Marc Pearl, President & CEO, Homeland Security & Defense Business Council
Can the “Imbalance” of Resources Between
Aviation & Surface Transportation Security Be
President & CEO
Homeland Security & Defense Business Council
The Problem Rail/Public Transport Faces…
“A commercial airliner has the capacity to kill 3,000
people. A bomb in a subway car may kill thirty people.
When you start to think about your priorities, you’re
going to think about making sure you don't have a
catastrophic thing first.”
– Michael Chertoff, Former Secretary U.S.
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Funding – TSA’s 2012 Budget
As an Example
FY 2012 (In Millions USD)
Source: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012
ALL Transportation Sectors are
25,000 security breaches at airports since 9/11 (USA Today)
• 250 global terrorist attacks at Rail/Public Transport targets
since 1995, resulting in 900 deaths/6,000 injuries.
• Buses (32%); Tourist/School buses (8%); & Bus Terminals (7%) = 47%
• Subways/Train (26%); Train Stations (12%); and Rails (8%) = 46%
• Bridges and Tunnels = 5%
(“other” = 2%)
Rail provides easy access to
larger crowds and readily
available escape routes.
• They are highly public & can
cause large disruptions quickly.
So, if the Rail & Public
Transport Sectors are, at
least, equally vulnerable,
then why doesn’t Mass
Transport receive more
Transport Security Market Outside of
Airports Occupies a Very Interesting Space
Disruption of air travel has historically been the primary focus
of terrorists (& governments), but not the only focus
Greater attention (and, therefore, funding) to air travel is a
combination of 2 things:
People “accept” a flawed model (Secure departure point = safe
journey) that allows for a discrete investment at a location, high
public visibility (TSA), and a feeling of safety.
2. The public fears aviation attacks as visible threats/disruptions
that spread fear. Given that most train activity is cargo – such
incidents don’t create as much panic when they are targeted.
Public Transport Security
Very Difficult to Achieve
Requires large, expensive, and significant infrastructure
development – much more than aviation.
Questions surrounding the gains that can be made to truly
secure ground transportation.
Perceived limitations as to how much damage terrorists can
do in mass transit to the greater community in any event.
Primary reason for receiving so little funding:
o Policy leaders have concluded that investments in mass
transit security are enormously inefficient.
o Unlike airports, “securing” rail traffic requires departure
point screening and continuous monitoring of the track for
the entire trip, and at each stop along the way.
What Then is Needed?
Gathering of intelligence;
“True” information sharing among 1st responders
and local law enforcement; and
Figuring out how to preempt attacks, rather than
securing the point of attack, thereby mitigating the
impact of any attack.
Sources of Funding
Awareness & Sensitivity
Greater Information Sharing
Information Sharing within the industry is crucial. Need to
establish/exchange best practices/lessons learned so that
there will be a collection of enough data points to
determine what is or isn’t working.
Look at/share Best Practices from other industries and
Irish Republican Army
Communication with 1st Responders
Spotting “Trends” Before the Incident
U.S. freight rail systems have developed an Integrated
Security Plan across the network
Need to look at ‘observable’ activities long before an
• Focuses on identifying “TRENDS”/Indicators – Long before an
• Not just an incident report of what happened (a terrorist or
criminal incident), but why and where did it start
• Sharing Threat Information – in U.S. SSI (Sensitive Security
And – particularly in Europe – develop even better
‘Cross Border’ Information Sharing
Public Transport Sector, Solution Providers &
What are the inhibitors of earlier and more
substantive communication between the
transportation operators and their private sector
security solutions providers?
• What are the major issues inhibiting greater
communication, coordination, collaboration,
cooperation with governmental agencies?
Best Practices of Other Sectors?
Greater Public Awareness & Encouraging Involvement
(“See Something, Say Something”)
Develop Internal Standards that are voluntary, not
Systems Approach to Safety, Emergency
Preparedness/Management & Security
“Peer Reviews” – Security/Vulnerability Assessments
Mineta Transportation Institute
• A research institute at San Jose State University focusing on
surface transportation. A rich source of original research
and analysis on security within the industry.
American Public Transportation Association
• U.S. based but with global reach, organization focusing on
passenger rail and provides original research and
establishes industry standards & best practice
• It’s Surface Transportation Information Sharing & Analysis
Center collects, analyzes, and disseminates alerts and
incident reports to their membership and helps the
Government understand impacts for their sector.