Transit Official Says Feds Skimp On Security Aid


Polly Hanson, security chief of Washington, D.C.’s Metro subway system, has ssailed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for failing to make transit security a top priority, reports the Washington Examiner. “Less than $250 million of grant funding over three years has been allocated nationwide to transit since the creation of DHS in 2003,” she told the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. “That amounts to an average of less than 0.3 percent of DHS’s annual budget of $30 billion, and prospects are not looking much better for the upcoming year.” Hanson’s system has identified $100 million in priority security needs, including a second communications center, cameras in stations, high-tech equipment, and more training, but little federal funding has been made available.

Edmund S. Hawley, assistant secretary of the Transportation Security Administration, responded that “This [funding] is a tremendous priority and something we will continue to be working on.” Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Ct.), ranking member of the committee, said $15 billion has been spent on security for U.S. airlines, which carry 2 million people per day, compared with $300 million on transit, which 14 million people ride every day.


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