With funding available under the 2001 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Recovery from and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States, Public Law 107-38, the FTA planned a variety of initiatives to assist transit providers in enhancing the security of their systems, including making FTA grant support available for full-scale Emergency Preparedness Drills for the top 100 transit systems, ranked by annual passenger trips, in the United States.
FTA invited the top 100 systems to submit applications for grants up to $50,000 per transit agency to conduct single or multiple drills, with the amount awarded dependent upon the number and complexity of the drills. 83 of the top 100 agencies applied for and were awarded grants. The purpose of these grants were for transit agencies to conduct emergency response drill(s) and exercise(s) designed to test and evaluate the agency’s internal and external notification and response procedures and interagency communication and operations at the command post and incident scene. For transit agencies conducting multiple exercises, at least one exercise was required to address a terrorist incident. FTA encouraged the submission of collaborative applications from several transit agencies in an urbanized area to permit the pooling of funds available to each transit agency. This has allowed for comprehensive, multi transit agency drills on a regional basis.
Due to the immediacy of the need to implement these drills, grant requirements were greatly streamlined. Expenses covered under these grants included materials, supplies and certain labor necessary to carry out the drill(s), but not capital expenditures. The drill scenario must be based on a security threat in order to qualify for these funds, and all drills must be completed within 18 months of the grant award date.