MTI Report S-01-02
The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) is proud to be at the forefront of policy and management research into today's surface transportation issues. This publication, a transcript of the October 30, 2001 National Transportation Security Summit, is one of our most important documents.
MTI began research into surface transportation security issues in 1996 and was about to release the third in an ongoing series of studies on this issue when the September 11 attacks occurred. The World Trade Center and Pentagon strikes created an urgent need to disseminate the latest research paper's lessons learned and security checklist. The principal author of the studies, Brian M. Jenkins, is widely regarded as a counter-terrorism and transportation security expert. His expertise and the body of research led MTI to present the National Transportation Security Summit in Washington, D.C. In addition to providing information on counter-terrorism measures, the summit highlighted national security and disaster response training programs.
MTI worked with two members of the MTI Board of Trustees, John Horsley, the Executive Director of the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and Bill Millar, President of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), to coordinate logistics and registration. Vivienne Williams of APTA was particularly helpful as the event coordinator. The co-sponsors of the summit were the U.S. Department of Transportation Research and Special Projects Administration (RSPA) and the California Department of Transportation, and for their participation, I thank Ellen G. Engleman and Jeff Morales respectively.
The invitation-only summit included state transportation department directors, the general managers of the larger transit agencies, the international presidents of the 15 largest AFL/CIO transportation labor unions, and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) modal administrators and security leaders.
We were especially pleased that Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta was able to provide the keynote address. Secretary Mineta's time is very much in demand, and everyone in attendance was grateful for his words and the update on what the United States Department of Transportation is doing in light of recent attacks on U.S. soil.
In a very limited period of time, we were able to assemble a fine team of expert presenters and distinguished individuals. I'd like to thank RSPA Administrator Ellen Engleman for joining me as moderator and also thank the following people for their presentations:
It is my hope that the discussions contained within will educate the reader about resources available and reassure that the United States, while not immune to, is not defenseless against acts of terrorism.
On October 30, 2001, the Mineta Transportation Institute joined together several agency representatives from key transportation and security agencies across the country to discuss security concerns related to the transportation infrastructure across the United States, and to present the latest research of MTI’s counter terrorism team.
Agency representatives from both the private and public sector were invited to participate as panelists in discussing how their organizations had implemented new measures since the September 11 attack. Several proactive programs were discussed as possible training programs.
The summit included question and answer sessions. The keynote speaker was Secretary Norman Mineta. The moderators were Rod Diridon of Mineta Transportation Institute and Ellen Engleman of RSPA.
Secretary Norman Mineta, Secretary of Transportation, United States
Ellen Engleman, Administrator, RSPA
Jeff Morales, Director, Caltrans
Pete Cipolla, General Manager, Valley Transportation Authority
John Horsley, Executive Director, AASHTO
Brian Jenkins, Mineta Transportation Institute Counter Terrorism Research Team Leader
Dr. Larry Gerston, Mineta Transportation Institute Team Member
Dr. Frances Edwards-Winslow, Mineta Transportation Institute Team Member
Mortimer Downey, Consultant, PBConsult
Sherrie Anderson, Program Manager, Land Transportation Security
Robert Prince, Jr., General Manager, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Steve Vaughn, Assistant Chief, California Highway Patrol
Dr. Christine Johnson, Program Manager, Operations Core Business Unit, FHWA
Invited participants included the top management and security leadership from state departments of transportation, major transit systems, transportation labor organizations and federal agencies.
This transcript was reviewed and edited to assure it would not include information that would aid terrorists.
Opening Remarks and Introductions
Ladies and gentlemen, if you’d come forward and find a seat, we’ll begin in about two or three minutes.
Can you all see the view graph well?
Why don’t we begin and we’ll meander a bit while we are filling time. We have a couple of our participants who are arriving late and we’ll give them a moment to arrive.
I’m Rod Diridon. I have the distinct pleasure of being the Executive Director of the Norman Y. Mineta International Institute for Surface Transportation Policy Studies. We have shortened that for obvious reasons to the Mineta Transportation Institute. And it happened that we were specializing in counter terrorism studies, kind of an esoteric subject up until recently. And our third study was due to be published around the first of the year. Circumstances dictated that publication date be accelerated. It has been and you are the first to see it on the table out in the foyer. So welcome to each of you and I’ll give you the commercial I have to go through that otherwise I get the hook.
The Mineta Transportation Institute was created in 1991 in the Intermodal Service Transportation Efficiency Act. It was re-authorized in 1998. We are a policy institute, unlike the other thirty-two national university transportation centers. We are located in a college of business; are required to do only policy and administrative and management studies; and, are required also to do studies that apply to current situations that are not theoretical. We’re guided by a twenty-five member Board of Trustees. The names of the Board of Trustees are in the back of the booklets that you picked up. Many of them are here today. I thank them profusely for their guidance and support during the evolution and development of the Mineta Transportation Institute.
We have thirty-eight projects going in seven countries, employing 65 Ph.D. level researchers at the current time, with many more research assistants. We have a Master of Science and Transportation Management, which is delivered through the California State University system, through the beneficence of the California Department of Transportation’s video conference bridge. I also thank Jeff Morales who is here, the Caltrans director. We have about 40 students in that Master of Science program. We also have the obligatory web page and so on, so tune in if you’d like to see what we’re doing. We’re pleased to be of help to any of you who might need that help.
The reason why you’re here today, and we’re here today, is because two of the members of our Board of Trustees—John Horsley, who is the Executive Director of AASHTO, and Bill Millar, who is the President of APTA—knew that we were doing this third in the sequence of counter terrorism studies. They asked if we could come to Washington and give a briefing to their leadership groups. They called separately. I asked them to call each other and see if they could get together. They each said, happily, that they would be happy to have their activities, the briefings, put together. So we had the leadership of APTA and AASHTO interested in having this kind of a session. Then, one of the members of our Board of Trustees—Ed Wytkind, who is the Executive Director of the transportation trades department of the AFL-CIO—said, "Well, how about including labor?" So we included an invitation to the presidents of the 15 largest transportation trades unions. And then we got a call from the Secretary of Transportation’s office indicating that his modal administrator should be attending. So of course, they were invited. All of a sudden, we had a transportation security summit on our hands. Of course, that was nice. We called the fine new administrator for the Research and Special Programs Administration, Ellen Engleman, and she said that she was pleased to cosponsor the program. Jeff Morales indicated that he would be happy to cosponsor. And so we had the funding. And, here we are.
We’re presenting today, in the morning session, the latest of the Mineta Transportation Institute’s security studies. That will be led by Brian Jenkins, who I’ll introduce more fully later. The introductions, by the way, throughout the program, are going to be abbreviated because you have those resumes and so on in your packets, and I’ll not take the time for the lengthy introductions that would normally be appropriate. In the afternoon session, we’ll have presentations from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Transit Administration, the U.S. Department of Defense, and other national security training and disaster response training programs. And this is to give you a menu of training programs that you might want to send your staff to, in order that you might be better prepared to defend against and respond to terrorist activities.
I’ll ask you now to turn your beepers and cell phones off, please, if you already haven't done so. It's unlikely that you’re going to get much reception down here anyway. But please do turn them off. And I think that about covers it.
I should mention, as a closer, that several of you have asked the Mineta Transportation Institute to come to your properties or your locations to do vulnerability assessments. While we had not been prepared to do that, and have told you that we weren’t, we have brought the team together and they’ve decided that they can do those. They’re preliminary vulnerability assessments. If you want us to come by for about three days, we have a program now set up so that we'll be able to give you an idea of how well you are prepared to respond. We do not do the plans for you. You need to go to commercial organizations and they’ll put together the plans, the security and the [Inaudible] plans for you. But, we can do what we might call "a vulnerability assessment."
Let’s proceed now with the program. And the first person to welcome you today is someone who is very fondly thought of by the Mineta Transportation Institute because technically, she’s the boss. She’s the new administrator for the Research and Special Programs Administration. Ellen Engelmen has been appointed by the President, with the Secretary’s support. She’s been confirmed unanimously. She has both an undergraduate and a law degree. She’s a Reserve officer. And she lives on a houseboat, which is kind of interesting, which she had built, specifically for that purpose. She has a home back in Indiana, where she loves gardening. And I’m a gardener too, so we have that in common. Would you welcome please, administrator Ellen Engleman.
Thank you, Rod. I love it when somebody says I’m "technically" the boss. We’ll talk about that when the check is delivered. How about that?
Good morning. As administrator of RSPA, which we fondly call the Research and Special Programs Administration, which you have to admit, even for government, it’s a pretty good acronym to not explain a lot. We’ll hopefully share a little bit with you later today about what RSPA does. I’m proud to be a cosponsor with an incredibly important meeting. We have a new reality. This is no longer a hypothesis. It is no longer something to think about as we’re sitting over dinner or having a few beers or any other informal activity. Our new reality began on September 11th. And we have very special guests here today to help lead us in these discussions. And I want to start by thanking John Horsely and AASHTO, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials; Peter Cipolla and APTA, the American Public Transportation Association; and Jeff Morales and Caltrans, the California Department of Transportation, for being here.
I’m especially pleased that Rod Diridon and the Mineta Transportation Institute—and I’m going to call it MTI, not to be confused with the other MIT—MTI has worked so rapidly to put this important seminar together. Because, when you’re dealing with terrorism, and the struggle against terrorism, timing is absolutely everything. Rod and MTI have worked hard to enable us to have this time so that we can bring some of the best minds together to bear against the new reality we now face. Those best minds are in this audience. Rod and the people of MTI have shown the same kind of agility that we will all need to address the challenges posed by terrorism and the serious crime against our surface transportation systems. And it’s just not surface transportation, as we know. It’s air transportation, water transportation, sub service transportation. The hard events of September 11th brought the vulnerability of air transit systems into focus. But the attacks against public transportation systems have been occurring. Do you remember Tokyo? The subways in Paris; Israel’s buses; and British railroads and railways? These are precursors to the main event, if you will. And while we didn’t have enough of a wake up call with those events, I certainly think the alarm clock was ringing on September 11th.
While we’ve had threats to U.S. transportation in recent years in some isolated events, the larger scale terrorism into U.S. homeland targets was really hypothetical. On September 11th, the hypothetical became real. And today, this new reality is here and now. The horrible events are forcing change on America, change Americans are accepting as their own mobilization. Americans of today are not unlike those of our parents’ generation, in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, who quickly dropped the notion that they could stay out of the war while the war continued in Europe and Asia. Six decades ago when we went to war, our troops deployed overseas to face the enemy. They fought valiantly and prevailed— soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guard men. They had what they needed—bravery, selfless determination, dedication, and a strong sense of American values for which they were fighting. But there was something else that caused us to help win that war, and that was American industry and technology. The technological superiority of the U.S. and our allies enabled them to raise, equip, arm, move, and supply the forces that won the war. It was war production by a highly skilled workforce, with access to raw materials, which won the war. Without the industrial might of the United States and her allies, World War II may have had a different ending.
Today, we face a faceless enemy, hidden in caves, half a world away. We have sent our air power and special forces, backed by the very best technology, to engage the enemy and those who harbor them, on that front. That faceless enemy, as we learned on September 11th, may, as well, live among us—driving on our highways, riding our trains, subways, and buses. Many of the keys to victory in this long war will come from American technology. As we seek the means to protect our surface transportation infrastructure from attack or misuse, our allies will be technology. At RSPA, we’re already working to bring technology to bear. We’ve gone to the research community with a broad agency announcement, soliciting ideas to deal with potential transportation related threats. These include: risk and vulnerability assessment; planning for transportation related contingencies; innovative approaches to threat protection and evaluation; reduction of vulnerabilities from critical infrastructure interdependencies; innovative use of smart technologies; approaches to improving the robustness of the information infrastructure responsible for transportation operational controls; and, advanced materials and structures to reduce the vulnerability of transportation vehicles or facilities for blast effects. We’ve had a significant response to our call for ideas. And we’ve extended our deadline to November 21 to allow for even more. We would encourage your participation and ask that you support us within your associations and industry contacts to respond to the broad agency announcement—which, by the way, is on our web site, too.
This month, Secretary Mineta mandated the establishment of direct action groups across the department, to move very quickly to find approaches to our security needs. For the past week, the senior members of my staff—the Office of Pipeline Safety, the Office of Hazardous Materials Safety, and the Office of Emergency Transportation—organized those direct action groups, and have been getting viewpoints from members of industry on pipeline and hazardous material transportation security. I’ll be providing the recommendations to Secretary Mineta in the coming days.
Last week, I made my first official visit to the Volpe National Transportation Research Center at Cambridge, Massachusetts. Part of RSPA, the Volpe Center has developed a number of anti-terrorist systems, such as a mobile cargo inspection system that uses commercial off-the-shelf technology and a Hummer platform. It was developed for the military and is already in Kosovo. Volpe has also developed a high-volume mailroom scanner for explosives, and a very popular vehicle inspection handbook.
Let me say a few words about RSPA. RSPA may not be a household word. In fact, I can assure you it’s not a household word. But it is a functioning organization that is dedicated to the safe transportation of any hazardous materials by surface transportation and pipelines. We have focused on safety. It has not been difficult, however, for RSPA to shift to an emphasis on security. And if I may, I’d like to tell you how proud I am of the entire RSPA organization for their performance on September 11th and in the aftermath.
On September 11th, I walked into my office just a few minutes before 9:00 a.m. The attack had just begun on the World Trade Center. I was informed of the attack and I asked if the crisis management center had been activated. They said yes. I remember putting my purse down. And thirty-eight hours later I said, "Has anyone seen my purse?"
Because RSPA regulates the pipeline industry, our Office of Pipeline Safety acted quickly to provide assistance and advice to state and local officials and pipeline operators to protect the nation’s 2.1 million miles of pipeline. More than 1,000 phone calls were made quickly to establish communication and provide security guidance. We played a key role to help the Con Edison Pipeline Company assess the potential damage to its gas distribution center in the vicinity of the World Trade Center. Forty-two square blocks of New York’s city pipeline had to be quickly contained and fixed.
RSPA also operates the Department of Transportation’s Crisis Management Center (CMC), which I mentioned a few minutes ago. In less than 30 minutes of the initial attack on September 11th, the CMC went into 24/7 operation. It provided a flow of operational information to the leadership of the department, as well as to the White House and Cabinet leaders on developments within the nation’s transportation infrastructure in the air, on the land, and on the water. Our Office of Emergency Transportation (OET) arranged for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to move to the disaster site. OET moved the specialized response forces, the urban search and rescue team, personnel, equipment, and supplies, including all blood provisions. They also implemented emergency federal response plans. Plans that worked. The Office of Hazardous Material Safety responded quickly to issue emergency exemptions, enabling the governments in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania to remove HAZMAT from the disaster sites in the interest of safety.
While I am very proud of how the offices of RSPA responded, we’re looking ahead and we’re focused in the future. It only took a few moments for our world to change last month. We must not waste time in changing how we operate in the new reality. We must balance a need for safety and security with the preservation of the mobility that is essential to our economic vitality.
I’m proud to have been appointed to lead RSPA, especially at a time when the task is even more vital to our nation.
Finally, as an officer in the Navy Reserve, I frequently use naval technology and terminology. On my watch as RSPA administrator, we will be vigilant against threats to the security of our homeland. We will not accept the expedient. We will focus on the best minds and energy to finding the best to market solutions, not the first to market quick fixes. On my watch as RSPA administrator, it will not be "business as usual." While we have made hazardous material movement very safe, we must make it secure now, more than ever. The protection of the people of America is vital. To serve the American people is both an honor and a privilege. We will not let them down, not on our watch.
I’m an old Navy lieutenant, not one to disobey that order.
The next presenter is the youngest Caltrans director in the history of that organization. He was a staff aide, or a transportation aide, to Senator Lautenberg. He proceeded on over to U.S. Department of Transportation as an undersecretary—Deputy Undersecretary. He then went over to the White House, and staffed, among other things, the White House commission on Aviation Security and Safety. He proceeded then to become number two in the Chicago Metropolitan Transportation Authority, where he was credited with streamlining that very cumbersome old and somewhat archaic, prior to his arrival, organization. He then stepped into the responsibility of directing one of the largest organizations in the world, the California Department of Transportation, and has turned that organization on its ear. And he is charging into the current century with a recognition that it is indeed a transportation department and not just a highway department.
Would you please welcome Caltrans Director Jeff Morales.
What Rod did not mention is that I’m his other boss, Ellen.
And his other founder, which is the main reason I’m standing here.
Thank you all for coming and for being a part of this. I’m going to be very brief because my main role here today is, like you, to learn and listen, and then figure out how we move forward.
As Ellen mentioned, we are dealing with a new reality. We have a new element to our jobs, which has taken on a whole different level. This issue of security and how we address it as, in my case, the director of a state department of transportation. And in some of your cases, as operators of transit systems or other providers of transportation. And we need to look at that in terms of how we change what we do from design to operation of our facilities. We have potential targets of terrorism. In California, certainly, we’ve been looking at high profile targets that we own and operate, such as bridges—the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, Coronado, and others, which are in and of themselves potential targets. But we also own and operate access to potential targets—the roads that lead into other facilities. And the question is—how do we protect them? How do we take the appropriate steps to ensure the security? And very importantly, and something that I certainly want to see addressed today in the discussion—what is our responsibility? Clearly, we are accountable, ultimately, for the security of our infrastructure and of our system. But I think we have to be clear about what our responsibilities are versus those of the intelligence agencies and law enforcement communities. And we need to make sure we’re not duplicating efforts, recognizing what our capabilities are and what our levels and areas of expertise are. And also, how we work through organizations like APTA and AASHTO to share information, state to state, region to region, about what we’re doing, what we’re seeing, different techniques that we find effective. And that we’re also identifying and raising up to the federal level those issues which have to be decided as a matter of policy. I think there are any number of issues which we’re all going to be dealing with, or are dealing with, that we could use some guidance from the Federal government on. And, some uniformity on our approach to them. Today, I think you’ll find Rod has assembled a panel of some of the best experts we have in the country, to help us address some of these issues. I’ve had the privilege of working with Brian Jenkins previously, and he’s about the best there is in this business. And we’re really pleased to have him here as part of this panel.
And, I just look forward to participating in it and exchanging information with all of you, and tackling this very important issue together so that we can do it effectively.
Thank you, Jeff. Please extend thanks to John Allison and Wes Lum of your staff. And Ellen, the same goes to Ed Brigham and Tim Klein, and Robin Kline, and Amy Stearns of your staff who make our work a lot easier.
The next presenter is the Chair of the Board of the American Public Transit Association, who is also the General Manager of the Valley Transportation Authority in Santa Clara County. An old and good friend—I guess we’re getting to the age where we don’t say old anymore. We’re longtime friends. Our silver hair portrays that. A gentleman who is recognized as a quintessential top transportation manager in the nation—Pete Cipolla.
Good morning. I was going to say I am glad to be here, but it is a sad day that we all have to gather here for this purpose.
On September 11th, transit systems in New York City, Washington D.C., and throughout, actually, North America were called upon to serve our nation. And we did. We did so effectively, and in many instances, we did so heroically. We were able to do this because we in transit have worked hard to prepare for emergencies. Not so much the type of emergency that we were called upon, but for other types of emergencies. Our industry has long viewed safety and security as one of our key goals. These concepts are embedded in safety programs throughout all the transit systems in the United States and Canada.
