The BASE program is designed to establish a security standard for individual system security programs and assess progress. This voluntary comprehensive review of transit agency security programs focuses on multiple categories identified by the transit community as fundamentals for a sound transit security program. They include a review of topics such as an agency's security plans, security training, drills/exercise programs, public outreach efforts and background check programs. The BASE program analyzes the security program for each transit system and identifies opportunities to further enhance security.
"We commend Metro Transit and the Metro Transit Police Department for the commitment and hard work that this level of achievement requires," said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole. "TSA is pleased to recognize the continued dedication each agency demonstrates every day to ensure the security of travelers nationwide."
Metro Transit was reviewed in 2012 and attained high scores across all categories. TSA considered this caliber of performance as reaching a "Gold Standard" and recognized Metro Transit for having strong security programs. TSA continues to work with all transit agencies across the country to develop and implement robust security practices system-wide.
"It's an honor be recognized with the prestigious Gold Standard Award from TSA," said Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb. "In particular, it's a credit to the Metro Transit Police Department for their leadership in making this agency a national model of transit security."
In addition to Metro Transit, the other 15 agencies recognized for achieving the Gold Standard in 2012 are: the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Bus Company (NY); the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA); the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART); the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation (PATH); Metra-Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation; San Diego Metropolitan Transit System; the Port Authority of Allegheny County (Pittsburgh); Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority; Utah Transit Authority; Pace-Suburban (Ill.) Bus Company; Westchester County (NY) Department of Transportation's Bee-Line System; Connecticut Transit-Hartford Division; Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority of Ohio; Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Staten Island Railway; and Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA).
In addition to these 16 agencies, there have been 21 others that have previously earned the Gold Standard Award level of security since 2010.
The BASE program was developed to increase domain awareness, enhance prevention and protection capabilities and further response preparedness of transit systems nationwide. BASE is aimed at meeting the requirements in the 9/11 Commission Act's security assessment section, which directs TSA to identify critical assets, infrastructure and systems and their vulnerabilities and assist bus and public transportation authorities to address their security programs.