March 2, 2009
APTA Committee Approves Security and Emergency Preparedness Plan
Recent worldwide terrorist attacks on transportation systems have created a climate of heightened risk and security awareness. The inherently open and easily accessible nature of transit systems, coupled with this heightened state of alert, has in turn greatly increased the importance of security throughout the transit industry. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have recognized and responded to this increased importance by placing their own emphasis on transit security.
Within this context, the APTA Security Standards Policy and Planning Committee voted Feb. 19 to approve for publication the Recommended Practice for the Development and Implementation of a Security and Emergency Preparedness Plan (SEPP).
The purpose of an APTA Transit Recommended Practice is to ensure that each transit system achieves a high level of safety for passengers, employees, and the public. The practices develop from discussions among transit systems, manufacturers, consultants, engineers, and general interest groups.
The SEPP establishes formal mechanisms through which a transit agency can develop, implement, and maintain an effective, agency-wide security and emergency preparedness program, working in concert with its safety program. The plan also establishes mechanisms through which an agency and its employees, contractors, passengers, and other personnel can:
* Appropriately identify and report threats and vulnerabilities within its operations to the correct personnel and/or external parties (such as emergency response and law enforcement agencies) so the agency can implement preventive actions to eliminate, control, or minimize their impact;
* Introduce solutions to minimize the transit impacts of natural (e.g., storm, flooding); technological (e.g., power outage); and security-related (e.g., crime, bomb threats, terrorism) calamities;
* Address strikes that may affect the transit agency or its operations;
* Establish security and emergency preparedness program responsibilities and ensure that tasks are assigned, understood, documented, and tracked in an organized and useful manner;
* Implement security policies and procedures that can be measured, audited, and evaluated to determine the effectiveness of its security program; and
* Satisfy local, state and federal requirements and guidelines.
The text of the SEPP has been posted here as an authorized Recommended Practice under the Published Standards.