Report urges more spending on transit security

Mass transit systems can better guard against terrorism by deploying more closed-circuit video and television surveillance systems at stations and within tunnels and fixed facilities, according to a new report from the Washington-based Center for American Progress.

The report, written by 9/11 Commission staff member Bill Johnstone, urges the Bush administration to provide substantially more funding for mass transit security'not just for improved surveillance capabilities, but also to sustain a greater police presence, accelerate development of explosive-substance detectors and incorporate security into future transit system design.

Despite commuter rail terrorist attacks in Madrid in April 2004 and in London last month, the federal government is spending only about $38 million a year on transit security through the Federal Transit Administration and about $150 million annually through the Homeland Security Department.

Johnstone recommends at least $1.2 billion a year in federal funding as a 'good place to start.'

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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