For nearly twenty years, APTA’s system safety program, and our related system safety management audit programs… we’ve been working with our members to refine and enhance these various programs. We need to do more. Today is another example of our effort to share critical information and best practices among our membership. We have representatives from over 60 transit systems here today. After September 11th, transit systems revisited our safety programs, our emergency evacuation programs, and the effectiveness of these procedures. We are refining and sharing this information among our industry as we stand here today. We’ve also taken our responsibility of working collaboratively with the Federal government to heart. We continue to work with the FTA, the FRA, as programs in this area are being, in some cases, developed, in most cases enhanced.
Besides providing mobility choices, public transportation has another vital role. We are a key element of our national defense system. Being prepared to evacuate our citizens quickly and efficiently from areas in jeopardy is a key role. We must re-double our efforts and focus on safety and security needs of our community. I assure you that this topic will be with us at APTA for a long time to come, at the various meetings, seminars, and special sessions that we have planned for this next year and the years ahead.
On behalf of APTA, we will make certain that the safety and security of our customers, of our communities, of our employees, and our infrastructure, are paramount in our goals and objectives. I appreciate you being here today. I know that we’re going learn a lot. I know that we’re going to share some good information.
Thank you, Rod.
Thank you, Pete. And a special thanks to APTA for being the primary organizer of the effort back here. Celia Kupersmith, who is the General Manager of the Golden Gate Bridge Transportation and Highway Authority—I always get that backwards—but Celia is the Vice Chair of APTA this year and a member of the Mineta Transportation Institute’s Board of Trustees. Several other of our trustees are here. I’ll not take the time to introduce them all, but thanks again, APTA.
The next presenter or "welcomer" is John Horsley. John and I began together 30 years ago as members of county governments. John from Kitsap County in the state of Washington, where he proceeded on to become Chair of the transportation committee at National Association of Counties, where we met. He then went on to chair the National Association of Counties, then went on to become Modal Administrator, and finally under Secretary of Transportation. He is now the Executive Director of AASHTO.
Rod’s good at resume expansion. I like that.
On behalf of the nation’s state Department of Transportation and AASHTO, I want to thank Rod for moving very swiftly to put this event together today. This is terrific, Rod, and we’re looking forward to your team’s presentation. We want to thank Ellen and Jeff for providing the funding necessary to pull this event together. And, on behalf of AASHTO, Pete and Bill Millar, thank you for teaming to cosponsor the event.
In the wake of the September 11th tragedy and the attack, AASHTO has done four things.
First of all, we moved swiftly, together with APTA and Rod, to put this event together.
Number two, we’ve asked Tony Kane on our staff to pull together a transportation security task force to help AASHTO and our member states address the crisis that confronts the nation.
Third, at our annual meeting which will take place the 1st through the 4th of December, we are going to feature the experiences of New York, New Jersey, and Virginia DOT’s in the actual response that they made on September 11th. We think there are lessons to be learned.
And then the fourth thing that we hope that our task force will undertake is a systematic review of what we in the state DOT’s are going to have to do to better prepare and respond to future threats of terrorism and attack.
It’s a totally different mindset that we have to bring to this event today and to the challenges that lie ahead. And what’s interesting to me is that I’ve talked to CEO’s around the country, out-of-state DOTs, and I’m pleased there are so many state CEO’s here today.
Let’s look at some of the challenges they face. One of the first I talked to had identified an individual in their state Department of Motor Vehicles who had illicitly sold 18 hazardous materials permits to people with Arabic surnames. And that individual who sold those permits has since then been subject to prosecution. But that is an example.
I was in Arizona last week and the difficulty Arizona and Nevada are facing right now is the Bureau of Reclamation has had to close the road that goes across the Hoover Dam, because of concern for the Hoover Dam. And all truck traffic has now got to engage in a 23-mile detour. And they’re trying to grapple with how do they improve security at that facility, or will truck traffic have to be diverted indefinitely.
Two weeks ago I was in Virginia, and the challenge they faced on September 11th was concern over protecting the Chesapeake Bay tunnel, lest the tunnel be blown and the NAVY fleet trapped inside Norfolk, Virginia, unable to emerge.
And then the final concern, my president, Dean Carlson of Kansas. Between two and three trains a day traveled from the Powder River basin, where the nation’s major coal supply traverses many vulnerable bridges and routes to supply the utilities around the country, to supply critical electricity.
So, many points of vulnerability, and that’s one of the reasons we wanted to assemble our troops together with the APTA folks today. To learn what vulnerabilities do we face, how can we improve our response capabilities, how do we harden the nations’ transportation system and be better prepared.
And one of the things I did want to acknowledge—I see Henry Hunginbeeler, our director of the DOT in Missouri. Henry will chair our AASHTO effort along these lines. He will chair our transportation security task force. So, on behalf of Henry and all the state DOT directors and ASTHO, we want to… again, Rod, thank you for pulling this important briefing together today. Thank you.
John, thanks to you and to Tony Kane for being such a good liaison with AASHTO. Pete, thank you for your staff—Greg Hull and all of his support. And, Nadine Williams and her supporters for making this possible.
The morning session is in a secure setting and with each one of you having been identified by virtue of your badge, which you could only obtain by showing a picture ID. The afternoon session will be under the same circumstances. So we’ll be talking about information which although not identified as top secret by any names, might be the kind of information that we would not want to discuss with the general public. Probably not because it’s so secret, but rather because it would be unnecessarily exciting and maybe frightful to them. And as a consequence, we ask that you not share it with the public when you go back home. Share it with those who have a need to know in your organizations but do not discuss it with the general public because it could be unnecessarily frightening.
The luncheon session, on the other hand, is going to be open to the public and indeed the media is going to be with us because we have had a cancellation by our luncheon speaker. His boss told him he was going to cancel. John Flaherty will not be with us, but Secretary Mineta will be our luncheon speaker. That was kind of a nice change. We began by being here in order to be accessible to the Secretary’s calendar. And then he was told that he could not be accessible with long lead times. I think that’s a security issue, primarily, and that it’s not a good idea for people to know where the cabinet members are going to be a long time in advance. And then a couple of days ago the Secretary let us know that it could either be he or John Flaherty. "Which would we rather have?" (Laughter). And I told him without equivocation, we’d rather have John. (Laughter). That didn’t go anywhere.
So, we’ll have the honor of having Secretary Mineta with us at noon. That will work by us being in the Pierce Dining Room, which is through these doors on the left hand side, actually out the outer doors and over to the left, for a quick lunch between 11:30 and 12:15. That room is not set up very effectively for presentations, so right after lunch, at 12:15, please come back into this room and we’ll have the noon presentation from 12:30 until 1:30 in this room. So you’ll have to watch your own times, please. Be back here, seated and ready to hear the Secretary, no later than 12:30.
Let’s have kind of a stretch break, while the panel comes forward then and takes their seats here in the forward area. Brian, and Larry, and Frances… I hope Frances has arrived.
It’s so nice to have an overflow crowd.
Before I introduce the panel, may I say a last thank you to administrator Engleman and Director Morales for providing the financing to allow this event to occur.
Thank you very much.
As Rod mentioned, this is research that actually began in 1996, so we have six years of research, the results of which were distilled into three volumes. The results of those three volumes were further distilled into one executive summary, and that, Rod tells me, has to be further distilled into fifteen minutes. So you’ll have to forgive the breathtaking generalizations that we’ll make in the course of this first presentation. However, you do have copies of the summary. The other volumes are available. We’ll have some time for questions and answers later, and I’d be happy to chat with you. I look forward to chatting with you, even after that.
Normally, in a pre-September 11th environment, I would have begun any discussion of terrorism with, in a sense, an admonition that these things that we are talking about, that we saw so dramatically and tragically demonstrated on September 11th, could happen here; that the terrorist threat was a reality; that large-scale, indiscriminate violence had become a reality of terrorism by the turn of the century. And that the United States had no immunity to this.
That type of introduction is no longer necessary, as underscored by the announcement made by the Attorney General and the head of the FBI last night of the possibility of another, imminent terrorist event. And indeed, I believe that another attack, whether it takes place in the next week, the next month, or the next year, is virtually certain. We know that the planning for the September 11th attack began years ago, which means that the planning for that attack was taking place while all the other terrorist attacks—the attack on the USS Cole, the aborted attempt to disrupt the Millennium celebrations, the attack on the US Embassies in Africa—were taking place. The September 11th event, of course, was orders of magnitude greater and would predictably provoke a ferocious response by the United States. In fact, it was calculated to provoke a response so that Osama Bin Laden and his lieutenants could portray it as an assault by the infidels on Islam, whereas we are desperately trying to portray it as anything but an assault by the United States on Islam. And since that reaction was predictable, I’m persuaded there were two plans on September 11th: one plan for the terrorist attacks that took place, and another plan for the survival and continued operation of the terrorist network during the anticipated counterattack and countermeasures by the United States. And that second plan almost certainly would have included a plan for the survival of the leadership and for continued communications between that leadership and their operatives and constituents in the Islamic community, as well as a capability to continue operations even while they went to ground. If one backs up in terms of the special operations planning, then, that would mean basically what we might call "doomsday operations"—operations set in motion which can and will take place without further approval or instruction from the top, things that are now ticking down to whatever that moment in time will be, whether it’s days, weeks, months, or in the mind of our adversary. We have to accept it, even years from now. And we don’t know what those plans are.
Where will those events take place? Again, we don’t know. One of the frustrating things about this is that people sometimes have the notion—the illusion—that the government knows a great deal more than all the rest of us know, despite the extraordinary national tutorial that has taken place on terrorism over the last six weeks on television and in the news media. And of course, the government does know more about many, many details. But the fact is, the Attorney General was playing it straight when he said last night, "It is frustrating. We don’t know when and where and precisely with what means they are going to attack." There may be some notions, some ideas, but there’s an enormous level of uncertainty. And so, in dealing with that environment of uncertainty, we can only look to what patterns we’ve been able to discern and what things we’ve learned about in the past to provide us with some guide for at least the spectrum of things that we need to be prepared for. And therefore, I think the work that has been done over a number of years in the MTI study is useful as a resource. It’s not a forecast of what will take place, but rather, it is an identification of the patterns that we have seen.
One of the things we have seen dramatically demonstrated is that contemporary terrorists clearly have made public transportation—public surface transportation—a theater of their operations. And it does have attractive qualities, attractive attributes, from the perspective of the adversaries. And that’s, in a sense, what we’re going to regularly do: We’re going to drop back and look at things from the terrorists’ perspective. That does not, in any way, lessen our condemnation of their actions; it simply is a perspective that we have to look at. Easy access is essential for public transportation. We cannot have the same kind of security that we have even in airports, where, essentially, luggage and freight come through a tube before they’re loaded on the airplane. And therefore, we can put measures in place at airports. We have multiple access points. This has to be extremely expensive. We can easily talk about add-ons to airline tickets for security costs of $2, $3, $4. We can’t talk about those kinds of add-ons for surface transportation without putting it out of the range of the public. The combination of anonymity for attackers, easy escape, and concentrations of people in contained environments makes public transportation especially vulnerable. It enhances the effects of both conventional explosives and unconventional weapons.
The headlines really just underscore that even before September 11th, the terrorist threat was not a theoretical thing. We’ve seen a plot to carry out a suicide attack on New York subways. Fortunately, one of the suicide bombers got cold feet and talked to a transit policeman. He did the right thing and the plot was busted up.
We’ve seen a number of things in other countries. Of course, the most dramatic one is the Sarin attack in Japan in 1995, and I’ll come back to that. But even more recently, there have been bomb threats, bombs, and most recently— clearly inspired by the events of September 11th—the hijacking of a Greyhound bus, in which seven persons died, which, by the way, illustrates an important point. There are differences in threat level between major urban transportation systems and smaller systems. The threat is not the same in New York City as it may be in some small system in the Midwest. But we have the phenomenon of one major event inspiring copycats, lunatics. So, while the smaller operators may not see themselves at the front line, in fact they may end up dealing with incidents carried out by some self-appointed soldier of God or some lunatic listening to voices inside his head telling him to carry out some actions.
We wanted to understand the threat better, so these volumes include a chronology. It is the only chronology I know of that deals with all of the attacks on surface transportation going back to 1920. That’s a bit of an assertion. Obviously, it only picks up some of the major incidents since 1920. The chronology realistically begins in the ’70s, concurrent with the upsurge in contemporary terrorist violence that we saw at the end of the ’60s and the beginning of the ’70s. But there are some frightening trends that you find when you examine these statistics. And the most frightening is that these attacks are intended to kill: 37 percent of them involve fatalities; 2/3 are clearly intended to cause fatalities. About 20 percent of terrorism attacks overall are intended to kill, so almost twice as many surface transportation incidents involve fatalities. When terrorists go after public transportation, they see it primarily as a killing field. And there’s a lesson here. It’s underlined by the fact that it is parallel with the trend in overall terrorism, in that 74 percent of these fatal attacks involve multiple fatalities, and 23 percent of them involve 10 or more fatalities. The targets are roughly split between rail and bus systems. We’ve got a breakdown here. By the way, these numbers are in the volumes that are available to you.
If we take bus and bus terminals and tourist buses together, we get about 45 percent or 46 percent. If we take rail and subway and stations there, we get something approximate. And those patterns seem to hold over a period of time. We do this in a number of splices as well, and those patterns generally percentseem to hold. The most common tactic, not surprisingly, is bombing.
One thing it does not show, by the way, is bomb threats. If we were to show all of the bomb threats, which is the most common terrorist activity, 99 percent of this pie chart would be bomb threats, and the other 1 percent would be all of the other things. There are hundreds and hundreds of bomb threats, occurring constantly.
To briefly review the study that we did—I regularly duck behind the podium here, it’s a security measure (laughter). We thought that it was essential that we have a better understanding of the threat and of the security measures. And, really, the intent was to distill lessons learned and to identify the best practices put into place by outfits that had more experience than we in the United States had in dealing with terrorist attacks. So we looked at the incidents in Tokyo; we looked at the terrorist campaign in Paris subways; we looked at the long-running terrorist campaign by the IRA against British transport; we looked at the derailing of Amtrak. We included New York simply because of the size and complexity of its system, and because it did deal with a number of episodes— the shooting on the Long Island railroad, some bomb extortion plots that New York dealt with, some near misses. That gave us a rich lode to look at. And we looked at Atlanta because of the very special precautions and events connected with the Olympics.
And then we had additional information. We looked at some domestic systems. We had some additional surveys of transit systems. And that enabled us to come up with a good overall view. We tried to look at a lot of different things. We were very interested in threat perception, threat assessment. We looked at security organizations. We looked at security through environmental design, a very important area. And here, I want to make one point on this. I mentioned the difference between surface transportation and aviation security. If we think of the things that we can do, beginning with design, to deter and to prevent, and then move all the way over to those things that we do effectively to respond, we find an interesting difference in aviation security. And the difference is that in aviation security we’re dealing primarily with things to deter and prevent. There are some things that we can do with design at the airports, but with the design of the aircraft itself, there’s not a lot that you can do if an aircraft is sabotaged. There are some more defenses you can put in place, but the bulk of aviation security is in the deterrence and prevention of terrorism. When we go into surface transportation, the difficulties of security push us in the direction of what we can do in terms of design—design of the vehicles, design of the coaches, design of the stations—to improve the security environment, to mitigate casualties. And then we slide all the way to the other end of the spectrum. In aviation, when a plane crashes, there’s not a lot you can do to mitigate casualties; you’re essentially picking up bodies. But in surface transportation, there’s a lot we can do with crisis management and with rapid analysis of things that can be done to mitigate casualties. I mean things that come into play—things that actually came into play on September 11th. Earlier in the year, we had an exercise at MTI headquarters, a crisis management exercise involving a simulated terrorist attack. In that terrorist attack, the hypothetical scenario took place at Grand Central Station. We went through the whole day in the exercise, and one of the lessons learned—and I’m sure all of you understand this—is that the culture of transportation systems is never to shut down, always to keep people moving, to keep the system going. Therefore, shutdown decisions often have to be made all the way at the top; it’s a major decision to shut down. And one of the lessons learned in our exercise was that there are going to be moments of great uncertainty and potential danger, when in fact the safest thing we can do is shut down the system. And we may have to think about empowering some people down the line to make that decision. On September 11th, the people did the right thing and the system was shut down. I haven’t been able to get back and talk to the MTI people to see exactly what took place there, so I don’t know if the shutdown was a result of the game or other planning or what. But the fact is, the right decision was made and more people were not put in harm’s way. In the case of the Sarin attack in Tokyo, one of the problems was diagnosing what the hell was going on. People were getting off trains and they were sick. But the trains kept running. And in one case, one of the trains ran all the way to the end of the line, reversed, came back—carrying bags of Sarin—got to the end of the line again, and reversed and came back a third time, an hour and a half later, before it shut down. And of course, it was causing people to be exposed all along the line. So, the importance of diagnosis and crisis response—and we're going to hear more about that this morning—is critical in this area. It’s part of the security program.
We wanted to talk about augmentations of security. We talked about emergency response, including evacuation plans. We talked about the issue of the degree of public involvement: Is it useful to have public involvement? It’s not useful to have public involvement if you don’t have a responsive staff. And I saw this happen recently at an airport. All the people who heard the admonition, "Don’t leave your luggage unattended; please report any suspicious object to the attendant," watched a bag that somebody had completely left sit there for 20 minutes. I watched a person get up, go up to the counter, and say, "That bag has been sitting there for 20 minutes," and the person behind the counter said, "I don’t have time for that." The lesson is, don’t involve the public unless you have a responsive staff. You'll just tick them off and turn them off. And that’s not going to help a lot.
Anyway, let me just go back through a couple of things that are in the volumes. We won’t have time for everything, so I just want to open up and do a little previewing. The IRA terrorist campaign was especially interesting to us because of its length, 25 years. By the way, there is another point to be made here: On September 11th, there was a fundamental change in America’s psychology. We are now all British; we are now all Israelis; we are now living with terrorism as a potential threat, as a daily issue. It’s an issue even in making everyday decisions, and this may be an overreaction, but it is the state of high anxiety in which we are living. People are deciding whether to go to shopping malls or sporting events, or whether to take the car or take the train, and these decisions now have an additional ingredient that we didn’t have before September 11th, and that is security. Security has become a criterion in every decision we are making about our ordinary lives. That is something that other societies have lived with for years, and it is now part of our society.
The campaign by the IRA didn’t kill a lot of people. Only 17 people were killed in the 25-year campaign. It wasn’t about killing as much as it was about disruption. Those terrorist objectives, by the way, lead to the two objectives of surface transportation security: paramount is number one, to protect lives; number two is to minimize disruption. To come up with the right mixtures of measures and responses to respond quickly and protect lives and make the right decisions in bomb threats, bombings, things of that sort, and at the same time minimize the disruption is the real challenge here. That’s the trick.
I’m just going to run through some of the overall lessons learned very quickly, and not go through all of them. We’ll have time to talk more about this during the Q and A. Some of the lessons I have touched on already. First, effective security includes not only the deterrent preventive measures, but anything we can do to mitigate casualties up front and anything we can do to respond quickly. Crisis management is essential. The threat is real. Here’s a real problem now, and you have this problem right here in this room. You, as the operators, as the managers of the systems, have in the last six weeks become your own security directors. The security decisions in every enterprise in the United States have ascended from the security directors on up to the heads of the organizations. Whether we’re talking about multinationals making decisions about evacuating people or about transportation, those decisions are being made at a high level and in an environment of great uncertainty.
