Home MTA Absurdity Subways remain unsecured in commuter rail security beef-up

Subways remain unsecured in commuter rail security beef-up

by Benjamin Kabak

MetroNorth trains will now feature Air Marshall since the trains fly. (Courtesy of flickr user PlasmoNYC)

First, I had to go Washington for some news about the subways, and now I’m venturing out to the ‘burbs. I’m not sure what’s worse. But either way, we’re talking about security today.

Metro New York reports that air marshals will soon be patrolling MetroNorth, LIRR and Staten Island Railway trains in an effort to protect these so-called soft terrorist targets. Suburban commuters, like those riding the subways, will also be subjected to random bag searches. Staten Islanders were celebrating this announcement as this is the first time their borough has been referred to something as complimentary as a soft target for terrorists.

The measures “will give our commuter railroads the kind of police presence our customers deserve and the post-9/11 environment requires,” said Metropolitan Transportation Authority Executive Director Lee Sander, who added the initiative began last week with step-on train inspections by MTA officers and the deployment of 50 dogs trained to locate explosives. “This partnership demonstrates our capacity to enhance safety and security by putting aside political and jurisdictional boundaries that often block collaboration, communication and the constant exchange of information.”

The plan is permanent and is expected to cost the MTA up to $5 million per year in overtime costs, Sander said.

Personally, I’m skeptical. The Feds are still spending $7 on air security to every 1.5 cents spent on rail security, and I just don’t see MetroNorth and the LIRR – let alone the Staten Island Railway – as viable or important targets.

Meanwhile, as SUBWAYblogger noted yesterday, police in the subways will continue “pretending to do random screenings of bags.” I feel safer already.

You may also like


wayne's world March 22, 2007 - 12:08 pm

si ves algo, di algo

peter knox March 22, 2007 - 2:14 pm

So let’s build another subway. After all, according to the police terrorism expert, it is only a question of when, not if, the terrorists will strike NYC again, and he thinks it most likely they will attack the subways. Lots of clear thinking occurring at your blog and at the MTA.


Leave a Comment