• It will cost $77 billion to shore up U.S. ground transportation infrastructure

    It would cost $77.7 billion to bring the U.S. mass transit systems, bus and rail included, into a state of good repair; most of the $77.7 billion backlog can be attributed to rail, but more than 40 percent of the U.S. buses also are in poor to marginal condition; in addition, an annual average of $14.4 billion would be required to maintain the systems

  • TSA wants more bomb-sniffing dogs to protect air, ground travelers

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) wants to increase the role dogs play in sniffing out terror threats at U.S. airports and other mass transit systems; TSA requested $71 million from Congress to train and deploy 275 explosives detection canine teams — bomb dogs and their handlers — at transportation facilities

  • Attacks on trains: what the numbers say

    Terrorists see public surface transportation as a killing field; despite their continuing obsession with attacking commercial aviation, when it comes to wholesale killing, trains and buses offer easily accessible concentrations of people

  • GAO: TSA is yet to conduct risk assessments for U.S. transportation systems

    GAO criticizes TSA for taking its time conducting comprehensive risk assessments across the transportation sectors it is responsible for securing; according to the GAO, DHS still does not use a comprehensive risk management framework to secure intermodal facilities across aviation and surface transportation sectors

  • Who is to blame for delays in installing surveillance cameras in NYC?

    The project of installing surveillance cameras in New York subways was meant to be completed by Lockheed martin by August 2008; now, nearly two years later, the best-case scenario is completion (by a company or companies other than Lockheed) of a scaled-back electronic security system by some time in 2012; Lockheed Martin, NYC blame — and sue — each other for contract violations

  • U.S. to expand freight congestion tracking initiative

    The worst traffic bottleneck in the United States is the I-290 interchange with I-90 and I-94 in Chicago, where the average speed at 5 p.m. drops to 15 mph; the average peak hour speed is 23 mph, and the average non-peak hour speed is only 33 mph; data gathered from trucks identifies bottlenecks, and could help steer infrastructure planning

  • Russia plans to install explosives detectors in metro

    Russia will install explosive detectors in train stations in major cities; the sophisticated security system will be installed by 2014, and will feature security checkpoints at entrances in all transportation hubs, registration of all passengers, and ID-verified sales of tickets on all means of public transport, including inter-city buses

  • Parking garage attendants double as anti-terror agents

    A program funded by FEMA and run by TSA teaches parking lot operators to watch for odd activities that could precede an attack by days or months: strange odors such as diesel from gasoline vehicles, cars parked where they should not be, people who seem to be conducting surveillance by taking photos or drawing sketches

  • U.S. allocates $790 million for infrastructure and preparedness

    DHS announces $790 million in infrastructure and preparedness grants; the grants include $253.4 million to protect critical transit infrastructure from terrorism — in addition to $150 million in transit security grants provided by the Recovery Act (1, 2), for a total of $403.4 million

  • Modern cars susceptible to malicious hacking

    Modern cars come with many computerized control system — and this is what makes them vulnerable to hacking; using a laptop and custom-written software, security researchers have hacked into the control systems of a family car, disabled the brakes, and turned off the engine while the vehicle was moving

  • California train line unveils crash-resistant cars

    Southern California commuter train system showed off new crash-resistant passenger cars; the railway will spend $229 million to buy 117 cars from a division of Hyundai in South Korea

  • Lawmakers say focus on airline security overshadows passenger rail safety

    Two million people get on planes every day in the United States, and 35 million get on ground transit; yet, the resources invested in air travel security dwarf those allocated to ground transportation security; lawmakers want to know why

  • TSA joins NYPD in subway baggage screening

    TSA joins BYPD in a trial for screening passengers’ baggage on New York subways; TSA says it does not know how long the agency would run the program, but that mass transit riders should anticipate a TSA presence underground “for the foreseeable future”

  • New sensor helps find parking spaces -- and make air traffic, shipping safer

    Every vehicle — a car in a parking lot or on the road, an airplane on the tarmac, a ship — slightly deforms its surrounding Earth’s magnetic field due to the vehicle’s metallic components and electronic devices; magnetic field sensors can detect these small changes; in contrast to surveillance cameras, which are influenced by fog or rain, magnetic field sensors are unaffected by weather conditions

  • Attacks on surface transportation: what the data say

    Two detailed reports on risks to surface transportation offer intriguing insights which may lead to changes in approaches to ground transportation security; for example, suicide bombers, particularly when attacking trains, are not the most lethal way of delivering a bomb, and assaults with automatic weapons and land mines have been used with greater lethality for many targets than IEDs placed inside a target