RealNews

Spain Blast Prompts Demands For Funds

Transit Agencies Seek To Improve Rail Safety. Public transit officials in Washington and across the country said they plan to ask the Homeland Security Department today for increased federal aid after the Madrid train bombings, arguing that anti-terrorism efforts must extend beyond the aviation industry. The nation’s commuter rail and subway systems, which have 14 million passengers a day, remain under-equipped to deter, detect or prevent a wide-scale attack similar to the one in Madrid, said Richard A. White, executive director of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit System. Since September 2001, the federal government has provided $11 billion to secure the private airline industry but only about $115 million in grants to public transit agencies, White said. White, William W. Millar, executive director of the American Public Transportation Association, and officials from Amtrak and the Association of American Railroads are scheduled to meet with Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to argue for a reshuffling of priorities. Full Story

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