Thursday, February 19, 2015

HART One of 5 Transit Agencies to Earn Top Security Honors

HART Maintenance upgrading lights at UATC
HART has earned top honors from the federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for its outstanding security program. The prestigious "Gold Standard" designation is bestowed on those agencies that show outstanding dedication and accomplishment by building robust security as measured by the stringent Baseline Assessments for Security Enhancement (BASE).  

"It is an honor to be included in this prestigious list," said HART Chief Executive Officer Katharine Eagan. "It's a real testament not only to the hard work of our safety staff, but also to the 650 professional Operators, maintainers, servicers, technicians, supervisors, and dispatchers who make safety and security their priority every day."

As TSA Acting Administrator Melvin Carraway stated in an official press release, "These agencies are to be commended for their commitment and hard work that this level of achievement requires and for their continued dedication to ensure the security of travelers nationwide."

The BASE program is a comprehensive voluntary review of transit security, developed to help transit systems across the USA increase domain awareness, enhance prevention and protection capabilities, and elevate response preparedness. BASE focuses on multiple categories including agency security plans; security training; drills and exercise programs; public outreach efforts, and background checks.

The TSA conducts BASE reviews every three years. The review examines written processes as well as security procedures that agencies have put into
HART recently participated in a safety drill with HCFR
practice to help keep employees, customers, and facilities safe from terrorist attacks.

HART was honored with the Gold Standard Award in 2011, scoring 98%. During the most recent evaluation in 2014 HART raised that score to 99%.

Staff in the HART Safety and Security Department work closely with Hillsborough County Emergency Management in case of a hurricane or other local emergencies, and they coordinate drills and activities with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Tampa Police Department, Tampa Fire and Rescue, and other agencies.

In addition to HART, Virginia Railway Express in Northern Virginia; the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority in Washington, DC; the Metropolitan Transit Authority's Long Island Rail Road in New York; and the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority in St. Petersburg, FL were also recognized for achieving the Gold Standard.

In addition to these five agencies, there have been 42 others that have previously earned the Gold Standard Award level of security since 2010.