Menendez, Booker, Senators Urge TSA to Implement Critical Rail and Transit Security Measures

Menendez, Booker, Senators Urge TSA to Implement Critical Rail and Transit Security Measures

Time for TSA to Implement Long-Overdue Security Recommendations Mandated Under the 9/11 Commission Act

    

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), along with Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Edward Markey (D-MA), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Al Franken (D-MN), Robert Casey (D-PA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), sent a letter to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) urging Administrator Peter Neffenger to expedite the necessary steps to secure the nation’s passenger rail and transit systems. The senators asked TSA to complete implementation of important security actions required under the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. They underscore that TSA’s lack of action may diminish its ability to strengthen passenger rail security and impact America’s ability to prevent or deter acts of terrorism.

Millions of New Jerseyans rely on safe passenger rail transportation each year. According to New Jersey Transit, 116 municipalities in New Jersey have passenger rail service. US DOT statistics show that more than 496 rail stations serve New Jersey commuters.

“Two short months ago, terrorists detonated a nail bomb at a Brussels Metro station, killing 20 rail passengers and injuring more than 100 others. This terrible attack reminds us that surface transportation systems are attractive soft targets for terrorists seeking to inflict significant casualties. Yet, a recent report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General indicates that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has not completed several rulemakings that are essential to securing our passenger rail network,” the senators said in the letter.

“Last week, the Inspector General reported that TSA has limited regulatory oversight processes to strengthen rail and transit passenger security because TSA has not implemented all requirements of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (9/11 Act).

“We now request information on progress made by TSA in completing all 9/11 Act requirements, the date by which TSA will issue proposed regulations and final rules on these matters, and other actions taken by TSA to improve passenger rail and transit security,” the senators concluded.

Full text of the letter can be found here.