I touched on this already: Incorporating things that can be done to mitigate in design and construction is an extremely important thing. That’s not something that can be done immediately, but it can be done as systems are modified, as changes are made, as new systems are built. That becomes increasingly important.
In any crisis, communication is the first thing to go wrong. I can tell you this as an old soldier. The thing that always happens is that you can’t communicate. The communications are disrupted, they go down, they get screwed up, the frequencies are wrong, people don’t get the message. And that’s where you get nailed. By the way, as a practical measure, that’s also where you get nailed in the liability litigation that comes along later. That is going to be the big litigation issue at the World Trade Center. Whether the people who were told to go downstairs at Tower 2 and then told to go back upstairs in Tower 2 were misinformed because of a communications problem. Obviously, the situation was made more difficult on September 11th by the fact that the first plane just happened to—wasn’t designed to—hit precisely the floor in Tower 1 where World Trade Center Management was located. So management of the World Trade Center was wiped out in the first instant of the attack on September 11th, and that made coordination and communication extremely difficult.
You’ll hear more about crisis management simulations and training later on. But constant training, including simulation and field exercises, is extremely important. Another thing to emphasize here is the importance of closed circuit TV. By the way, again, I see some of you scribbling notes. This is all in the volume, and also if you’d like to give me your business card, I’ll be happy to make available copies of the slides. So you can have all of this material.
We’ve talked about this already: involving the public. It’s extremely important.
And finally, I’ll emphasize it again: good communication, good communication.
Let me just end here with a couple of comments about some things that can be done very quickly. I was asked this specific question: "Gee, a lot of this stuff involves installation of closed circuit TV and things. What can we do right now? What can we do tomorrow?" I’m going to name some things, and I suspect a lot of them are things you already have done. But let me run through them anyway.
Number one: Review the threat with local and national authorities. Take a good look at a threat review of your system.
Number two: Review the security plan. A lot of people have security plans that sit on shelves. I cannot imagine any entity not having reviewed its security plans in the past six weeks. But if you haven’t, that’s something you have to do right away.
Number three: Review and rehearse the immediate-response procedures for bomb threats, suspicious objects, mysterious substances, sudden outbreaks of visible illness, emergency evacuation. Go through those. By the way, none of these measures that I am recommending cost a single cent. They are things that can be done right away.
Look at the premises, keep the premises clean. Go after the obvious hiding places.
Check the position of simple, pedestrian things—the trash containers and things of this sort. A lot of this advice is in the volume. And that is something you can do very, very quickly.
Increase the frequency of security patrols.
Ensure the adequacy and awareness of crisis management plans. In most cases, you will be responding. You won’t be preventing. You will be responding.
Enlist the public in surveillance, but only if the transportation system staff is prepared to be responsive.
And, finally, instill a security mindset throughout the staff. Security now is no longer the responsibility of the security director alone. Security is the responsibility of everyone. Everyone from the citizen who is a passenger to the train driver, to the bus driver, to the conductor, to the stationmaster, to the custodial crew. Security is everybody’s business, and everybody has to have a security mindset.
As I say, we’ll have a chance to go over some of these in the Q and A, and we can talk about them later. But this—with all of its breathtaking generalizations—is a quick overview of the research. Thank you very much. (Applause)
What Brian and the team are doing is kind of giving you the hor d’ourves in order to prepare you for the meal. And the meal really will come during your question and answer period. It also is to some extent, presented in the published books, which are out in the foyer, which many of you have picked up. But as you can imagine, some of the more important information could not be printed in those books, because we don't want it to become a how to do it book for the bad guys. So, your question and answer period is the most important part of this day’s session. And we’re going to protect as much time for that as possible.
I should also mention that Brian’s team has already launched into the next study, which is going to be a case study of what happened on September 11th. And that will be digested and published within the year, in order to have that information available for you to use in the future.
We’ve also been asked to do a couple of additional symposia. We’ll have to figure out exactly how that works, but some of the folks down in Southern California, and in the state of Washington, would like us to do a more geographically-focused gathering of this type, with more security-oriented individuals, rather than the director-level folks who are here today.
… is also a professional public opinion research person who has done national as well as local public opinion research surveys that have been published.
Dr. Larry Gerston…
Thank you, Rod.
My job is to kind of put this whole thing into context as a public policy issue. Although, for all of us, it’s very private. I think we all now sense a violation that we never felt before. And as Brian said, these things were always of someone hypothetical. And now they’re real. And as they become real, and they become part of our lives, not only today but tomorrow and next month, next year, who knows for how long, they of course impact the public policy process. That’s important to you and to me and to all the various agencies out there, because the agencies with which you work, and where you work, are going to be impacted in ways that we couldn’t even imagine seven weeks ago. So that’s why we take a moment or two to look at this in the context of a public policy issue.
I’d like to tell people that public policy making is something like a three-act play. Act 1 concerns the crisis, the crisis that precipitates some kind of call for action. Something out there disturbs the political equilibrium. Something destroys the status quo that has been so difficult to develop. And the satisfaction, if you will, creates some kind of compelling demand for change. Lots of times, these demands for change go nowhere, because the demands are not sufficient enough. Not enough people are upset enough. The system is not dismembered sufficiently, if you will, that anything is really [Inaudible]. So we walk around with a lot of complaints and grouches about this and that. But often times, things just stay as they have always been. We know this.
But, when crisis occurs, all bets are off. Everything is off the table. And it really gets us thinking and moving really quickly.
Act 2 of this three-act play, will be the policies, or as we say, the action steps that are taken to deal with this crisis that has just rearranged all the things in our lives. There will be a search somehow for consensus, or agreement, for some sort of new status quo, new equilibrium. There will be attempts to address the issues, whatever they might be. In this case, we know what it is. And these attempts to address them will hardly be antiseptic or neutral, because it means putting new resources in to work. It means taking out old things. It means rearranging the political system.
Act 3 is the reaction to the policies from the public, from the interest groups, from the policy makers, and in this case, from the rest of the world, other nations if you will. We go through intensive evaluation after the implementation. We then look at new inputs, new demands for change, because things that we’ve done really weren’t that right, or need to be improved. Now, that’s real quick. Believe me, there are books written about all this stuff. I’ve just given it to you in about 90 seconds. We are just now at the beginning stages if you will of Act 2.
Now this consensus was real easy to get in the beginning. I would suggest that we’re beginning to see frayed edges, if you will, as each day passes by. Internationally, there are some people who say we are doing too much. There are others, just as many, who are saying we’ve not done enough.
Domestically, we’re really beginning to see our psyche, if you will, wear. A new Newsweek poll that comes out, I think, today shows—in terms of President Bush’s management of the issue domestically, the public supports him by a 48 percent to 45 percent margin. Now when is the last time in the last seven weeks you saw a public divided so closely on any issue related to terrorism? But we are beginning to see some of those issues [Inaudible] as we ourselves become so anxious without any sense of closure on this, either internationally or nationally, particularly with the anthrax issues.
Which leads us to a quick discussion about the problem responding to issues such as terrorism. This is not your normal, everyday, public policy issue. This is deciding whether there are going to be roads. This is deciding whether we’re going to build new schools. This isn’t deciding whether we’re going to do this instead of that. We have probably three critical issues that are impacting us and the work we do here, as well as the rest of the nation.
First of all, this question of information. Brian talked about this earlier. Sometimes, we see people talking in Washington right here, saying so many different things on the same topic on the same day. And at first, of course, we are very frustrated by that. Why can’t they get their story straight? They can’t get their story straight because they don’t know much more than we do in many instances. That’s not suggesting that there are things that they don’t know that they don’t tell us of course. But we don’t know, in many respects, internationally, how wide spread this Al-Qaida network is. And all of its affiliates. We have some pretty good ideas. We don’t know how solid this coalition is internationally. What with the statements taking place from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia. Malaysia, and a cast of thousands, who would say, "We’re with you on one hand, while not entirely on the other." Those who have this whole oil cart out there that is a terrible problem for the United States. 70 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves in the Middle East. The U.S. now imports about 60 percent of its oil, which is nearly double, what we were importing during the Arab oil boycott. Let that sink in for a second and you begin to understand just how critical it is that we have some kind of understanding with folks in the Middle East. But yet, on the other hand, how much should they have to say about what we’re going to do. And that is a fact of life that many of us don’t like to think about.
So, the first one is the lack of information out there, the great uncertainty.
The second issue we have to deal with in responding to this terrorism problem has to do with the artificial consensus at home. Now I say artificial because the consensus of course initially was brought about by the threats to the system, the attacks on the system. The September 11th events will be indelibly placed in our minds forever. They destroyed our sense of invulnerability. Suddenly, what we talked about, the hypothetical Brian talked about, was real. The postal system, anthrax, attacks within… The Supreme Court across the street closed, not open for business. Oh yes, the Justices have moved some place else, but… that’s quite a symbolic statement as well as a substantive one. What’s next? First the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, then the postal system. What’s next? As we try to cope with what’s next, the consensus becomes more and more difficult to keep together. Because we don’t really know what to do about it. There’s of course a certain panic by the citizens, by the policy makers. And the panic is designed to deal with things, but we’re trying to deal with things on so many levels that it’s got to be hard to deal with them all at once.
Related to that is a third problem. And that’s the civil liberties issues. We don’t like to think about civil liberties issues when we’re trying to get the bad guys. If we get the bad guys, these problems may go away. And with that in mind, the Attorney General and the state police organizations have just been given new powers—wire tapes, electronic surveillance, Internet, e-mails, Internet use, detentions, search warrants. Sounds pretty good. Local police will have new lower thresholds for searching houses and business records. Well this sounds good too, if we’re going to get the bad guys. The problem we all know is, sometimes, some of the good guys get swept up before the bad guys. Sometimes some people who had nothing to do with anything suddenly find themselves in a mess. It’s happened before in calm times—the Wen Ho Lees, the Richard Jewels, others out there. You could only begin to imagine what happens now. So some have suggested that this may be overkill. Others say it’s not enough. Either way, it’s another crack in this unity pavement.
That leads us to a big issue, and that is—something I think rather important to all of us here—the matter of paying for it, now and later. Imagine if you will, in seven weeks, this country has or is on the verge of committing $200 billion. Let that sink in, $200 billion to deal with the threats of terrorism and of course the aftermath of the September 11th events. $20 billion for New York. $34 billion more, by the way, requested by Governor Pataki. $20 billion for anti-terrorism efforts. $15 billion for the airline bailout. $31 billion for unemployment worker assistance programs. As much as $100 billion—they’re still dotting the "I’s and crossing the "T’s", for tax cuts and incentives. And there are many more billions of dollars out there that need to be spent.
[Inaudible] second wave of responses even closer to home, at the state and local levels, airport safety. And I would imagine that Secretary Mineta will talk about this today at lunch. I am looking forward to hearing about that. The baggage inspectors and scanners, under whose jurisdiction? If left to the states and local entities, will it be the airlines? Well, we know what has happened there. It hasn’t exactly worked too swell. Will it be the airports? Will it be the state and local governments? Whose pockets will the dollars come from in order to pay for these? And if it’s yours, the question is, what else will you have to give up in order to pay for these things because they’re needed now?
States and local governments, I might add, you know this already, are grappling with the worst economy in a decade. And unlike the Federal government who could write those checks and add them on to the national debt, or pay for them in the distant future, we have to balance our budgets now. It’s required by state and local constitutions. So, we had recession problems before this mess. You can only imagine what’s going to happen now.
In California, my state, the state missed income projections the first quarter of this fiscal year by $1.1 billion. We do things big in California. $1.1 billion— that’s the first quarter, folks. Okay? There’s more to come. Now, that’s from July 1 through September 30. Now you know September 11th was near the end of that quarter. So you can’t blame all that on the September 11th tragedies. But we can say that the recession was coming anyway. So, paying for these things, locally, on top of everything else, could be a real mess. And what about other public safety concerns, some of which Brian talked about earlier? Who or what levels of government will be responsible for the protection of train stations, highway systems. Also the major public buildings, anti-terrorism facilities for diagnosing all these things that we normally send to these labs far away who no longer can deal with it because they are so overwhelmed.
At the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting last week, they projected that cities alone will need and extra $1.5 billion in the next year to maintain security at current levels. Where are we going to get that money from? Boston right now is spending $100,000 per week in the aftermath of the September 11th events, beyond what they’d anticipated spending, and Baltimore is averaging $350,000 a week. Those printing presses break down real quick. They break down real quick because there is no money to spend, it’s got to come from somewhere. The cost of fully protecting American society will not only be staggering, they will change the way we live. These are the public policy issues that are now right in front of us, on our plate. These are the ones that you have to deal with every day. And as you attempt to deal with them, you will find them more, not less, difficult with respect to the resources you have and the challenges with which to carry them out. It’s a tough battle. It’s only beginning.
We’re a little ahead of schedule and that’s good. Let’s take about a ten minute break while Dr. Winslow sets her program up, and make sure you’re back here by let’s say 10:20, no later please, and we’ll go on with the program.
To protect time for your questions and answers, we’re going to have to have you sit now, please.
While we’re settling, let me take a moment. When we break for lunch at 11:30, you’ll all need to take your parcels with you to lunch. Sorry about the inconvenience, but if you don’t, the Secret Service that comes in for preparation for Secretary Mineta will do to your parcels what they do to parcels at the airport, which you’d rather not have done to your parcel. So please take any kind of package with you. If it’s just papers, leave them in the cigar. But if you have a parcel, briefcase, file of any kind, take them with you to lunch and bring them back. Otherwise you may lose them.
Also, in this area up front, the media is going to set up, so take everything with you, the papers, everything, because the chairs are not going to be there when you come back. I will set up some additional chairs because we are pretty full, in order to accommodate everyone that might be sitting up front that won’t be able to do so later.
We seem to be kind of re-gathered. Let me introduce now our final presenter from the Mineta Institute team. Her name is Dr. Frances Edwards-Winslow. Her information is in your file so I’m not going to go into an awful lot of detail, except to note that she is recognized nationally and certainly throughout California as a top expert in disaster response, emergency response planning, programming, and exercises. She’s the author of several books. She is the director of Emergency Preparedness of the City of San Jose, the headquarters and the center city of Silicon Valley.
I’d like to say we planned this, but sometimes things just happen nicely. This is yesterday’s New York Times, and on page B8 is a background statement on her and her wonderful plan in the City of San Jose, which is recognized nationally as one of the best in the nation.
So, please welcome Dr. Frances Edwards-Winslow.
It’s a pleasure to be here with you this morning. And now that you’ve been stimulated to be interested in emergency preparedness, I hope you’ll find some of the material I have to share with you helpful, as you go back and think about how you’re going to deal with the things that you just heard Brian describe as possible in your system, and some of the political difficulties that Larry described as part of the inevitable outcome of trying to change. When I speak about emergency preparedness, I do it in memory of two of my friends, Ray Downey and Jack Fanning, chief officers from the New York City Fire Department who gave their lives on September 11th. They were my colleagues and I credit them with a great deal of the learning that I’ve done over the past few years. In emergency management, we all learn from each other. And I hope that when you leave here today, you’ll begin that network of friendships and relationships that leads to good learning.
Well, emergency response is critical. When one of these events has occurred, your ability to respond quickly and effectively is what will save lives, lessen the injuries, and lessen the property damage. And since many of you are involved with very expensive infrastructure, that’s a very important consideration for you as well.
It’s also critical for restoring the public trust. Your ability to manage an event, to appear to the public to be managing an event, is really a very important part of fighting terrorism. Because remember that terrorism is about terror. And as Brian pointed out earlier, it’s not so much about killing people as it is scaring them. If it appears that the government agencies that are supposed to be there to protect us have no idea what they’re doing, then that's a terrorist’s greatest triumph. So the best way that you can fight at your level, is to become prepared, to be organized, and to be available to the public when they are feeling frightened. Because that will restore their faith in the government and our country as a society. Of course, it’s also crucial to the ability to resume service. The longer it takes you to respond and to begin recovery, the longer it is before you’re back in business. And many of you, after all, are businesses. You may be subsidized, but you have a responsibility to the Board and to the people that use your system, to try to keep your costs reasonable, to try to keep your processes running appropriately. And so resuming service is very important. Financial recovery, of course, is greatly enhanced. The quicker you can respond, the quicker you can get your facilities running again. But that effective response is based on two things, planning and preparedness.
First of all, emergency response has to be based on written plans. It’s no use to think that when the time comes, you’ll figure it out, because, believe me, you won’t. It’s also important, after you’ve written those plans, to test them in full scale exercises. Because, the people actually come together and find out if they can work together. Why do I say "if"? Because police departments, fire departments and ambulance services are all on different frequencies in the United States today. And so, they come to the same event and try to work together. But it’s interesting, we’re almost down to cans and strings at some events, trying to get them to communicate with each other.
Also, we use different nomenclature from one profession to another. And the ability to come to some common terms and some pre-made arrangements on how you’re going to manage the event will be tremendously helpful when the day comes that you’re the one with the emergency.
In San Jose, we were fortunate enough to be selected in 1997 as one of the first twenty-seven cities in the United States to participate in the domestic preparedness program, sponsored by Senators Nunn, Luger, and Dominici. And that led to the creation of a metropolitan medical task force, which involves law enforcement, fire personnel, emergency medical services at the field level, emergency medical transportation, physicians and nurses at the emergency rooms, definitive care at the hospital, clinicians and physicians who may have patients walk in, like they did after the Sarin attack. Slightly contaminated, but contaminated enough to close their facilities. We also involve the Office of Emergency Services staff in helping to coordinate and manage these events.
The important thing about the creation of the team, and ultimately, the Metropolitan Medical Response System, was just this ability to have a common plan, common nomenclature, and a known plan for initiating the response. We don’t have every single step that we would ever take written down. But what we do have is a plan for how we will begin, and how we will make decisions as we go along in a joint environment. We recognize, also, that if it is in fact a terrorist event, we will not be managing alone. Because the FBI is the crisis management agency for the government, and they will be joining us in forming a joint command system. And so we try to form our plan in a way that allows that joint command to be established as readily as possible, while we still continue our work at the local level, and they begin their work at the Federal level.
As was mentioned earlier, communications really are the key. It’s the plan that ties together all of the response levels. It’s not only the radios and how police, fire, and emergency medical services are going to speak among each other during the event. It’s also—how are the people in the field going to let the people in the emergency operations center know what they need? What logistics support, what man power, what other kinds of political support are going to be important to them? And so, in California, we have established a system that ties us together from the city to the operational area at the county level; from there to the state; and finally, at the request of our governor, to federal resources that can become available during a declaration, through FEMA.
All hazards emergency preparedness should be the goal of every transportation agency in the United States. Because it’s not just about terrorism and crime. Right now, after September 11th, it’s probably not too hard a sell to your board the idea that you need to get ready for a potential terrorist event against your facilities. But I can tell you as somebody who has worked in this field for 18 years, that these events ebb and flow. After the Loma Prieta earthquake, for six months, I could have almost anything I wanted. And then that was the end. And when the cutbacks came and the economy got bad in 1993, they took my analysts, they took part of my secretary’s time. Because, it was no longer perceived as important. So in three or four years, the interest in a single type of potential event will go away.
