Transit agencies earn high ratings through BASE program

Monday, September 21, 2015

Mass transit agencies across the country are being recognized for their high security standards by the Transportation Security Administration.

During the past few years, TSA has commended mass transit agencies from across the nation for earning TSA’s highest rating of “Gold Standard” using the Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement program for its dedication to building a strong security program.

The BASE program is a voluntary security assessment of national mass transit and passenger rail systems and is performed by TSA’s Transportation Security Inspectors. The assessment informs development of risk mitigation priorities and determines TSA allocations or resources. TSA recognizes agencies demonstrating a strong security program with its Gold Standard Award.

The BASE program was developed to increase domain awareness, enhance prevention and protection capabilities and further response preparedness of transit systems nationwide. BASE is aimed at meeting the requirements in the 9/11 Commission Act’s security assessment section. This particular assessment section directs TSA to identify critical assets, infrastructure systems and their vulnerabilities as well as assist bus and public transportation authorities to address their security programs.

The five agencies recognized for achieving the Gold Standard in 2014 were: the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority in Washington, DC; Virginia Railway Express in Northern Virginia; the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Long Island Railroad in New York; the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority in St. Petersburg, Florida; and Hillsborough Area Regional Transit in Tampa, Florida.

Photo credit Virginia Railway Express.