WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today a $1.1 million grant to the St. Louis Metro-Bi State Development Agency (d.b.a. Metro) to improve rail and intercity bus security. Since 2003, DHS has provided approximately $1.8 million to St. Louis 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.
"This award will help Metro upgrade key security features in its transportation infrastructure, a prime goal of these grants," said Transportation Security Administration Federal Security Director Bill Switzer. "DHS's two-tiered approach ensures that cities such as St. Louis have the opportunity to compete for grants that will make a significant difference in protecting transit passengers."
"The $1.1 million transit security grant will help Metro upgrade its communications capability with emergency first responders, and add security features to the Agency's facilities," said Larry Salci, Metro's President and CEO.
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.
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.