So your goal is to make it clear that the planning that you’re doing and the training that you’re doing is not a single focus, but it’s focused on all of the kinds of things that potentially can happen; and, unfortunately do happen somewhere almost everyday. You do this by beginning with a good threat analysis and risk assessment. What are the natural hazards in your area? Are you subjected to snowstorms and ice storms which can be very disruptive to surface transportation? What about power outages? What about human caused hazards like young people with nothing better to do going out and tampering with your line? What about angry patrons who engage in hostile behavior on your facilities and cause disruption to your patrons and your operators? You need to then evaluate—what are the risks of these occurrences in each part of your service area? In San Jose for example, we have some parts of the community that are flood prone and others that are not. So we need to identify which lines need to have a separate plan. We have a light rail system that runs through an area that can flood. So for example, we have to have a plan in place to create a bus bridge with very little notice, because, we’re at the bottom of the valley so the flooding comes to us at unusual and often very unexpected times.
Also the impacts for each service area are very different. In some places, like with the BART system in the Bay Area, we’re very dependent on that system to get people moved to work everyday. And when BART closes down, the ability to drive a car in the Bay Area changes dramatically. On the other hand, there are some places where public transportation is more of a "nice to have." And if a person can’t take a bus from home to their commute point, they can still drive their car, park at a park and ride and pick up their bus. And so the criticality of the different nodes in your system is an important part of your planning.
The second thing that I really want to emphasize is that a good emergency plan can only be written by a committee. No one person can write a good emergency plan, because, that person has only one perspective—their own. They may have a lot of experience and their perspective may be very broad. But it’s tremendously important for the representatives of all areas to be at the table, not only for the expertise that they bring, but in some ways, more importantly, for the buy-in that they provide. If they were there participating and their agency is represented, when their plan is finished, they feel ownership. It’s their plan too. And they’ll work with you very hard to make it successful. If it’s something that is wished on them from out of the sky, they could sabotage it quicker than you can figure out how to fix it.
It’s very important to remember your employee unions are an important part of your emergency planning process. If you don’t include them from the beginning, they’ll bring grievances on basis of things like—change of working conditions, new liabilities and changes in procedures—that they’ll want to negotiate and get more money for. On the other hand, if you can have the employee representatives with you as partners from the beginning, they will be very helpful in selling their unions on the notion that this is actually a lot about employee safety. It’s about making their members competent and capable and ready to save their own lives and to help their passengers.
Visible and active support from the top management of your organization is essential. You need to have the board and the executive management understand why you are engaging in the program. And have them visibly present at times when the plan is discussed and supported. It’s nice if they give you money. You won’t get far without it. But without their personal involvement, you’ll never sell the program.
Planning has to be done with partners. It needs to coordinate across the entire spectrum of transportation for your community. First of all, you have to consider all the different governments whose line your service passes through. For example, if you have a facility that crosses city boundaries, like we do in Santa Clara County, you need to know what kind of support to expect from the different police agencies as you go through their communities. If somebody creates an assault on a bus in a particular town, is that police department going to be willing to come and help you deal with the problem? Or are they going to defer back to the Sheriff? Because in our county, the Valley Transit Agency does have a contract with the Sheriff’s Department. Those kinds of issues need to be worked out ahead of time. What about if somebody gets sick on the bus? Who is going to respond to that passenger? Will it be the fire department from the jurisdiction where the person gets sick? Or will they expect the county fire department to come and respond? Issues like that need to be worked out ahead of time. And you should have at least a letter of understanding so that you can train your drivers and personnel and especially your dispatchers, on how to handle requests for service so that they’re done as quickly as possible.
Remember utility companies are important partners. For some of your systems, you’re relying on power to make them run. But the water systems are important too. Because if they’re going to be working on the streets or if they’re anticipating flooding, those are things that you’d like to know ahead of time so that you can plan and prepare.
Also the communication systems that are along your route are important to you. How are your bus radios organized? Do your people use cell phones and how reliable are they? Where are the nodes? What kind of problems can occur to them?
Area wide organizations are also very important partners. In the Bay Area, we have a group called the Association of Bay Area Governments. And I know here in the metro Washington area, you do have an association of governments as well. ABAG has done many studies on transportation related issues, which are powerful tools for our transportation agencies, when they go back to their boards and say, "We need to spend more money on planning, or on different equipment, or on better communications." We did a study recently at ABAG of what would happen in a Hayward fault earthquake. And we found out that over 1400 road segments would be damaged too badly to be used, and that the repairs could take up to six months. Imagine the impact that would have on your transportation system, on the buses having to be rerouted. Perhaps the necessity of putting on many more computer rail cars because that might be the only method to get in and out of some areas.
We also have a Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and I know many of you do in other places as well, that helps coordinate the work of all of the transit agencies. And one of the most important things that our group does is not only assist with emergency planning, but sponsor an annual drill so that all of these wonderful plans can actually be regularly tested. And every time you do a drill, you learn a new lesson that helps you improve your plan. So, it’s a continuous improvement process.
And now, unfortunately, in today’s environment, I have to add another group which is very important to me, and that’s the terrorism working group. In most areas of the United States today, the FBI has sponsored a terrorism working group. It normally includes law enforcement, fire, office of emergency services, and emergency medical services. Make sure that your law enforcement agency, connected to your transportation system, is an equal and active partner in that law enforcement organization. Don’t think that your local police departments are a proxy for you. Their issues are different than yours. You have the customer in a different position. They’re looking at a resident. You’re looking at somebody who pays the fare, who depends on you to get to work. Be represented there, and learn from the FBI what kinds of things are a concern.
Don’t forget that any piece of the transportation system is really only as good as the rest of the transportation system. If one piece breaks down, the others are either overloaded or unable to continue their function. So when we look at our planning, we try to look at all the interconnected pieces of our service area, and their dependencies on each other. For example, in the Bay Area, we have bus, light rail, and para-transit that carry people from very close to their home to work. But we also have commuter rail, like CalTrain and Amtrak, that take people from farther away. And inter-city bus services, like Greyhound. We also of course have three airports in the Bay Area. We have the Port of Oakland, which is a very large organization that has container ships coming in and out. We also we have ferries which run back and forth across the Bay. We have bridges and tunnels. And in the immediate area of our part of the transportation network, our tunnels are going through mountains rather than underwater. We also have freeways. And in some parts of California, we have toll roads. If any piece of this infrastructure breaks down, it has a tremendous and direct impact on the others. And if you doubt that, look at what happened to Greyhound and Amtrak when the FAA grounded the aircraft. Look at what happened to the taxi drivers who used to be part of the transit system at the airports, and how difficult it was to get them re-oriented to the Amtrak station. We have a little better plan now for doing that.
You need to review the multifunctional plans that already exist in the jurisdictions that are your partners. Every city has an emergency operations plan. I hope that the other towns and communities do as well. In California, they’re all based on the incident command system. And when we bring it into the EOC, we call it SEMS, the Standardized Emergency Management System.
We also have hazardous materials response plans in place, and I’m sure that’s true of most of your communities as well. And of course, every fire department and every police department has standard operating procedures for how they will handle various events. Many of them can affect your transportation systems. If, for example, the police department’s standard response to a barricaded hostage, as it is in my community, is to draw a perimeter of about a thousand feet, and stop the passage of transportation of all types, that can affect our bus lines. That can affect our light rail. We need to know those things ahead of time.
Also, look at the volunteer resources in your community. In San Jose, we have a group, Community Emergency Response Team, we call it San Jose Prepared. But these groups are sponsored by FEMA and exist all over the United States, anywhere a public agency has chosen to offer training and sponsor the groups. Very important link for us right into neighborhoods. And, they enable us to try to pass information quickly, through a neighborhood. If bus service is going to be disrupted, we can use their phone tree to warn people and try to organize car pools, instead of putting hundreds of different cars, with one person in them, on the street to replace those few buses.
We also have an amateur radio program that is very active in California. And they are an important link for us. They not only shadow our police and fire command staff to provide an extra method of transmitting logistical information to save the tactical channels. But they also link us back to that amateur citizen group, the CERT team, in each neighborhood.
In California, we have Master Mutual Aid agreements for police and fire. And I think that’s true in many states in the United States. And those should be factored into your planning.
We also have multiple casualty incident plans at the field level that tie together a communications system from the field to the hospital providers to the ambulance network system. So that when a patient comes from an accident scene, they go to the hospital that is ready to receive them, that has an open bed, and that has properly trained personnel. That’s an important part of your planning too, because if an accident happens on your system, the multiple casualty incident plan will be implemented.
In our county, we also have a disaster medical health plan, describing the kinds of services that can be provided and the kind of mutual aid that we would use to do yet a better job. You need to know how that works.
And unfortunately, today, you also need, if you’re in a metropolitan area, to coordinate with your metropolitan medical task force, to find out what kind of plan they have for you. In my plan, for example, the Valley Transit Authority is not only a transportation agency, they’re also a shelter agency. And they’ve been a shelter for me several times in wild land interface fires, because a bus has air conditioning and it has heat. And if we have people who are out of their homes, in the time it takes us to open a high school or another shelter, we can have valley transit buses delivered right to the area where people have a need. They can get in and out of the elements. And in the bus, we can begin to provide triage services. We can begin to provide psychological care. And we can move a busload of people who are only mildly injured, to a hospital to begin their care. So, think of yourself as part of this system, not just a recipient of services.
It’s important that you have a written plan. We really urge you to use the Incident Command System Model. It’s taught at the National Fire Academy. It’s used by most fire departments across the United States today.
One of the most important parts of your plan is the accountability or chain of command section. And remember, every element of your organization plays a role. Your board and executive management make policies. Your management staff creates a strategy. And your field staff are the tactical responders. If those pieces are not tied together, chaos will ensue.
Be sure you have a management structure that is well understood and clearly delineated and practiced. Be prepared for continuity of government. What will you do if the people that you expected to be there are not there? Who are our mutual aid partners from whom you could draw people to come and provide leadership? And remember that your vital records require off site storage. Each of your organizations has information about your personnel, about the benefits that they’ve provided, survivor benefits for families. In New York City, they provided one stop shopping facilities for victim’s families. So that instead of having to go from place to place, they could go to one location and receive help from the various government agencies and also private insurance companies. Records like that are really important when you have an accident and you have a lot of people involved. You need to have the ability to get your records quickly to a scene, and begin to provide assistance.
You need an emergency operations center. It can be as beautiful as the one that I am fortunate enough to work out of, that is set up all the time. Or it can be as simple as a training room with a box of phones in the corner and some good instructions on how to get set up with your laptop computers. But you need to have a facility set aside that’s identified within your organization, and where you practice working together on response.
Be sure your communications infrastructure ties together that emergency information center, the field, and your community. And, that’s mostly done through your trained, public information staff. It’s worth the time and the money to send a few people for special training in how to deal with the media. At the break, I had the chance to see for the first time the article from the New York Times, the paper of record for the United States. And I found five mistakes.
So be sure that you have people that know how to work with the media, who are comfortable with them, and who practice with them. And when you do your exercises, invite the media. Let them come and be a player. Interview with them. Explain to them what you’re doing. It will heighten the public’s sense of security that you do care about them, that you are planning ahead of time. But, it will also help to educate the media.
In the summer of 1999, the Fred Friendly Seminars sponsored a couple of us to come back, and believe it or not, train the leaders of the media of the United States in some of the issues related to terrorism. And I became famous for getting up and telling them, "I don’t know a lot about what you do, but you don’t know anything at all about what I do. I’ve had to take 160 hours of classroom training to learn how to try to help you do your job. I wish you’d spend 8 hours trying to learn to help me do mine." The media really needs to become a partner.
Cyber safety is very important today. We’ve seen denial of service attacks. We’ve seen viruses and worms. Be prepared for your system to be attacked. If somebody wants to take down your transit system, think of how much automation you have today, and how quickly they could cause accidents if they could tamper with that automation. Have hot sites, cold sites; redundant safety controls; and, virus protection in place. It’s a great investment in safety.
Be sure that your logistics are prepared, that you have vendor lists and pre made contracts. Because after a disaster, you will not be the only one calling the engineering company or calling the contractor. Have some people that you work with on a regular basis who will consider you their number one customer.
Exercising—I talked about it through the talk—is very important. Tabletop exercises are a good way to introduce your training program. It’s not a test. It’s a learning experience. Expect your tabletop to yield improvements and changes, and try to do it every year. It can be done in a low-key environment, It’s a low stress exercise. It keeps people thinking about your preparedness level. And it helps you keep constantly up to date as systems or personnel change.
Functional exercises with your partners can be expensive, so join in existing annual drills. Most communities that you work with will have an annual or semi-annual drill on their biggest natural hazard, whether that’s an earthquake, hurricane, flood, or an ice storm.
Remind your partners to include transit elements in the exercises that they’re doing. If they’re doing a flood exercise, remind them, "You might need a bus bridge around the flooded area. You might need to reroute some of your public transit. Let us be at the table and work with you on that."
Have a full-scale exercise at least every two years. Again, they’re very expensive, but join in with your other partners that have existing drills. Hazardous materials teams are required to have exercises, full-scale exercises, every year to keep their certification. Get them to build in a bus as a shelter element. Or a blockage of one of your routes as an element, so that you can practice how you’ll handle that. Hospitals are required by the state and federal government to have exercises periodically. Be part of their exercises as well. If you have a Metropolitan Medical Task Force, we exercise every six months. In San Jose, some are annual. But join us. We had a wonderful exercise, actually at the Valley Transit Authority yard, where we used three of the light rail trains. We simulated that somebody had done a Sarin attack on a light rail train. Don’t write that off. It is possible. And so we had our firefighters go right to the yard and practice how they would handle it. The VTA staff learned a lot from watching us. And we learned a lot about how difficult it is to work in a light rail train, cramped environment.
Also, airports have to have exercises, based on their FAA requirements, about every three years, I believe that is. Join in with them.
Remember that emergency preparedness if you take an all-hazards approach is dual use. Emergencies are large but they are also small. You also have planned events, like festivals, conventions, visits from dignitaries, and if you have an emergency plan, you can use that to handle big and small events much better. And you can use these experiences to become better acquainted with each other’s staff members. One of the most important things that happened to us in creating the Metropolitan Medical Task Force was not the planning that we did, but becoming acquainted with each other, knowing each other on a first name basis. Having each other’s cell phones and home phones, not because it’s in the emergency plan, but because we’re friends. We really know each other now as people. And we know that we can call and depend on each other in times of crisis. You can’t get that from a piece of paper. But you can get that from a planning process. Your exercises will allow you to test your critical communications plans. How do you work with multiple frequencies in the field? Do you have the right phone numbers? Do you know how to get in touch with each other? And PIO plans can be understood and trusted, both by the field personnel and by the media. So both ends of the spectrum can be comfortable with each other.
So what equals success for all hazards emergency preparedness? Threat analysis; coordination with your partner; building on existing plans; having a written plan that is specific to your agency; having a local emergency operations center; exercising; and remembering that your efforts are not just for the "big one." They really are a dual use activity.
Thank you very much.
That speaker is like taking a sip out of a fire hose. Thank you, Frannie.
We have actually another person on the team that we have added for the purpose of responding to the September 11th information needs, and that’s Dr. David Pinault, who is the professor of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University. He’s an author and professor of long standing, and a sought-after speaker.
David was unable to be with us today, but he would have commented to you in regards to the religious side of this peculiar kind of crisis that we face. He would have stressed the importance of recognizing that Islam, the Muslim religion, is indeed a peaceful religion. Whether it’s a [Inaudible] or Jihad sects of that religion, they teach peace. And they teach understanding, and caring and love. And do not teach violence in any respect. That indeed, I think, was Brain who offered a catch phrase that has been picked up by Dr. Penault. And that is that the Muslin religion has been a respectable religion that has been highjacked by a bunch of hoodlums for personal gain, or [Inaudible]. And indeed, that is the case.
So, as you go home and have the overwhelming sense of needing to do racial profiling in this issue, don’t do it. It is not the right approach and will only cause serious problems and fall into the trap that Bin Laden has set for us in that we are not counter attacking against Islam or the Muslim religion or people that have swarthy skins, like us Italians. It is indeed our responsibility to counter attack our terrorists. And only those who are dedicated to that purpose.
That is a summary. He offered the information in a more poignant, understandable, and caring way. And, we may have an opportunity of exposing him to you at some time in the future.
Let’s move now to… And by the way, before I close that comment, the little brochures that I mentioned to you have been prepared. They are not perfect. But, starting on Monday and having them printed and Fed Ex’d to us last night, they’re out on the table out front. For those of you who had asked us about terrorism vulnerability assessment services, we can provide those. Pick up one of the brochures. There is a tear-off inside. And provide it to me or to APTA or AASHTO and they’ll get it to me.
Questions and Answers
Let’s proceed now with the question portion. We’ll go until 11:30 and at 11:30, we’ll move very expeditiously into the dining room, which is the Pierce Dining Room, just around the corner and to the side. Remember to take your parcels with you.
Questions now? Direct those questions to an individual if you’d like. Say your name first so we all get to know you too.
If those of you who would like to ask questions can kind of move towards the microphone in advance, that would be helpful. Or lift up your hand. Greg has a microphone and he’ll take it to you.
Mr. Jenkins. My question is in terms of threat assessment, it strikes me that the terrorists have used ingenious methods as far as using these planes with fuel to knock out the World Trade Centers; using Anthrax at NBC and ABC. So it’s very difficult for us to determine what sort of a threat we really face, without going through some sort of laundry list and chasing our tails. Can you give us some sort of idea as to how to deal with this novelty? I’m concerned, like with the Israelis, who responds to a bomb. They have a second incendiary device ready for the responders. So it’s very hard to get a handle just exactly what we should be looking at here.
PANELIST ANSWER: BRIAN JENKINS
Yeah, in terms of the threat, one of the frustrating things is—the kind of a threat analysis we cannot do, which is not going to work, is to try to catalog every conceivable vulnerability in our society, and then conjure up every conceivable threat scenario that might involve that. And of course, all of these tend to be worse case scenarios, because you don’t bother with best case scenarios. And then try to deal with that. And it does become overwhelming because you’re never entirely certain what it is going to be.
So, is there a better approach to that? And the answer is, number one, we are going to deal in an environment of uncertainty. That is unavoidable. At a minimum, we have to prepare for those things that we have seen terrorists do already. And in fact, those things that we have seen them do on more than one occasion. The argument can be made that that’s really preparing for the last war. But the fact is that unless we do that, then it continues to make that type of attack easy.
I mean, for example, let’s go to aviation security, for a moment. A unique event on September 11th—the use of the aircraft. There’s a lot of measures now being put into place to prevent the takeover of an aircraft from that happening again, but will they do exactly the same thing the next time? No. But at the same time, we are obliged to take those measures to ensure that it is not easy to do the same thing again. Because if we don’t take those measures, then we do invite them to do it again. And, we also would be crucified, and I think appropriately so, by the public for not taking those measures. And if it were to happen again, people would say, "My God, they did this. They showed you they could do this. You have to do it."
