail systems

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Local Press Release
Thursday, October 5, 2006

PITTSBURGH - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today an $898,530 transit security grant to the Port Authority of Allegheny County to deploy rail emergency carts and perimeter security systems ($259,830) and bus closed-circuit television and security systems ($638,700). Since 2003, DHS has provided $3,396,517 million to Pittsburgh through grants and equipment transfer programs administered by the Department's Office of Grants and Training.

These awards are part of $136 million in grants to cities across the nation to protect transit systems and the traveling public. The Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP), which is part of the department's Infrastructure Protection Program (IPP), strengthens the nation's ability to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies that could impact this country's critical infrastructure.

"These awards bolster our nation's ability to protect and secure important critical infrastructure sectors, particularly rail, bus and ferry systems," said Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Pittsburgh Federal Security Director Joe Terrell. "The two-tiered approach used this year ensures that transit systems with the highest risk receive the greatest amount of funding."

The TSGP utilizes a two-tiered, risk-based approach that focuses on high risk and high consequence transit systems. In July, DHS announced $123 million in funding to Tier 1 urban areas, which are comprised of high passenger density and rail systems with significant infrastructures, such as underwater tunnels and stations and ferry systems. Urban areas that received funds in previous years, but were not eligible in Tier 1, qualified to apply and compete for TSGP Tier 2 funds.

TSGP Tier 2 allocations, totaling $13 million, place a strong emphasis on the prevention and detection of Improvised Explosive Devices. Eligible Tier 2 transit systems were also permitted to focus on other priorities, including emergency drills, employee training, and public awareness programs that support overall system preparedness.

This year, nearly $400 million has been allocated for IPP programs.

"We are grateful to the Department of Homeland Security for providing these much-needed funds and continuing to make a commitment to the safety and security of those who use public transportation in this country," said Port Authority Chief Executive Officer Steve Bland. "We are working hand-in-hand with Homeland Security to protect our bus and rail customers, and this funding will enable us to enhance our system's safety and improve our response to emergencies in the future."

Infrastructure protection grants considered threat, vulnerability and consequences, and recognize the unique characteristics of our nation's seaports, transit systems and other critical infrastructure assets. Since its inception, the IPP has awarded more than $1.5 billion to critical infrastructure sectors.

For information on allocations, please visit www.dhs.gov.

For more details on transit security grants, please read our information on the Transit Security Grant Program.