The National Academies

TCRP Synthesis J-07/Topic SA-48 [Active (Synthesis)]

Transit Security Preparedness – Current Practices
[ TCRP J-07 (Synthesis of Information Related to Transit Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 6/4/2018 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Mariela Garcia-Colberg
Research Agency: CASE
Principal Investigator: Patricia Bye
Effective Date: 10/4/2018
Fiscal Year: 2018

Final Scope
It is imperative that public transportation agencies ensure effective security practices are in place to:
  • protect employees, passengers, and infrastructure;
  • have processes to deter/respond to events– including coordination with the necessary public and private stakeholders;
  • effectively facilitate continuity of operations; and   
  • fully recover from events.
The objective of this synthesis is to communicate the importance of system security regardless of the size of the system and to identify current practices, their effectiveness, and security measures that transit systems can utilize. 
The synthesis will gather information of current practices and security measures in the following areas:
  • Employee and Customer awareness such as methods that allow both employees and transit riders to report suspicious activities.
  • Security presence (e.g. police, employees, messaging, technology).
  • Partnerships with stakeholders both internal and external (e.g first responders, municipalities, and utilities). May include community, agency drills and tabletop exercises.
  • Crime prevention through environmental design -
Information will be gathered by literature review, and a survey of relevant transit systems that have implemented measures to improve transit security. The synthesis will emphasize case examples that will identify programs and projects within the public transportation industry that have been structured to reduce the risks to systems in the areas stated above. These should highlight successes, challenges and lessons learned. Gaps in information and future research needs will also be identified.
Information Sources:
     The Challenge of Protecting Transit and Passenger Rail: Understanding How Security Works Against Terrorism, Mineta Transportation Institute, MTI Report 12-74, February 2017
     TCRP Synthesis 80: Transit Security Update. A Synthesis of Transit Practice, 2008
     TCRP J-10J: Public Transportation Passenger Security Inspection: A Guide for Decision Making, 2007
     TCRP Report 86: Public Transportation Security, a series of volumes pertaining to specific security problems and related issues Volume 13: Public Transportation Security Inspections:   A Guide for Policy Decision Makers, 2005
     TCRP Synthesis 27: Emergency Preparedness for Transit Terrorism, 1997.
TRB Staff
Mariela Garcia-Colberg
Phone: 202-334-2361
Email: mgarciacolberg@nas.edu

Meeting Dates
First Panel: October 4, 2018, Washington, DC
Teleconference with Consultant: October 26, 2018
Second Panel: May 30, 2019, Washington, DC
Topic Panel
Jeanne Krieg, Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority
Harold Levitt 
Mike Meader, Regional Transportation District
Ronald A. Pavlik, Jr., Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
Dominick V. Pellegrin, Metro Transit
James D. Spiller, Dallas Area Rapid Transit
Christopher Trucillo, NJ Transit Police Department
Brian Windle, Metra Police Department
Sung-suk Violet Yu, John Jay College, CUNY
Kevin Montgomery, Federal Transit Administration
Polly L. Hanson, APTA
Brian L. Sherlock, Amalgamated Transit Union

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