So first level of requirement—take the measures that are appropriate for those thing that we have seen them do regularly in the past. And those are some of the tactics that we talked about up here—bombings and some other things.
To go into the more ambitious efforts, where one is looking at the larger scale, rarer events that are so much more rare, that is difficult. I think we have to go with the last presentation. And that is—it is difficult to justify taking security measures to deal with the rare, albeit high consequence event, with no other justification. And therefore, do things that would help you deal with other matters anyway. What I mean by that is the following.
We don’t know if terrorists are going to continue to use biological weapons. We do know, on the basis of this Anthrax attack, we do have to revitalize our pubic health system in this country. We also face, at the same time, new diseases showing up from various parts of the world, simply as a result of globalization, increased human traffic, increased trade.
We know that we have diseases that we thought we had put away one time, coming back in new forms that are resistant to some of our antibiotics.
All of these things put together make it a good idea to revitalize pubic health, Terrorism might be the catalyst. But in fact, if we do these things, it will be a positive contribution, a sustainable contribution.
Bringing it into the area of transportation, again, we focus on the most common things or the more extreme things if we can justify doing something in security that will have additional kinds of payoffs. If reduces crime. Or it makes the system safer. It increases passenger safety. Then, that is a legitimate approach. At the end of the day, are we going to be absolutely prepared for the extraordinary events of planes crashing into the sides of buildings? Probably not. We’re not going to mount anti-aircraft guns at the top of skyscrapers. We’re not going to be shooting down commercial airliners.
So, in some cases, we realize that there is going to be a residual risk that is beyond what we can reasonably prepare for, apart from either national conversion to Islam, or moving to Canada or Paraguay. That we are going to have to accept some residual risk. So you’re not required to anticipate every conceivable thing they do. You are required to try to anticipate the kinds of things they have done in the past and take reasonable measures to protect that. It’s a common sense approach. It’s an approach of reason, as opposed to trying to drive yourselves crazy worrying about the most exotic scenarios.
One of the things that Brian mentioned in his presentation, I think Fran did too, is that surface transportation has so many access points that we’re probably not able to really harden it like we are air transportation. As a consequence, although you have to do everything you can possibly—and there are some technical things to be done—the response may be more of an area of focus for you—the ability to respond quickly as Dr. Winslow mentioned in her presentation.
There’s a question back here.
Yes, Dan Riley from Rochester, New York Regional Transit
For any of the panelists, especially Mr. Jenkins and Dr. Gerston, I would bet— student visas coming into this country have been controversial to say the least. And also, people using visas to come into the country and then not even attending the universities.
We’re on the northern border of the United States. There’s been a lot of issues about tightening up those borders, but, what about withdrawing visas and sending people on their way?
PANELIST ANSWER: BRIAN JENKINS
The visa issue is a complicated thing. If you put together all of the number of people crossing our borders and coming through ports, coming through airports from abroad, or across the Canadian border, across the Mexican border, back and forth… On an annual basis, it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 million entries a year. Those are the ones we know about. Even within that, the much smaller number of non-immigrant visas, non immigrant, non resident visas, visas issued for the purposes of business, tourism, study—those are in the territory—and don’t quote me in this number—but it’s in the territory of 15 million or so on an annual basis. So we have a large percentage of population sloshing back and forth across our borders at all times. There will be some tightening up of security at the border. We will expect that. The problem is in terms of the issue of visas, that is the responsibility of the INS. And, they are required to do the background checks, to do the due diligence, before those visas are issued. As I say, there is a problem of volume on it. But we’re going to have to get better. So that’s one point we can check.
The second thing, and this is the area where we really have difficulty. I think there are some solutions here by the way. I don’t think they shred civil liberties. And that is—once people come into the country, we lose track of them at the port of entry. I mean, you can come into this country and say you are going to the Hyatt in New York—and there’s probably 11 Hyatts in New York—and that’s it. You’re gone. You’re leaving the airport and you disappear. At that point, it is not difficult in our society—legally, I’m not talking about illegal documents—to get a drivers license, to start getting the other pieces and to build an identity. One solution, although it is one that is not in our national tradition, and one that would be strongly resisted, is a national identity card. Now, we in fact do have a surrogate national identity card. And that is, I would suspect when you were obliged to show a photo ID card, coming here to this meeting, about 90 percent of you used your drivers licenses. We do have a surrogate national ID card. We can do a lot more in some states. Some states have done more with a stripe on the back of the card, with a mark strip, with coded information. We can get, without going up to the Federal level, we can begin to approve standards at the state level. That driver’s license is really meant primarily simply to enable you to drive an automobile. In fact, it enables you to perform financial transactions, gets you on an airplane, gets you through security, and does a hundred other things for which it was never intended. It is the surrogate national ID card. We can improve the issuance of those. We can make those smart cards. We can in fact link them when they are given to foreigners. If you have a visa that expires on September 30 or October 31st, then your drivers license will expire correspondingly. We can do a lot more in this area to improve it.
Are we ultimately going to have, can we have the degree of population control that would give us a high level of confidence in security? Probably not. Vulnerabilities of a free society.
PANELIST ANSWER: LARRY GERSTON
This is I think one of the most depressing parts of all of the aftermath of September 11th. For me it is. Because I truly believe our civil liberties in this country are going to change. I don’t even know how yet. But it’s going to happen. It may be some sort of identification card, a national ID card like Brian was talking about. Maybe other things that in some way or another, will all make us much more accountable to authorities than we ever were before. I don’t even know that it is avoidable. I think it’s one of those out growths of this terrible set of tragedies that is going to reshape our society. It’s terrible, but I think it is going to happen. That admittedly is an editorial point on my point of view.
Regarding the visas, it goes beyond students. It’s workers. You know where I live in Silicon Valley, it wasn’t so long where employers were hounding every member of Congress they could find with expanding the worker visa program we call H1B visas because we need those people. And a lot of them of course were from the very countries involved that may be suspect today, suspected of harboring terrorists. So, where do you draw the line between the good guys coming in and the bad guys coming in? Not to mention the fact that historically, this is a country of immigrants. It raises, I think, some very serious fundamental issues. I agree with Brain. We’re never going to come up with a perfect solution, We are going to tilt the balance. I think that’s clear. The balance is going to be tilted differently than it has in the past. For how long, I don’t know. And, also, with that, I think we’re going to see a different society. What we’re working towards here, I think, is probability, reducing probability. Because you can’t eliminate them all together short of having an outright police state. And I don’t think we’re going to go in that direction.
Let’s see if we can keep the questions short and the answers short (laughter) in order to be able to accommodate a few more questions before we have to leave.
Thanks. I’m Joyce Rose from the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation Committee.
This week, the House will be voting on aviation security legislation, which the Senate has already passed 100 to 0. Is there a need for federal legislation that gives the U.S. DOT or its agencies additional powers or that specifies new national security procedures for surface transportation—for highways, transit systems, or pipelines? For anyone in the panel.
PANELIST ANSWER: BRIAN JENKINS
Let me try to offer a free first answer.
I don’t think there is any necessity of attempting to duplicate in the area of surface of transportation the regulation that we have that governs commercial aviation in this country. Which in terms of security, does have a great deal of federal intervention and federal regulation throughout he FAA and through a very elaborate rule making process. The way the Federal government will become involved in surface transportation is the way it is already involved in terms of safety regulation. And a lot of the safety regulation does in fact have a benefit in terms of the security end as well. The U.S. government is involved in sponsorship of research. And I think that is legitimate and that should continue. The government can be a facilitator of the flow of information—not simply flow of information about threat—but the flow of information about best practices to transport operators. And I think that will be a great assistance. I think, in fact, it does not have the effect of regulation but de facto may lead us in that direction. Such as the more we publish things that are labeled "best practices." Best practices represent a goal, but in fact, they become a kind of minimum requirement, especially in a litigious society such as ours. And if something heaven forbid happens, and an operator was guilty of less than "best practices," then that’s going to give some lawyers some openings so that does become kind of an indirect means of enforcing. Although, not in an appropriate way. And then, in some cases, there is going to be a requirement for funding some improvements of visible security. I’m not talking about the federal government taking over and creating the equivalent of the British Transport Police. But, certainly in terms of some of the requirements that we’ll have to meet in order to improve the security of basic transportation infrastructure. And here we need something approaching a strategy, which we don’t have right now. And it’s the following.
As I said before, we can’t begin by cataloguing every vulnerability and then trying to figure out how to protect it. In fact, a lot of the things that we’re talking about in terms of our infrastructure, we have an aging, and in most cases, a decaying infrastructure in this country—in our ports, in our transportation systems. And in some cases, we’re talking about spending federal money to protect some pieces of infrastructure. In fact, a more sensible decision would be, "Let’s figure out how to rebuild the damn thing and design security in, rather than spend a hell of a lot of money trying to figure out how to protect this thing which is falling apart anyway."
One of the things that we may do with the national strategy is to say, "Look, this is an appropriate time. Let’s get some positive benefit out of September 11th." This is an appropriate time to review and rebuild the infrastructure of this country and make a decision whether it makes more sense to rebuild as opposed to pouring concrete to protect. And of course, once we know we get into rebuilding, then security becomes a design criteria in new construction.
The final thing is—I think this is something I learned a lesson in the UK, where they dealt with the IRA campaign. And that is—the government, through law enforcement, subsidized architectural liaison officers that would go out and in fact would help people, make suggestions. And we might be doing it indirectly in a different way. We may be doing it through the MTI, but the notion of creating people who could take the information and help those who are running these systems, or designing these systems, or building these systems, I think, is an appropriate role of government. So government is a source of resource. Government is a source of information. Government is a source of encouragement. I don’t see government as becoming, as I say, the direct regulator or federal police force for surface transportation in the same way it might for commercial aviation.
Any other member of the panel comment?
Can we keep the responses as brief as possible please? We do have some more questions.
PANELIST ANSWER: LARRY GERSTON
Yes. I think the interesting thing about this bill right now—airport security—is of course the political battle. And the political battle is more than the House versus the Senate. It is really—to what extent does the federal government become more directly involved in what happens at airports? And to that extent, it may be a precursor to what happens locally. I mean, if the Senate version prevails. For example, we know these guys will be under U.S. government payroll and supervision. If the House version passes, it will be different. But either way, it tells me that the Federal government is getting more involved. I disagree with Brian in that I think there is a likelihood that down the road, the Federal government will start to set much more strict standards. If nothing else, as to the way that public transportation systems are set up. I think it is the beginning. It’s part of the fundamental changes. In this case, the federalism change that we’re going through in this country, or may well go through.
Is there time left for me for just a quick [Inaudible]?
As Fran is getting ready to comment, the next questioner might raise their hand so that a mike can be taken to you.
I just want to make a 30-second pitch for emergency management funding. For years, FEMA provided a matching fund, Emergency Management Assistance money, to enable local jurisdictions to have a full time professional emergency manager. I think that all the major transit systems in the United States would greatly benefit by having somebody on their staff whose job was to keep an eye on emergency management.
Thank you, Fran.
My name is Betsy Jackson. I’m an urban development consultant representing the Center for Transportation Excellence.
I want to thank Dr. Edwards-Winslow for the incredibly concise primer on how to get prepared locally and regionally. But I would like to suggest another potential partner. I’m wearing my urban development hat, and that’s really the business community. The thing is, they are sort of the gateway to people who can either be completely panic stricken in an emergency, or can become successful evacuees or people to direct to particular forms of transit when they’re available.
There are a series of well-organized chambers and downtown development organizations. While 90 percent of them don’t have emergency response programs, they do have communication conduits to the business community, So they may have email broadcast lists or fax broadcast lists to concierges in office buildings. Or to the people who are doing PR and marketing out with the retailers and the other businesses. All of which can be converted, if they’re part of the team, to being pretty good communication’s conduits for emergency information So, again, another bit of a plug as I suggest that any of you probably have an institution like that in your own community. You might check with the international downtown association or the Association of Chambers of Commerce executives here in the D.C. area.
Thank you very much.
I’d like to emphasize how true that is. Unfortunately, the scope of today’s conversation was limited to transit. But, we’ve discovered that preparedness in a community can be a big decision point for businesses deciding whether to locate there, whether to expand there. And we actually had an experience in a neighboring city where because the emergency plan, and especially the hazardous materials portion of it, wasn’t taken seriously, a major company decided not to expand. And in fact, they decided to move out of that community. So, the transit and emergency management piece, the third leg, really is the business community.
For Dr. Gerston—If you see a standardization on the federal level, you also see [Inaudible] resources for those standards?
DR. LARRY GERSTON:
Well (laughter), supposedly we got rid of that a few years ago with the unfunded mandates act. But it’s amazing how many things fall between the cracks.
But, to the extent that this is perceived as a crisis, and a long-term crisis, that requires a massive infusion of dollars… yes, I think that will have to come. And it’s the only way that state and local governments are going to be able to do it, because they are really, right now, at a particularly bad point in the last ten years. It’s a real low. This recession kicked in even before the September 11th events. So, I think so. I would expect to see some federal money with it. And believe me, this is down the road. I don’t think it’s going to be the next month or the next two. They’ve got to deal with first things first. And the problem right now is—we have too many first things first. But to the extent that this becomes a harbinger of things to come, yeah I think there will be standardization in money.
I’m Tony Kane with AASHTO. Question with the highways, bridges, and tunnels. While your pie chart only showed 5 percent of the attacks had been there, do you have anything in terms of chronologies of those events. Everything in your report seemed to be on public transit? Or any insights into incidents, whether the early part of the century later part—any lessons learned? Any thoughts at all?
The focus of the chronology was on transportation and less on the infrastructure. At the same time, outside of war time, within the realm of terrorism by the way, in terms of conditional sabotage, conditional sabotage only accounts for less than 2 percent of terrorist activity in general. Terrorists either go after symbolic targets that have great meaning. Or they carry out attacks for the purposes of killing people. They have tended not to go after infrastructure, where we’ve seen infrastructure attacks largely against more vulnerable things, like electrical power grids, and pipelines, have been in places where there have been ongoing guerilla wars for example. And it becomes a part of economic warfare.
The thing that tends to protect bridges and tunnels, especially tunnels, is the hardness of the target itself. The magnitude of the target and the difficulty of creating the kind of enormous actual structural damage. To get a collapse requires skill and it’s not as easy at it looks, as you all well know, which may be a deterrent.
The biggest danger in terms of tunnels is, as we see it, accidents. Its fires, its toxic materials, its smoke fumes… things of that sort that are the vulnerability. So it’s not that it’s easy to collapse a tunnel and… whether it’s the East River or the Chesapeake Bay… flood the tunnel. But rather, the creation of fires, or the dispersal of chemical substances, hazardous materials, or even the distribution of some type of biological substance could result in an immediate threat of large scale casualties; a longer term threat to public health; or, as we meet it, we’re shutting down a Senate building for a number of weeks here, a lengthy shut down which then could have economically cascading and disruptive effects.
So that’s in a nut shell. But, no, there is not a major chronology that I know of, that scenario, which needs more work.
Does it appear that we have many more questions? May I ask you each about one other issue that has popped up recently. And that’s the thought that the federal government does have access throughout its various security organizations to information, which is often times not shared broadly for the sake of not revealing sensitive information. That information then is not available for local use.
How do we address that issue?
PANELIST ANSWER: BRIAN JENKINS
It’s getting better with the creation of the task forces in the major cities—the FBI and local task law enforce
The FBI and local law enforcement task forces. That problem is being addressed. The next step is, however, disseminating it out into operators. And here I really do recommend that you all take a look at it, because I don’t want to give a lengthy answer here, take a look at the case study of the United Kingdom. And the methods that they set up to disseminate information, while at the same time protecting sources and methods, they did so in an agreed upon set of alert levels. They were very good at getting information out through the police departments and into the private sector, with agreed upon protocols in advance that enabled the private sector to take appropriate security measures without knowing or needing to know precisely the source of the information, the collective method of the operation, the other techniques involved. It imposes an additional burden of government of making that translation from raw intelligence into… in fact, what you need as operators, you don’t need to know the name of the individual or the cell or the this or that. You need to know at what level of alert and expecting what type of attack and potentially in what area. You need the basic stuff. And the government can be more effective in translating that into useful information for the operators.
That may be something that RSPA or another federal agency could lead the development of that national security alert system that Britain has used so effectively.
Please do read the reports. There is a lot more information in the reports that is systematically presented, that if you follow it, can aid you dramatically.
If you need us directly, fill out one of those forms asking us to stop by and we would be pleased to do that.
Please now, let’s vacate this room expeditiously, move over and have lunch, and then come back here at 12:15 back in your seats, please.
For those of you who are standing, there are some chairs over on this side that we can move out from behind the post if you would like to sit.
Ladies and gentleman, this part of the program reminds me of the elder and the telling process, where you tell about the great warriors of your society so that the new people will remember who the great people were, as did our native American tribes.
I’ve had the pleasure of doing that telling more times than I can remember with this great warrior. He was born of Japanese-American parents in the city of San Jose. He was just like you and me growing up in that city, until Pearl Harbor occurred. And by the early part of the following year, he was bundled up with his family and a couple of hundred of thousand other Japanese-Americans and sent off to an internment camp. I’ll never forget the picture of Norm as a boy Scout with his baseball mitt and his ball and his baseball bat getting onto the train to go to Wyoming. And it’s interesting that the security people took the baseball bat because it was a weapon. And he went through that and made some wonderful friends, not the least of which is Senator Simpson. And then Norm came back to Santa Clara Valley. He went to the University of California at Berkeley. He graduated with a business degree. He went into the Army, where he became an intelligence… obviously, in the intelligence corps. He served in Korea. Then he came back and became active in his family’s insurance company. He was then chosen to be at first a human relations commissioner, then a city council member, then a mayor. He was the first Japanese-American mayor of a major mainland city.
He went on then to become elected to Congress in 1974 and served in Congress until 1995. During that time, he remarkably became Chair of the Freshman class his first year on Congress. He became a Whip his first year in Congress, which is quite remarkable. He went on to chair many committees, most notably the whole sequence of committees in what is now called the Transportation Infrastructure Committee, the Oversight Committee, the Aviation Committee, the Surface Transportation Committee. And while he was chair of the Surface Transportation Subcommittee, he was the primary author of the now quite remarkable ISTEA—Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act. He proceeded on then to become chair of the over all committee and chaired additional landmark legislation. But I think the legislation that he is most proud of is not transportation but is rather the Reparations Bill that reimbursed the people who were incarcerated, Japanese-Americans who were incarcerated during the Second World War.
He proceeded then, after his time in Congress, to become a Vice President and Senior Vice President for Lockheed-Martin. We in Santa Clara County remember Lockheed as Lockheed. And then he went on to become the first Japanese-American to serve in the Cabinet as Secretary of Commerce. And then, has now been chosen and confirmed unanimously as the Secretary of Transportation.
Interestingly enough, he has been in two different administrations headed by two different parties. That highlights his focus on the issues, rather than on part of the issue. It highlights his remarkable acceptability to all people. And the caring that he shows to other people and that they show, in turn, to him. It highlights that he’s really the right Secretary of Transportation for these very difficult times.
Welcome, please, Secretary Norman Y. Mineta.
SECRETARY NORMAN MINETA:
Thank you, Rod, for that kind introduction. And thank you everyone for that warm welcome.
