Transit Agencies Quietly Beef Up Security
Railway and bus lines increase monitoring and open new channels of communication in response to Sept. 11.After the hijacking of four airplanes last September 11, government agencies and companies involved in mass transit got a clear message that they could be the focus of future terrorist attacks. While there has not yet been a such an attack on trains or buses in the United States, mass transit organizations are slowly beefing up their security and improving contingency planning. San Franciscos Bay Area Rapid Transit, known as BART, has taken its cues from attacks on mass transit systems in Paris, London and Tokyo, according to the Oakland, Calif., agencys Chief of Police, Gary Gee. Besides increased monitoring of an underwater tunnel that connects its San Francisco and Oakland mass transit lines, BART has increased surveillance generally.
All 39 stations have cameras; Coliseum station in a high-crime area in Oakland has all digital cameras 32 altogether that send high quality color images back to a command center. Gee said he would like all stations to have a similar setup, but funds are not available.