RealNews

U.S. Defers Extra Aid for Rail Security

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced a package of improvements for U.S. railroad security yesterday but deferred requests by public transit systems for $6 billion in new federal aid in the wake of the March 11 train bombings in Madrid. After meeting with representatives of Washington and New York transit systems, Amtrak, public transit and railroad associations, Ridge announced plans to speed the launch in early May of a pilot program to test baggage-screening technology at a station served by commuter rail and Amtrak, such as Washington’s Union or New York’s Pennsylvania station. Homeland Security officials also will use existing funds to create a rapid-response team of explosive-sniffing dogs, which would help transit systems in high-threat situations, and to help systems integrate employee and public awareness security campaigns, Ridge said. Full Story

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