I am pleased and honored to be your keynote speaker this afternoon, and I appreciate you allowing me to be a last minute add-on to your schedule. I want to commend your organizations for having the foresight to schedule an event on the terrorism threat and transportation. Who would have thought that when you scheduled this event we would have been confronted with the challenges before us?
America is a fundamentally different place from the one that awoke on September 11th. We have entered into a new era in transportation, an era in which one of our most cherished freedoms, the freedom of mobility, has been threatened.
Overcoming that threat will require all of us to take a fresh and honest look at the business we are in. And I will tell you now, this is not business as usual.
We must re-think the basic approach with which we provide for the safety and security of everyone traveling on America’s transportation systems.
President Bush has said, we are in a war. Vice President Cheney has said that this may be the first war in our nation’s history where the number of casualties on the home front will exceed those on the battlefront.
That makes our communities the frontline of this war, and that means the transportation systems you represent here today are at risk.
These systems are at risk of being targets of terrorists. They are also at risk of being used as weapons against Americans—weapon delivery systems used to damage or destroy our communities.
Therefore it requires us who are in charge of managing these systems to work around the clock to protect them from these attacks.
I want to talk to you today about one system that must show improvement right away. Aviation is not on your agenda today, but I know many of you are involved in your communities’ airports and are keenly interested in the security of our aviation system. I want to outline some of the steps that I am taking to make those improvements.
Today, America has an airline industry-based security system. Unfortunately, it is a system where deficiencies exist. Someone may undergo strict screening in Kansas City, while someone else can slip a pistol by screeners in New Orleans. This is intolerable.
We have required air carriers and airports to implement new security measures after September 11th, and to correct any failures in the application of those measures. Nevertheless, an unacceptable number of deficiencies continue to occur. The result is a growing lack of confidence and increasing criticism of the actions taken by the FAA.
I want to reverse that trend. We must make sure the implementation of current security measures is done in an effective and consistent manner. When we find ineffective or inadequate implementation of security measures, we must crack down on those failures.
This morning I met with special agents of the FAA from around the country. I told them I want them to crack down on security screening failures occurring around the country. I want them to take decisive action in making sure that the security measures we announced September 11th are implemented regardless of who is in charge of managing the system.
Let me be specific: If secure areas in airports have been compromised, we will take corrective actions to recheck passengers, including re-screening passengers.
If a secure area is breached, FAA agents will empty the concourse, re-screen passengers, and if necessary, hold flights.
If improper screening of carry-on luggage is occurring, we will hold flights and re-screen passengers or luggage.
And if we see untrained screeners, FAA agents will stop the operation and bring passengers back for re-screening when proper procedures are put into effect.
I want consistent accountability. I want confidence restored in the screening system. And the way to accomplish that goal under the current system is to know that when people fail to meet the current requirements, it is going to sting.
Every time the system is not followed it breaks down the confidence of the traveling public—and it reduces the confidence they have in the Federal Government.
I have also asked the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General to provide special agents from his agency to supplement the over 500 agents from the FAA to inspect the various airports around the country.
And, I have asked FAA Administrator Jane Garvey to investigate hiring additional agents and reassigning agents from other departments to assist in this effort.
In addition, Congress now has an opportunity to empower the Federal Government to take command of our aviation system’s security system, and they can do that this week by passing legislation, H.R. 3150, to provide direct government control of security screening at the nation’s airports, and maximize the safety and security of American aviation.
While aviation is critical, it is not the only key transportation asset of the U.S. Your conference is focusing on surface transportation, and I want to discuss how we must work to also protect the critical infrastructure elements of our railways, roads, transit systems, pipelines, and waterways.
Last month, I created the National Infrastructure Security Committee (NISC) at DOT to focus on intermodal transportation security issues in the "new" threat environment. It has established various Direct Action Groups, or DAGs, that bring in key industry reps, labor leaders, and other stakeholders to provide input to DOT on maritime, pipeline and hazardous materials issues.
Together, we have identified high-value, high-consequence transportation assets and current protection strategies. We are developing a set of national standards that address a prudent level of protection for our most critical transportation assets. And we are addressing strategic gaps between the current and desired level of protection for the most critical of these assets.
This is an unprecedented effort on the part of DOT, industry, and labor, and others to work together to identify best practices across all modes that should be incorporated into contingency response plans similar to what we see in the aviation community via the Aviation Security (AVSEC) Contingency Plan.
In the wake of the September 11th attacks, we have found ourselves revisiting very important issues that certainly had our attention prior to that date, but to which we are now a captive audience.
These include the need for improved information sharing and dissemination of threat information between government and industry.
They include the need for protections and incentives that encourage private sector entities to voluntarily work with government, and to cooperate among themselves knowing their proprietary information is protected.
And they include the obvious need for security-related legislative changes.
The Office of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Council will coordinate federal, state and local efforts to strengthen protections against terrorist attacks here in the United States and DOT has a very important role to play in all efforts at increasing homeland security.
To that end, legislation has been introduced as the Secure Transportation for America Act by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Subcommittee on Aviation, which would establish a new Transportation Security Administration within DOT.
This entity would be responsible for security for all modes of transportation. We are awaiting to see how this will play out and are working on all the issues involved with the potential for a new DOT operating administration.
There is other pending legislation on the Hill of which DOT may play a central security role.
The Rail Security Act of 2001, introduced in the Senate two weeks ago by Senators McCain and Hollings, provides for improvement of rail safety and security, to include expanding railroad police authority to any rail carrier, and for assessing security risks associated with rail transportation.
It also provides for a review of existing DOT rail regulations for the purpose of identifying areas in which those regulations need to be revised to improve rail safety and security.
The legislation raises a heightened awareness for the need for collective action and facilitates the development of coordinated interagency and public-private approaches to port security.
It provides for vulnerability assessments for the 50 most strategically and economically important U.S. ports that also happen to be where 90 percent of the cargo is shipped.
The legislation provides additional authority to prescribe regulations to protect the public from crime and terrorism; provides an accreditation of foreign seaports; provides loan guarantees for port security infrastructure improvements; and provides port related crime data collection and improved Customs reporting procedures.
Of course, DOT is working with the Congress to ensure this legislation captures what is needed to ensure the United States can guard itself against terrorism in the maritime arena.
We also need to make sure that security for other transportation modes matches up with port security. It would make no sense to impose a security system for ports if other modes represented a security gap.
Other transportation security measures include improving transit security, passenger rail security as well as that of our ports and other maritime facilities.
For example, in the HAZMAT area, on October 12, I sent legislation to Congress calling for tough actions to address the serious problem of undeclared or hidden shipments of hazardous materials. The safety and security challenge is huge, but know that we are up to the challenge and we will meet it.
We are committed to ensuring the safety and security of all our nation’s transportation systems to protect the outstanding working men and women who operate and service them, and the passengers who rely on them.
As we move forward from September 11th, we must increase our vigilance, and we must take new steps to move people and goods safely and efficiently, recognizing that the nature of the threats has changed.
Travelers will see increased security measures at our airports, train stations, and other key sites. There will be higher levels of surveillance and more stringent searches.
The traveling public may experience some inconveniences, but we must do what is prudent in order to protect our citizens and transport workers—with safety and security as our highest priorities.
The public, however, must also understand the need for patience, and that patience is the new from of patriotism.
The organizations you represent are the engines that drive this economy, and we must ensure that our transportation systems will never again be used as engines of destruction. And I am confident that we will bounce back from the September 11th attacks.
We are in this for the long haul and we are in it together. I know that is your goal, and the Department of Transportation and this Administration share that goal. Working together, I know we will prevail.
In closing, let me say that the efforts of each and every one of you will be critical in the days ahead as we work to restore full faith and confidence in our transportation system. And let not our enemies doubt our resolve.
Forty years ago, President Kennedy said that America will pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, and oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
A few weeks ago, President George Bush drew a line in the sand. "You are," he said, "either with us, or you are against us." He said, "We will not waver or tire or falter or fail. Peace and freedom will prevail."
With your dedication, commitment, and professionalism, we have the skills and the vision that America needs to restore confidence in our nation’s transportation system. We will not falter. We will not fail.
Thank you again for your time and your attention. It has been a pleasure for me to join you here today
Thank you very much.
Folks, Secretary Mineta is called back to the White House immediately. He was asked not to spend the time to be with us. He insisted. It was awfully nice that he did that, but he can’t stay for questions. And please hold your seats until he can get clear.
And then we’ll have just a few minutes of break and set the panel, I’ll turn it over to administrator Engleman, and we’ll have the afternoon session.
I think it’s comfortable now for you to move around a little bit if you’d like to, and we’ll set the panel up. Those of you on the panel, please come forward.
Alright, we’ll proceed.
We’re going to have the same format as we did this morning, with the presenters here relating to you their various areas of expertise. And the objective is in about ten minutes, to let you know what they can do for your personnel, if you’d like to send your personnel to a training program with them.
These programs have been in existence for a long time. But have been relatively lightly used. If we can bring them to your attention, they’re certainly the kinds of programs that need to be used after the September 11th disaster. So begin preparing your questions now. And, I’ll turn the program over to administrator Engleman, who was introduced earlier, and who will be the moderator for the panel.
Thank you, everyone.
One of the advantages, well there are so many, of having the opportunity to lead the Research and Special Programs Administration is the fact that we are so intermodal. And when you’re dealing with safety and security, what I like to say is—neither safety nor security has jurisdiction. We have no jurisdictions that we can claim that can eliminate safety and security as only my turf, or only my fiefdom or only my stovepipe. Safety and security belong to all of us. And this afternoon, you’re going to have an opportunity to see how interrelated this all is. We’re working on this together. And we're almost going to do a little case study here, I would almost say, because you’re going to hear four, or potentially five, if we can find Christine, vignettes of about ten minutes each. And I’m supposed to admonish the speakers to 10 minutes, I don’t have a bell or anything but we’ll find some kind of process for that. And we’re going to ask that they keep their comments to ten minutes and then we will have an opportunity for Q&A following all the presenters. If that’s alright, we’ll do it that way.
I want to do one real quick plug for RSPA, and remind you again. In my opening comments, when I stated that we had a broad agency announcement that is out right now, which is a solicitation for ideas, for programs, for technology that apply to transportation infrastructure assurance applications. Now we’re truly looking for all the good ideas that you can find, so I am putting a plug in for that VAA again, which closes on November 21. I ask that if you’re working with industry partners, consulting groups or your own internal groups, that we truly welcome your insight and information.
RSPA also has a key role within the Department of Transportation to be a conduit for all of these ideas. And it is also multi agency. So if you have ideas that might affect the Department of Energy for instance or the Department of Defense, we’re also acting as a conduit for that and we will ensure that they get a proper response.
A lot of good people have given us letters and faxes and telephone calls with their suggestions. This is a formal way to submit your idea, and we request that you follow that procedure if possible.
Now, it’s my true pleasure to introduce the first person on this afternoon’s panel. Mort Downey is someone that I have had the privilege to work with for about seven years actually. Because in my former organization as president of Electrocorp, during my time there, Mr. Downey was the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation. So, he was my boss in some ways. And, my colleague in others.
Currently, he is the principle consultant at PBConsult, which is one of the Parsons Brinkerhoff subsidiaries. And he’s doing consulting work, if you will, on focus on infrastructure assets, especially cost effective physical systems, and other vital systems that promote mobility and economic growth.
As you know, Mr. Downey was at DOT for eight years. And he really was one of the more strategic people during that tenure. He was responsible for operations and all aspects of DOT’s mode. As you know, those are our divisions, whether it be air, sea, all land transportation. He was the Chairman of the National Science and Technology Committee on technology; a member of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Council; and a member of the board of directors of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, which you know as AMTRAK.
Previously, he was Executive Director and CFO of New York Metropolitan Transit Authority. So he’s one of you, if you will. He’s also worked in the U.S. House of Representatives committee on the budget. And the Port authorities of New York and New Jersey.
He’s received far too many awards for me to list right now. So, I’ll just say one of the more important ones since I’m from Harvard because he is a graduate of Yale. (Laughter) But that’s alright. He did complete the advanced management program at Harvard’s business school, which just tells you that he still had to go to Harvard to finish his education. (Laughter).
Mr. Mort Downey…
Thank you. I think it was President Kennedy who said, who was very nice when they gave him a Yale degree to go with his Harvard education. I did it in opposite order. But thank you for the introduction.
I think I’m here, as I read the program, as the representative from the private sector. That’s a new role for me, certainly. But security is not a new issue. This is an issue I have lived with for the last 8 years. And I want to thank some of the people who are here today who are still working on it or have been working on it and have put us to the place where we are now. There is still a lot to be done, but we’re not starting from scratch. The Mineta Institute has taken this issue on. RSPA, its Office of Emergency Preparedness, and especially the Volpe Center, and the Office of Intelligence and Security, and the Secretary’s office, have been on this case for a long time. And we really owe them for what they’ve done so far.
We know there is more that needs to be done and I don’t want to repeat speeches that any of us might have given over the last few years. But I did go back this week and look at a book that was published two years ago by Ashton Carter and Secretary Bill Perry called Preventive Defense. Let me just read two passages: "Someday in the not too distant future, Americans will be attacked with these deadly agents, just as the Japanese were in the infamous subway attacks. We do not know where the first such attack on U.S. soil will take place, and we do not know when. Like the attack on Pearl Harbor, an incident of catastrophic terrorism will divide our past and future into before and after... The effort and resources we have so far devoted to avoiding or containing this threat now, in the period before, would seem woefully inadequate when viewed with hindsight after an incident of catastrophic terrorism." We should have heeded that warning, but we certainly can heed the warnings we have received since. As Brain Jenkins said this morning, there will be additional events and you need to be ready for those. We’re in a period after catastrophic terrorism has occurred, but we know it can occur again. Given that fact, given the fact that in that spectrum of public response, that Larry Gerston talked about this morning, we still are in a period where the public has high confidence in what we are doing. We need to take advantage of that and move forward.
The need for the steps that we have take is clear. In addition to national security, I would make a point it’s evident as plain, old-fashioned common sense as well. Many of the things that we are doing, that we should be doing, that we will be doing have strong economic potential as well. When you look at operations such as yours and think about your economics, think about what your insurance costs are going to be. If you haven’t, take appropriate steps. Think about what you’re borrowing costs will be. If the rating agencies or bankers look at whether you’re prepared, they’re going to want to know that you’ve taken the steps that you need to take.
Look at your accounts. Your accountants are not going to give you a clean audit opinion, if you can’t tell them what you’re doing about security issues. Look at your budgets. Think about the ridership losses that occurred on the Paris subway after the explosions there, and those ridership losses were a long time being rebuilt. Think about the point that was raised this morning about the business climate of your community. Increase investments in your future, not just investments in something we all need to do for national security reasons. And many of the things that we should be investing in are going to pay off everyday, not just on that one day when we hope we don’t have to use them, but everyday.
If you have good communications, with your customers whether they are highway or transit, you’re going to use those communication systems every day to improve your service. If you have fire fighting and emergency response capabilities, you’re going to be able to respond to all sorts of things that have happened. Look what happened in the last week in a European tunnel where a response had to occur. I think they wish they had better preparations. Evacuation plans ought to be useful for natural disasters. Secure stations and facilities, as Brian Jenkins has been talking about his morning, are in fact deterrents for crime as well as terrorism.
Investments and the ability to track cargo, especially at our ports, could actually improve the efficiency of the transportation system as well as being important deterrents. If you want something to worry about, worry about the millions of containers that come into this country every year, and about one-tenth of one percent of them ever get inspected. Often times, it’s 30 days after they’ve arrived before the government is even told they are here. I think you read in the paper this week about a terrorist who had taken up residence in a cargo container and was moving in some direction as yet unknown.
There are lots of things we need to be doing and I would say that the private sector can be part of that response for you. We can help with design issues. We can help with facility issues. The kinds of vulnerability assessments that have been underway for a long time, are just an extension of things we’ve all done in the past. We need to think in an orderly way. And we could be helpful in that, about doctrine, about protocols, about how to deal with a variety of foreseeable, maybe even some almost unforeseeable circumstances. When do we evacuate? How do we move trains when there’s been an incident? How do we make sure we’re not spreading a problem as opposed to containing it? What are our duties to the users of the facilities? Does it make sense to evacuate them or to contain them, if it’s possible given human behavior? There may be some difficult choices to make. You don’t want to start thinking about them when they are before you. You want to start thinking about them now.
Who is in charge of your system, in an emergency situation? And that may not be you. It may turn out to be some other entity that says, "Turn all the trains around and get people out." You need to have those relationships in place, as we heard this morning.
And you need to think about training your employees. That’s really a major focus of this session this afternoon. And it’s not just first responders. It’s also what we would call pre-responders—people who would be at the facility all the time and in fact can observe and see what is going on and think about what are normal conditions and what might be happening, who can make the right response in an unforeseen circumstance. Read the case study in the Mineta Transportation Institute document you got this morning about the Sarin attack in Tokyo. We have got to learn from that. They didn’t know what they were doing. And each step they took made it worse for not only the responding, but the rest of the people in the community. So we need to train the people who are at the front line, who are out there as platform cleaners or roadway maintainers. And we need to train them in some fairly sophisticated responses.
You also heard discussion this morning about standards. Who should develop standards? Will they be voluntary? Will they be mandatory? Will they be unfunded mandates? And that clearly is a risk. The government may well decide that they should undertake the development of standards. You need and we need to begin that process to be sure they are workable. There needs to be a real partnership between the public and the private sectors to generate the kind of response that is called for. Government does reach out to the private sector for services in normal times and should be doing the same in these kinds of times because there’s a reservoir of knowledge. There’s a reservoir of understanding. There is expertise. We need to appropriately consider issues of security and confidentiality. But we need to use all the assets we can.
So let me not turn my remarks into a total infomercial. But I would like to talk about a few of the things we are doing, not because they are unique services, but they are typical of what you could reach out for and what you should be reaching out for.
One facility in particular that I did want to comment on—one we call the Center for National Response. This is a highway facility, a formerly utilized tunnel in West Virginia. It became redundant because the roadway was moved. But it has been used and invested in by the Federal Highway Administration and others to be a test bed, to study just the kinds of things that we’d like to know more about in the case of an actual emergency. It is a two lane, 2,800 foot tunnel. It was built as part of the West Virginia turnpike. It was abandoned when a new highway went in place. And in the planning for the Central Artery project in Boston, it was the test bed for ventilation systems fire and smoke. And it is still there. It’s been invested in further, to make it available for training. It has the ability to train staff in issues like response to a chemical attack. It is one of many places you might use but it’s the kind of thing you should be looking at to give your people realistic exposure to the kinds of events that they might have to respond to.
Other services are out there. There’s a brochure that we put together to suggest what we do and how we could be helpful. Preparedness training, inspection systems for cargo and facilities, the training of the pre-and first responders, review of facilities, review of plans, helping you think through consequence management, policy reviews, readiness assessments. All of these are the kinds of things you have to do. You should be doing that. Emergency preparedness is really something that you hope never has to be deployed, especially as Brain said this morning, not in a preventive way but in a response way. We know we have to have that capability. Private sector is certainly ready to work with you on developing your responses, but the leadership has to come from you. I think the public is ready to follow that leadership. I’m certainly pleased by the turnout today and we look forward to working with you.
