March 22, 2018

Rep. Watson Coleman Bill to Improve Transit Security Passes the House

The Surface Transportation and Public Area Security Act of 2018 would improve security for rail, bus and other surface transportation modes

The House of Representatives has passed legislation introduced by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) that would improve security for soft targets in transportation, including rail and bus transit. H.R. 5131, The Surface Transportation and Public Area Security Act of 2018, would protect vital transportation modalities and the people who rely on them.

“Surface transportation systems are absolutely vital to the daily lives of millions of Americans. Given their critical importance, it is no surprise that terrorists have targeted these systems for attack,” said Watson Coleman. “This bill would address long-standing lapses while also counteracting the dangerous cuts to surface transportation programs proposed by the President in his 2018 and 2019 budgets.”

H.R. 5131 would require the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take meaningful steps to address the emerging threats to surface transportation systems, including:

  • Requiring the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) take a more comprehensive approach to transportation threats in risk assessment, strategy setting and priority identification.
  • Requiring TSA to consider the integration of new technology and security measures into mass transit and other surface transportation systems;
  • Requiring DHS to assess threats posed by foreign technologies and develop and disseminate best practices for preventing vehicle-based attacks and;
  • Requiring TSA to develop a strategy to guide surface transportation security inspector operations.

To view the bill text, click here.