Safety and Security

Number C-08-03

U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Transit


400 Seventh St. S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20590

Dear Colleague:

Thanks to your hard work and dedication since September 11, 2001, our transit systems are becoming safer and our transit employees are becoming more security-savvy every day.

The work that we have undertaken together over the past 18 months has shown us the importance of integrating security into every aspect of our transit programs, operations, and infrastructure. One critically important way to do that is through employee training. Having transit employees who know what to look for and how to respond in a crisis is our first and best line of defense against terrorism. Thatís why I am writing to urge you and your employees to take advantage of many new security-related training opportunities that FTA now offers.

The National Transit Institute (NTI), in collaboration with FTA, offers both instructor-based courses and other learning materials. These have been developed with one commonsense principle in mind: transit employees need usable and relevant information and hands-on experience to meet the everyday challenges of transit security. NTIís course on security awareness has already taught over 8,000 front-line employees the nuts and bolts of detecting suspicious activities or packages, what to do in the first few seconds after a threat is perceived, and how to observe and report on potential threats in the transit environment. A companion course on security incident management for supervisors has attracted over 2,500 attendees.

For those who cannot make it to the classroom, NTI offers a number of ways to bring the classroom to you. NTI has already created a self-paced educational CD on security systems awareness, as well as a video version of the same material. A quick-reference pocket guide with pointers on threat detection and first responses has already been distributed to over 50,000 bus operators and maintenance workers. Similar guides for commuter, heavy and light rail operators and maintenance workers are now available, as well.

FTA security-related courses are also available through the Transportation Safety Institute (TSI). TSI offers a wide range of courses on developing and implementing emergency management plans and other security topics. These courses and instructional materials emphasize that security is everyoneís responsibility, and will help supervisors and staff put knowledge into action.

Out of the national tragedy of September 11th, we can all be proud to have pulled together as a transit community to keep America safe and on the move. I want to thank all of the transit managers, employees, unions, and other community leaders who have demonstrated a cooperative spirit that clearly puts the security of our passengers first. And I particularly want to thank the Amalgamated Transit Union for its help in developing our security training materials.

If you are not already doing so, I hope you will take advantage of the many new security-related training opportunities that are now available to you and your employees. Thank you again for all that you are doing every day to make our transit systems safe and secure for our passengers, our employees, and our Nation.


Jennifer L. Dorn