Sherrie Anderson is next. Sherrie is a program manager with the Department of Transportation’s Office of Intelligence and Security.
She is currently sitting in for Rear Admiral James Underwood, who needs to stay back at our office today. And so we thank Sherrie for coming in at the last minute. But I know how good she is so her presentation will certainly not be of last minute quality.
Sherri is from the West Coast. She actually graduated from the University of San Francisco. Her current title at [Inaudible] is the program manager for land transportation security. So I probably should go tell Jim at lunch tomorrow that you should have been invited first anyway.
Prior to this, she had been working with USA overseas security. And, she has been a previous DOT investigator. She brings in—I’m not supposed to say years—many years of experience into transportation security and intelligence.
I ask you to welcome Sherrie Anderson.
Thank you. Please allow me a few minutes to get organized. I'm sure all of you have had the experience of being called at the last minute to make a speech that you were not expecting to do. Since 9-11, that seems to be the new normalcy, performing extra duties and working long hours. We are all committed to ensuring that the transportation system remains safe and secure.
Regretfully, Rear Admiral James Underwood, Director of the Office of Intelligence and Security was unable to be here with you today. He was called to an unscheduled meeting on national security. However, this seminar is important to him and he asked that I represent on his behalf.
I am here to talk about a very important program that was developed by the Department of Transportation, Department of Treasury's Federal Law Enforcement Center, and our industry partners. I am excited about the development of the Land Transportation Antiterrorism Training Program simply because many of you sitting out there or your personnel helped us to develop this program. The need for antiterrorism training was made known to us many years ago by transit and railroad officials based on a lack of enhanced training in the antiterrorism area. The outcry was great and the need was clearly defined by land transportation law enforcement officials. The Office of Intelligence and Security is constantly looking for new initiatives to enhance transportation security while providing leadership and guidance on security matters that impact transportation. We support the Secretary's number one priority of maintaining a safe and secure transportation system. In thinking out side the box, staffs in the Office of Intelligence and Security were happy to accept the challenge of developing this initiative.
We recognize that transportation and transportation infrastructures are potential targets for terrorist attack. I missed your session this morning, but I'm sure Mr. Jenkins covered threats against transportation in detail. We must continue to work through issues involving system vulnerabilities and improved countermeasures to eliminate opportunities for another terrorist attack against transportation. Admiral Underwood was questioned about land transportation security, particularly baggage screening in the passenger rail environment, during his testimony on Capitol Hill last year. My thoughts at the time focused on miles and miles of unprotected track. How do we begin to deal with that issue? Land transportation provides an attractive target simply because public transportation carries millions of people daily.
Think about what has happened since September 11th and the economic impact those incidents have had on our aviation system. The public confidence is not the same as it was before September 11th. A terrorist attack against transportation erodes the traveling public confidence in the transportation system, resulting in a decline in travel that affects the economy.
When considering new initiatives to enhance transportation security, we have to think about the complete picture, taking into account system vulnerabilities, countermeasures, processes, procedures, and human factors. Appropriate measures, such as training, are needed to ensure that the land transportation system remain safe and secure.
I want to emphasize how important training is. Mr. Downey noted during his presentation that there is a need for training, training, and more training. I think that's very important simply because terrorists also receive training. The terrorist trained in order to carry out the acts that were committed on September 11th. Training, surveillance, and planning went into execution those tragic acts. Their training programs are designed to cause mass disruption and destruction. We would be remiss if we failed to offer enhanced training designed to prevent, detect and deter a terrorist attack against the land transportation system.
I am very pleased to comment on the heroic acts of two Long Island Railroad police officers (now MTA) that foiled the plot of terrorists to bomb the New York Subway system in 1997. Their quick response to the threat saved many lives and was a result of law enforcement and security training.
Transportation law enforcement and security personnel are our first line of defense. However, training does not stop with personnel directly responsible for protecting the transportation system. We believe that security is everybody's business-transportation workers, including janitors, maintenance personnel, conductors, and engineers. Employees who work in operations and other areas of transportation can be the eyes and ears for law enforcement and security officials. The first responders cannot be everywhere. However, other transportation employees could be trained to alert law enforcement or security of suspicious activities they may observe while performing their duties. For an example, if safety inspectors receive security awareness training, they would be able to recognize suspicious acts or packages and report that information to law enforcement. This of course, depends on the availability of security awareness training. We do not expect the transportation employees to respond to security incidents but to report them to officials who are responsible for responding. Employee security awareness training and proper reporting procedures will enhance land transportation security.
September 11th redefined our security roles. The new normalcy means doing more to protect the land transportation system. We all now have a role in this new threat environment. We must consider the things that are happening: the public's concern regarding Anthrax and the number of suspicious packages and bags that are left unattended in stations and on trains. I was on the subway last night, when I noticed an unattended bag on the floor of the rail car. The heighten state of alert, made me aware of the possibility of the bag containing something suspicious, such as anthrax. While we must remain vigilant and alert, we must not over react. Security awareness training will ensure that we respond appropriately. The new threat environment has changed the way we do business. This is not to alarm anyone, but to make you aware of the environment we are now living in and to encourage you to ensure that your employees receive security training.
There is another incident I'd like to tell you about that had a positive ending as a result of security awareness training. A maintenance employee, who worked for Metro North in New York, discovered an improvised explosive device in the trash receptacle in Grand Central Terminal while performing his duties. Security awareness training prepared him to immediately recognize the device and notify appropriate officials. His quick response eliminated the risk of an incident occurring in the station. Every day, we have heroes who are out there performing their duties and protecting the transportation system. Some have been trained and some have not. Antiterrorism training is important and enhances the level of protection for the transportation system.
As I stated earlier, we view transportation law enforcement and security personnel as our first line of defense. They are the first on the scene in response to a threat and take appropriate action to resolve the threat by using in-house or local resources. Some of the transportation agencies have their own bomb explosive detection dogs. The transit system in Atlanta, for an example, has a K-9 team that works very closely with the local airport. The Office of Intelligence and Security provides support and assistance to law enforcement and security personnel in an effort to promote a safe and secure transportation system.
An effective security program includes security countermeasures, processes, procedures, technologies, and well-trained employees. I cannot overemphasize the importance of well-trained personnel, who are the driving forces behind the other security components. There are many ways we can attempt to protect the land transportation system. In addition to the other components, we focus on prevention through people to accomplish the objective of maintaining a safe and secure land system. In order for technologies to be used to enhance security, personnel must be trained to operate the equipment properly. Consider the aviation industry and the issues surrounding the screeners. In many cases, state-of-the-art technologies are available, but there is still a need for additional training. Congress is now debating the issue of federalizing the screeners.
We want to be ahead of the game by focusing on training for land transportation employees before we are faced with similar issues. You heard Secretary Mineta speak this morning on Department of Transportation's activities since September 11th. The security measures that are being discussed now could affect land transportation security.
Thinking outside the box, you may one day see train stations equipped with similar technologies that exist in airports. If that is the case, we will need trained personnel. Let's start focusing on training needs now by providing antiterrorism training to our first responders.
After the World Trade Center bombing in 1992, Mr. Mortimer Downey, who was Deputy Secretary of Transportation at that time, requested that our staff visit the transit and rail agencies in New York to assess the situation and offer our assistance. I was tasked with this assignment and had an opportunity to spend a week with transit and rail officials. I was able to get a better understanding of the kinds of issues that they were dealing with on a daily basis. When asked the question, "How can we help you?" I was advised of the need for antiterrorism training.
Responding to those requests, the Office of Intelligence and Security entered into a partnership with the Department of Treasury’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glenco, GA to develop the Land Transportation Antiterrorism Training Program. We listened to the collective voices of land transportation law enforcement and security officials regarding enhanced training. During the developmental phase, surveys were conducted and several forums were held in order to identify critical elements that should be included in the program.
We partnered with Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice and sponsored the International Transportation Security Conference. The purpose of this conference was to meet with our international counterparts to discuss their transportation systems, including training programs and lessons learned.
Representatives from the Land transportation agencies and DOT’s operating administrations attended the Curriculum Development Conference that was held at FLETC. Several of our partners, who participated in this effort, are in the audience. We were fortunate to have railroad and transit representatives, who were willing to assist us in developing this program.
This slide shows some of the transit and railroad agencies that were involved in developing the program. The American Public Transit Association also provided support and assistance. There were other agencies that participated in this effort. Amtrak provided assistance and is not on the slide. I apologize for omitting them. I see a representative from Toronto, Canada who was very supportive during the development phase of this project. We are very pleased that we had an opportunity to work with our partners during the two-day conference.
Conference participants designed a program to protect land transportation, including passengers, employees, facilities, cargoes, tunnels, bridges, buses and rail security operations. The participants agreed that the course material should focus on preventive and emergency response measures.
The target audience for the Land Transportation Antiterrorism Program is law enforcement and security personnel who are responsible for protecting the land transportation system. Why law enforcement and security personnel? Because they identified they requested the training program. However, the program is not limited to the first responders. There are other officials who can benefit from the course material. Senior managers have attended courses and received a better understanding of threats, vulnerabilities, and security improvements. The training allows managers to rethink the reporting structure for their police chiefs and security directors, allowing them to report directly to the senior management team. This training could also provide new funding opportunities for improved security measures, once senior managers become aware of threats and system vulnerabilities.
The course instructors are representatives from industry and government, including FLETC, FBI, CIA, DOE, DOT, New York Police Department, and the Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. We are fortunate to these instructors who bring many years of experience in counter-terrorism to the program.
Let's take a look at the Land Transportation Antiterrorism Program of instruction.
Bomb Threat Planning, Recognition and Response. The student will be introduced to proper procedures to follow in preplanning and managing bomb threats. After the Oklahoma bombing, we received inquiries from the railroad industry regarding bomb recognition training. Recently, I attended a bomb recognition course that had improvised explosive devices resembling a box of baby wipes with the device placed underneath the wipes. A similar device was placed in a lotion bottle that had been reconfigured and was difficult to determine that it did not contain lotion. Prior to attending the class, I thought bombs typically resembled objects that had hanging wires and oily surfaces. Bombs can come in all shapes and sizes. A FLETC instructor, who actually brings in different gadgets for students to examine, teaches this class.
Case Studies: Attacks Against Land Transportation Security. Through lecture, class discussion, and accompanying reference materials, this course examines in depth two separate attacks against land transportation. The contingency plan in place at the time of attack and the response will be examined.
Contingency Planning for Land Transportation. Plans and procedures must be established in order to respond appropriately during a heighten state of alert or other related situations. This course familiarizes the student with the elements needed to establish a system security plan and focuses on plans, practices and procedures in the event of a mission critical failure.
Crisis and Consequence Management. We are now in a crisis situation. How should we manage it? How do we get the system back up and running in a short period of time? The principles of a crisis management model for response to criminal and violent acts that result in mass disruption and destruction are examined in this course.
Current Threat Overview and Contemporary Terrorism. During this course, the concepts of threats in the United States, by both foreign and domestic terrorist groups, are examined.
Media Considerations. Students will receive an overview on the role of news media from a security and law enforcement perspective. Pre-incident media relation enhancement techniques and crisis communications procedures are discussed as they relate to law enforcement's relationship with the news media.
Physical Security Overview. In addition to knowing that our system is vulnerable to attacks, we must know how to improve security and what measures should be taken to prevent criminal or violent attacks. The implementation of physical security measures can improve security. One of the most talked about security concepts in the land transportation environment is crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED), which is covered during the physical security overview. Other aspects of physical security applicable to land transportation systems are examined.
Practical Exercise. At the end of the four-day training program, students will participate in a tabletop exercise involving a transportation system that has been exposed to an event requiring all of the skills learned during the training program.
Pre-incident Indicators Awareness. Terrorists conduct surveillance activities in preparation for attacks. This course examines terrorist pre-incident indicators through criminal information and intelligence processes.
Special Events Security. Planning for the Olympics is a good example of Special Event Security. One of the instructors, Gene Wilson, Police Chief of the transit system in Atlanta, brings a lot of experience to the program because of his expertise in security planning for the 1996 Olympics. The course provides basic knowledge for the security professionals in the area of short-term security protection.
System Security Planning. The student will become familiar with the elements needed to establish a system security plan, including developing, evaluating and testing the plan.
Transportation System Vulnerability. This course examines vulnerabilities of the land transportation systems.
Violence against Land Transportation. Violent acts against transportation are identified. Past terrorist acts and trends against land transportation are discussed. Lessons learned from those acts are discussed.
Weapons of Mass Destruction. This is a very important course. It is an introduction to the threat of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons of mass destruction. It covers first responder awareness level responsibilities toad chemical and biological attacks.
The Land Transportation Antiterrorism Training Program can be exported to different locations. Transit agencies in Atlanta, Boston MBTA, Los Angeles, and Utah have already sponsored the course at their facilities. In order to host a class, your assistance will be needed in making hotel accommodations and providing space for the training. A minimum of 24 students must be in the class. Students can attend from other agencies. FLETC will provide the instructors. If you are interested in hosting a course, please contact FLETC (912) 261-3186 for details. Transit agencies located in San Diego, Chicago, Dallas, and Philadelphia have agreed to host the program during 2002.
The cost of the training varies but could cost appropriately $700, depending on the location. The Office of Intelligence and Security was able to provide funds for several courses because the Secretary is committed to promoting a safe and secure transportation system. We encourage you to take advantage of the courses that have already been funded and support future course that will require you to fund.
In closing, I cannot overemphasize the importance of training. Train, train, and retrain. We must remember that the terrorists are also training and preparing to conduct an attack.
We believe that our systems can remain secure by training security personnel. We must continue to focus on prevention through people as we redefine processes and procedures and deploy new technologies. I would like to encourage you to allow your security and law enforcement personnel to attend the Land Transportation Antiterrorism Training Program.
Since Sherrie was offering to pay for some of the courses, I let her go a little longer. I thought you might want to appreciate that.
The next gentleman, Mr. Robert H. Prince Jr.—who goes by Bob, it’s my understanding—is somewhat of a phenomenon to me. Because I don’t think there is a job at Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, that he has not held. Is there? Are there any jobs that you have not held? I don’t think they exist.
This gentleman is a true public servant. He began his career in 1976, which was a pretty good year if you think about that. He started by working as a bus operator. He has been a collector, guard, motor person, yard motor person, inspector, chief inspector, train starter, dispatcher, spare information officer, spare chief dispatcher, night system wide superintendent, night weekend supervisor of rail lines—meaning he never took the day off—deputy superintendent of rail lines, special assistant to the general manager, assistant general manager for HR, Human Resources, assistant general manager for subway operations, acting general manager, chief operating officer, and guess what? He got to be general manager after all that.
I personally don’t think I could have gone through that kind of a recruitment. It’s very impressive. He is a graduate of Tuskeegee University in Alabama. Again, he has so many incredible awards that I won’t even begin to list them. But some very important keys for our knowing Bob is the fact that he is on the board of the American Public Transit Association, and the American Public Transit Foundation. He is active vice chair for rail transit, executive board member for APTA, board member for the Transit Cooperative Research Board, and a voting member for the Intelligence Transportation Systems, ITS of America.
Please welcome, a man of many talents, Bob Prince.
ROBERT PRINCE, JR:
I think after that introduction I need a vacation.
What I’m going to do is we’re going to talk about, very quickly, about what we did at MBTA. So this is not the play book, but this is what happened here at the Authority.
You know, the issues about transit here are that the police departments here are good at responding to incidents. What we do best is respond and let others do their things. And this is what we happen to have our expertise in, and what we did well.
January 15, 1997, the police department took a memo that came in regarding our preparedness and the lack thereof from the MBTA police department regarding terrorism. The MBTA is a transit organization that had a plan for many different types of contingencies, but terrorism was not on our screen.
By January 15, 1997, the following events had occurred, and many of the people prior to me have spoken about this. We had the World Trade Center issues. We had the Sarin gas release in Tokyo. And we had the Oklahoma Bombing in ’95.
So, what else happened? Well, we also had the crash that was done in Arizona in 1995. We also had the incident that happened in Atlanta with the Atlanta games. And we also had Tokyo and their issues.
The FBI had indicated that transportation systems by their very nature were vulnerable to terrorist attacks. And when their memo highlighted some of their issues, we looked at what we had here. Transit properties by their very nature were vulnerable. And that has been spoken about quite a bit right now. What we had was a TPD staff that was unprepared. Terrorism was one of our greatest threats in the U.S. right now. And, we were concerned.
On thing that was missing in the memo was that on January 12, 1997— I think I was head of operations at that time—we had gotten reliable information that two of the individuals from a Middle East country were in route to the United States and planned to blow up a subway station in Boston. I’ll tell you, it caused me some great concern and a lot of lack of sleep. What we did right then was to put together a plan. And we had met with all of our agencies and this was important because when we sat everybody down, one of the concerns that came up, the most talked about was the fact indicating that after you plan and discuss the available information, tried to determine what it meant, cleansed our resources, it all boiled down to who was going to be in charge, or what is it and where?
I went immediately to our plan book. I looked at what we had here. What we found was nothing. So, Chief O’Donovan drew up a combined law enforcement experience with his command staff, a total of 150 years of experience in this area. The staff had experience in tactics, intelligence gathering, and transit information itself. And the man power for policing major events.
What we did then was normally, we were being reactive like I’d spoken before. In this instance, we were told, "We’re coming. We’re coming soon. And can you stop me?" This was a new phenomenon for us, because we were reactive. We didn’t know how to handle this particular issue. Generally, at approximately where and when, if we missed this organization, we were losing this big time.
So, we realized a need for a plan and over the next few weeks, we hoped that plan would be put into our books for the future. The plan would have some paths that would be necessary for plans, both those current to the incident occurring and long-term plans. We did a quick assessment of the system. And based on what we had here, which was we had 175 cities and towns. They have 2,000 vehicles—buses, trains, trolleys, and boats. We have 1.2 million riders. 144 stations. 285 miles of track.
So, I was trying to narrow it down to the core of the system. Where was the most massive destruction going to happen? We determined that the central subway was the area that was the most effective.
But we also figured that people didn’t realize that Harvard University and University of Massachusetts were not in Boston. They were in Cambridge, So we also assessed as we moved forward.
The task, well, areas to be hardened obviously were the fare collection areas. We had tunnels, platforms. We had rooms that were also vulnerable that needed to be hardened. We also had tunnels that were so old that if you put something in them, we wouldn’t know it was there.
But we have something that is unique in Boston that isn’t anywhere else. It is that you can get everything from pizza to your shoe-shine and pick up your laundry in the stations. So we have vendors there which are extremely important and very difficult to want to contain if there is an issue or incident that is going to happen.
We also are very good. You don’t have to go into the subway system here in Boston to create an act of terrorism. You can do it through a vent shaft system. And if you’re not clear, we’ll mark it for you so you can find it very easily.
So, were we concerned? Absolutely. We had manpower equipment, financial constraints. Who do we involve inside the police department and who do we involve outside the police department? Obviously, what do we tell the public, because we don’t want to panic anyone here?
Assets? Well, we had manpower. We had a lot of people who had a lot of knowledge about the system and experience in other disasters. And, the fact that we knew that the incident was coming was a benefit for us.
We were looking for two things here. One was terrorism awareness training. We needed to get that done and we did that. In 1998, we hired an individual with a group that came in and gave us terrorism training.
