TSA to Enhance Security Training for Railroads, Buses and More

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently issued a new final rule requiring higher-risk surface transportation providers to provide security training for some employees in an important move that fulfills multiple congressional mandates.

While typically associated with aviation, TSA’s new rule—which was published in the Federal Register on March 23—will not affect airlines but select railroads, public transportation systems and over-the-road buses.

Given the various challenges faced amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the effective date has been delayed by two months to 90 days from the date of publication, TSA said, meaning it’s scheduled to take effect in late June.

“The rule is intended to solidify the baseline of security for higher-risk surface transportation operations and sustain a commitment to ensuring employees within higher-risk surface systems and operations are prepared to help prevent a terrorist act and mitigate the consequences,” TSA stated.

“Preparing and training these employees to observe, assess and respond to anomalies, threats and incidents provides an important and effective tool for averting or mitigating potential attacks by terrorists or others with malicious intent that may target surface transportation.”

Examples of additional TSA surface transportation security initiatives include Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams to combat potential terrorist activities as well as grant programs that support surface transportation risk-reduction or mitigation measures with the help of federal funding, among others.

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