Donovan Introduces Bill to Strengthen Transit Security
Washington, DC—September 8, 2016….Continuing his work to secure critical infrastructure against terror threats, Congressman Dan Donovan (NY-11) today introduced the Transit Security Grant Program Flexibility Act. The legislation improves the ability of transit agencies to prevent and respond to terror attacks by making the Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP) more flexible. Donovan’s bill is a direct response to feedback his subcommittee received from transit agencies at a recent Congressional hearing. Recent attacks in Europe show that terrorists are targeting mass transit systems.
Congressman Donovan said, “Our local and national transportation systems remain a top terror target, so it’s vital that transit agencies have the resources they need to prevent and prepare for emergency situations. This bill will help secure subway, bus and commuter rail systems for the millions of Americans who rely on them.”
The bill will expand the scope of how TSGP funds can be used, which will help transit organizations use their security grants more fully and effectively. More specifically, the legislation will allow TSGP grant funds to cover additional security training costs and will also extend the deadline for using the security grants from two to three years. These changes will ensure that transit agencies can use their grant funds in the most effective way possible without having to worry about unrealistic deadlines.
The TSGP provides eligible transit agencies with funding for capital and operational projects, including tunnel protection systems, evacuation improvements, canine patrols, security training and exercises, and public awareness campaigns.
Donovan chairs the House Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications. Today’s bill is Donovan’s latest step to secure vulnerable infrastructure. In June, he introduced the Cybersecurity Preparedness Act to improve coordination between federal, state, and local security agencies. Last year, the House passed Donovan’s Securing the Cities Act to make permanent a program that helps defend major cities from nuclear or radiological attack.
The Transit Security Grant Program Flexibility Act could pass out of the Homeland Security Committee as early as next week.