Communications with transportation. Nobody knew the system better than the operators and the people that were using the system—the collectors.
Bomb squads and swat teams, we needed also to put those teams together. Explosive detection units. We needed to be a member of the JTTF (Joint Terrorism Task Force) and we needed to be a player in the emergency responses area.
We were putting together drills all the time. But we needed to now involve other people and be involved in other people’s drills.
Well the big question was—when and where? Well, I’ll tell you something, January of 1997 was the last time the Patriots ever got to the Super Bowl. That was the last time we had had a major event at Governor’s Center. And there was a concern for us for how we were going to secure this particular area. Well what happened? The initial threat pertained to specific events in the Middle East. There was a gentle time frame. And we were depending on the FBI for information. Critical dates in the events passed. And some of the other issues took front and center.
What we did is we developed a matrix. It had specific and unspecific parameters on what we’re looking for. Presently, we are dedicated by responsibility to the weapons of mass destruction planning and accepted the major case units. We have a quarterly drill, involving outside agencies and involving everybody here. We also have a seat at the JTTF. And we have officers assigned, right now, to that area and especially after the September 11th event, we are now at the table there working with that investigation.
Presently, we also have officers being trained in weapons of mass destruction. The majority of the officers receive a 40 hours course, actual hands on drills, talking about bomb detection and whatever. The supervisors in the subways have been given instructions on weapons of mass destruction—on the do’s and don’ts.
Issues about training and retraining people is about the fact that the first response is not to go into a system right away. To assess the system. We presently have our own special weapons and tactical force, that are available to handle any and all incidents around the transit issues. We also have presently, which is one of my favorite things, our own bomb dogs. We have several bomb dogs, two of them right now and several on order. We have a total containment system for bomb detection. We also have one robot. We have developed a computerized interactive training session. We also have a state of the art x-ray equipment to take care of any and all bomb detection issues.
My pride and joy here. This is a self-contained, full command post. What’s involved here is that about several years ago we had decided that we needed to have a mobile unit that would have us available to be able to handle any situation. If in fact the command center went down, we had a mobile command unit that could handle any and all circumstances. It has extra video capabilities, microwave, down links here. We also can communicate with our state police and helicopters. Radio management systems that have frequency bands to handle all of our radios, or anybody else that wanted to tap into our system. And, this particular vehicle was about $500,000.
Presently, in conjunction with Sandia and Argon laboratories, a consultant recently completed a study. They recommended our infrastructure improvements and upgrade noted to install chemical sensors here in the subway system under the Protects program.
What we’re looking at right now is we’re working with Lincoln Labs and the MIT to find out whether or not these detectors, given the fact that we have rail dust and all the other chemicals that are going through the subway system with the breeze that is carried through with the trains, whether or not these particular devices will work.
Rapid response saves lives. If you have a six-minute response time right now with a Sarin release, you’re looking at fatalities in the area of 372. If you have no action right now, you’re looking at 4,100. Obviously, with anthrax, it’s a little different. It’s 1,100. With no response, 27,000. Just to give you a quick look at how bad things can really get.
What happens right now is—when an incident happens, the device goes off in the area. The information gets forwarded right to the command center through fiber optics to our state of the art control center. The information is then forwarded to various agencies where first response is to know exactly what to look for when they come on the scene. So they are not rushing into a situation where they can be then casualties.
We may only mitigate an attack. We may be able to harden our targets and make it more difficult. We may also make it so difficult that the terrorist go elsewhere. But we should, with the right training, and equipment, be able to mitigate the damage.
What we’ve learned is terrorism in response to the transit agency, is not just a police issue. It’s to be considered for the total transit agency—operations, legal, human resources. It’s everybody’s responsibility.
Things to remember. Terrorist types of incidents are very difficult for most agencies. A typical transit emergency does not have the high level of threat to responders. The unknown and psychological impact will normally cause the loss of faith in the transit agency itself. And we need to communicate with the transit agency.
I think the last two speakers, both Sherrie and Bob, really illustrated the key for partnering. And that can sound like a euphemism sometimes. But as I tried to say earlier, I don’t think that safety has jurisdiction or false jurisdiction. We all have to work together—state, federal, and local—in order to ensure that.
The second lesson is preparation is the key to performance. That’s a phrase that Admiral James Lloyd of the Coast Guard likes to share with his group when he gives presentations—that preparations equal performance. So, you really can’t train enough or practice enough.
Our next speaker is going to be able to talk to you about the true front lines. Steve Vaughn is the Assistant Chief of the California Highway Patrol.
[inaudible]... and the bio-terrorism unit. And can you imagine sitting down with him at dinner and saying, "Honey, how was your day?" Amazing. However, he is from San José State University. That seems to have a lot of alums here.
Yeah, I think we got a plug in. How did that go?
And he actually began his career with CHP (California Highway Patrol) in 1980. I’d like to welcome, Steve Vaughn.
Thank you very much. I think my wife would welcome the opportunity to sit down and have dinner with me. I haven’t seen much of her the last few weeks.
I’m here today to speak directly to vulnerability assessments of large state highway, bridge, and tunnel systems. Before I do, I want to add to a couple of things that have been said here today.
First, I appreciate what Director Morales said about comments he made regarding rules and responsibilities. It’s very important that we don’t overlap or that we’re doing the same things. In California, we have a very long working relationship with Caltrans. In fact, we’re sitting on a task force which much of that information that I am going to present to you today came from cooperative efforts. And quite honestly, a lot of the work was Caltrans, between CHP and Caltrans.
And that goes hand in hand with other comments that were made today. Dr. Edwards-Winslow mentioned the emergency response. As she was giving her presentation, I was amazed at how much of that I was aware of, or how much I was trained in that. The same training program for emergency response is provided to law enforcement throughout California. I was at Loma Prieta earthquake. I started at the section of Highway 17 that collapsed. A few days later, I found myself up on Highway 17 working with the damage there. The emergency responders were all thinking and working the same way because of training [Inaudible] throughout the state of California.
So, I cannot overemphasize enough, the need for you to work together. Many of you may have a DOT and the umbrella includes state police. In California, that is not the case. We are two separate entities, but we work as one, And that is key for you as you deal with these incidents that are going to be coming up.
I put this up here. My email address is on there. If you did not get one of the handouts—it was provided at the desk out front—please feel free to contact me by e-mail and I will send you a copy of it. It’s very simple— email@example.com.
To give you a quick history, or to look at what California is faced with, in the state of California, it is comprised of 155,973 square miles. The CHP is responsible for approximately 104,000 miles that we need to patrol. Of those, 14,183 are state highways. Nearly 90,000 are county roads. In 2000, approximately 221 billion miles were driven on CHP patrolled highways.
That’s a large undertaking that we are faced with protecting in our state. There are over 1,391 dams, both federal and state operated. And 660 miles of aqueduct being patrolled by the CHP. 240 state agencies and 4,450 state buildings that we are responsible for protecting. Not only the buildings themselves, but the people inside them.
Since September 11th, the CHP has expended nearly $20 million in overtime and resources to cover those responsibilities.
We have over 7,000 uniformed officers providing coverage 24 hours a day. We’re back to 12 hour shifts as of yesterday. 2,200 marked units, 15 fixed wing, 9 helicopters. That’s what we’re utilizing to cover this.
In the work group with Caltrans, they put much of this next section together. One of the things that we had to identify is—what is it that we really need to focus in on to protect? The strategic highway network is one of the keys for us. They’ve identified 4,280 state and locally owned structures, which are an integral part of California’s economic and homeland defense infrastructure. These structures were evaluated and given the following priorities.
Priority One dealt with the hand selected group of fifteen bridges. Primarily major toll bridges and foot access bridges that were critical to the defense and economy of California.
Priority Two were the bridges that carry the strategic highway network in California. The number of bridges in this category are substantial due to the number of military bases that we have in critical defense installations in California. The bridges were sorted by descending length of structure as well. This was done to determine the difficulty of restoration after a potential loss.
Priority Three, we looked at bridges that cross over the strategic highway network.. The length again, we looked at it to see how quickly we can restore it, or if we can restore it.
Priority Four, bridges that are on the National Highway System but not in the strategic highway network. These bridges were also sorted by length for the same reasons stated above.
Priority Five were bridges that cross over the National Highway System but not spanning the strategic highway network.
One of the things that we determined was that any bridge less than 65 meters, Caltrans felt that they could repair on a temporary basis, relatively quickly, two to three weeks if it were damaged.
I see the Director looking this way. (Laughter)
California has narrowed the focus down a bit. So there are only 1,233 critical structures that we’re concerned with, but again, not a small task. We’re working very closely with Caltrans and county law enforcement agencies to protect those.
Three focal points for us are bridges, tunnels, and interchanges. Identification of local structures—California has narrowed the list even further to sixteen of what we consider the most critical. Two examples of those are the Golden Gate Bridge. We do have some military bases in the area, but it’s also a symbol, as it was indicated earlier. One of the things terrorists will be looking at is symbols. And that certainly is a symbol not only of California, but this nation.
The Coronado Bridge in San Diego, the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge, and the Webster Bay Area Rapid Transit.
Most interchange structures, while critical to the efficient movement of traffic, have sufficient alternate routes to detour traffic if damaged. So although we’re concerned about it, it’s not one of our high priorities.
What we’ve done is we’re putting together… again, I’ve mentioned this effort, this task force is one of three task forces that the Governor put together in California.
One is on terrorism, which involves my commissioner. Spike Helmick is one of the co-chairs on that.
Second is a task force that he has asked, informally I believe, to look at California’s infrastructure. And that’s what we’re working on now.
The third is a task force on safe delivery of fuels and hazardous materials. And that deals with tanker trucks—another potential target. And in that one, I’m heading that one up, we’re working with Lawrence Livermore National Labs to find some ways to effectively stop a truck should it be highjacked. We’re working with industry. Again, it was mentioned earlier—partnering. This group, the task force on the safe delivery of fuels, could have a major impact on our bridges. If one of those were detonated on the Golden Gate Bridge, I’m sitting here with a bunch of engineers, but what I’ve been told by folks at Lawrence Livermore Labs is that 900 degrees of heat will have cause sufficient enough damage to a metal structure that it could affect the integrity of that.bridge Burning diesel fuel would reach that level. So that is something that we are certainly concerned about.
What we’re going to do is go out and look at some of these structures, if not all of them, time permitting. And what we’re going to be looking for—we’ve included personnel with expertise in various aspects of security and engineering. And these are some of our team members—Caltrans, U.S. Coast Guard, military explosive ordinance, state and local police, engineers, Office of Emergency Services, California Highway Patrol, and Federal Highway Administration.
The key here is that we don’t forget the Coast Guard. They are going to be patrolling the waters near the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. They will have the expertise. One of the scenarios we presented to them is that we have the Port of Oakland. Ships coming into and leaving that port need to cross first under the Golden Gate Bridge and then under the Bay Bridge. What if one of those ships was coming here and they ran that into the bridge structure? What would it do? We don’t know. How can the Coast Guard help us put something up to protect the pillars that go down into water?
Military Explosive Ordinance. We have folks that know how to disarm bombs. We have them on the Highway Patrol. They can do that part. But what we’re looking for from the Military Explosives Ordinance members is we're going to ask them, "If you were to plant a bomb on this structure, how would you go about it?" That gives us ideas of what we need to protect. And that’s something you shouldn’t forget when you establish your team that will be going out to survey some of the structures in your area. Make it be key for you.
The initial structure assessment. Some of the things that we are going to be looking at are underneath structures, pillars, wooden stantions. Isn’t that the point at the end of the bridge that holds the suspense? No? Something else? I’m not on that team as you can probably tell.
Other security actions that we are going to be looking at is to seal access doors to maintenance structures. Install fencing to inhibit access. Install trespassing signs. Now this one sounds pretty stupid. Put up a trespassing sign and it’s going to keep out a terrorist. But think about what that trespassing sign will do. With the state of alertness of our citizens today, if you put up a sign and someone is walking around at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge, we’re going to get a phone call on it. So something as simple as a trespassing sign is helping to make people think out there—the eyes and ears for not only you but for us, law enforcement—to notify an authority if someone is in an area they’re not supposed to be in.
Clear vegetation for better patrol visibility. Determine potential problems associated with high tech security devices, such as weather, waterways, and lighting. How will that have an impact on some of the features we’re going to be using?
And, determine security weaknesses of the structure.
Systematic surveys. One of the things we talked about is two options. In California, we’re so big, we could have groups of teams from individual sections or districts in California go out and survey the structures. They’re all going to be looking at it through a different set of eyes. So we’re going to send one team out or two or maybe three that are going to go statewide. So they’re looking at it through the same set of eyes. Then what we’re going to do is look at support from those local areas to help us with some of the unique characteristics of that area. They’ll know the back ways in. They’ll know what the traffic flows are and what the time flows are and everything else. So they’ll be a great assistance to us.
Some of the sample checklists, some of the items we will be looking for are entry points, signs, fencing, lighting, controlled or uncontrolled access, locking mechanisms, windows, doors, pillars. Everything we can think of. Those are just some samples that you might want to consider when you are looking at your sites.
Access points to critical structure points. Can access be controlled? In some cases, it can be controlled. In others, it cannot. How is access gained? Again, that is where the local officials within the area will help our survey team. They will know the ways in and out. And again, going back to the military. That is what they are trained to do is find the unusual way to get access to something. They’re going to be a big asset when we start looking at that.
And, who is better equipped or capable of responding to specific structure points? Coast Guard. Again, they’re going to be one of the best for the waterways. Sheriff’s boat patrols will be a help to us as well.
Types of security measures we are looking at include motion sensors, intrusion alert, contact alarms, glass-breakage sensors, and infrared thermal imaging. We do have that on our helicopters. So we can light that baby up as we’re flying over some of these structures. Video monitoring. And one of the things that we’re going to do with this is in California, we have jointly operated traffic management centers (TMC’s) by Caltrans and CHP. They are staffed 24 hours a day. And anything that we set up will go into those TMC’s and we’ll have access. What we’re considering doing, rather than having people stare at a dozen or two dozen screens up there, what we’re looking to do is also have sensor motions tied. So if something does cause an alert, they will know exactly which screen to go to and look at and then call in the authorities if necessary.
Pressure sensitive switches and fencing signs and physical patrol.
Feasibility versus reliability. High tech security devices cost money. There’s no doubt about that. 12,000 structures—if we try to even implement this in a small portion, it is going to be extremely costly. But then again, you measure that against what we are doing now. $20 million for one agency on overtime. I hate to think what Caltrans—they’re much larger than we are—what they’re putting out. It may be cost effective to introduce technology such as some of these we have mentioned.
Additional monitoring of security devices places additional responsibility of law enforcement agencies. If we have to get additional personnel to man these stations, we’re going to be drawing them from the road. We can’t go out and hire people to do this. So it’s going to have an impact on us. Which is better— the patrol or fixed positions? Establish who is responsible for responding, monitoring, and funding. Type of equipment will be limited due to locations, types of structures, and weather conditions. If we’re planning some type of video camera or other sensor underneath some of the bridges, how will the salt water impact that? What about the weather? Things of that nature we need to consider.
Protect against conventional intrusion may not be effective against terrorist acts which use unconventional means of destruction. Tanker trucks. Ships.
All monitoring of security equipment. Technology will be monitored by CHP and Caltrans TMC’s.
And that is all I have for you. Thank you very much.
The reason that I exited the stage was that a co-administrator was here, Mary Peters. And I know that many of you know her. And I wanted to try to grab her and put her up here so she could have a chance to speak to you. But unfortunately, she had to go back to the office. So, that’s why I left for a few minutes. I was trying to track her down.
Christine Johnson is our next speaker. And she’s currently program manager of Operation Core Business Unit in federal highways. She’s also director of a joint program office, which involves intelligent transportation systems. So, RSPA and [Inaudible] works very closely together in that intermodal application.
Christine Johnson is actually Dr. Johnson. And, she formerly worked with the New Jersey Department of Transportation as Assistant Commissioner for Policy and Planning, and as the Director of Transportation Planning for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. So we have two veterans or former colleagues as far as that goes.
And she was the Vice President of Parsons Brinkerhoff. So, another connection here. I’m seeing here are friends in the family.
She earned both her Masters and Ph.D. in Urban Transportation Planning and Public Policy from the University of Illinois, a good Midwestern school.
So, I’d like you to welcome Dr. Christine Johnson.
DR. CHRISTINE JOHNSON:
Thank you very much. I want to apologize to the audience for being late. We're doing security real time. I needed to go back for a meeting, and we did an entire evacuation of the DOT building.
I'm representing the Federal Highway Administration today. We have had an excellent discussion of what one of our leading states that has embraced operations is doing in the wake of September 11th.
September 11th certainly has changed our perspective in the highway industry. Where at one time, we essentially took what we had for granted and the nature of our squabbles were about whether we were going to be spending more money for preservation or for expansion or heaven forbid for transit. Rarely we thought about such things as evacuations or planning for the protection of the infrastructure. And now, suddenly, that is exactly what we’re riveted on-the consequences of loosening that infrastructure rather than simply preserving it. Also, we are newly accountable for the problem of moving masses of people quickly when some of the key arteries are out of commission.
It is, to say the least, a new world for surface transportation particularly for highways. I think it is fair to say that our experience and actions are thin at best. Conferences like this will certainly help us all to adjust to what Secretary Mineta has called a new normalcy.
I was asked to talk a little bit about some of the training that we do offer that is transferable to this new normalcy and security awareness that we have to incorporate into our lives.
I’d like to begin however, by commenting for a few moments on what we have actually done since September 11th.
Shortly after the event, we went out with a survey to all 50 states. You just heard the response of one of the states. We asked them to identify critical infrastructure in their state. Each probably went through somewhat of a different process. When we got the responses back, we took it through one more pass, with a little bit tighter criteria, to really zero in on those critical pieces across the United States. Needless to say, that list is now classified.
Then we went back and asked the states what they were doing. We had quite a range of responses. Some, very frankly, are doing very little. Some have not only inventoried and prioritized, I think as you have heard, but they have security plans in place that they are implementing. It ranges from training cameras on site; having guards posted, literally, at bridges; having bridge inspectors survey the facility every 24 or 48 hours, depending on what the level of security is involved; to having drawn on the state highway patrol to go past the infrastructure. Most of the critical infrastructure is bridges or some kind of structure. Also, some who have control over driver’s licensing have substantially beefed up the screening of drivers’ licenses.
We have had one or two responses that tend to indicate that our DOTs are beginning to think of design in the long-term. Asking such questions as, "Should we put the highway here given that it's sitting next to a chemical plant? Should we do the widening in this direction? Should we do it somewhere else? Should we put a parking lot here versus somewhere else?" I would dare to say, before, our criteria were heavily weighted on environmental criteria, where we could acquire the land, and so forth.
Suddenly, we’re seeing in one or two places, security is now entering the thinking process and I think that will continue.
There is no question as we review what the states are doing that more could be done. We are pleased to say that we are partnering with AASHTO to see if we can get a set of ways of assessing threats and then counter measures, that will actually be cost effective, for responding. We’re meeting for the first time tomorrow.
I think an equal, or greater, vulnerability that we face is in the aftermath of a mass evacuation. In FHWA, we learned the hard way during Hurricane Floyd, when we centrally experienced the largest evacuation that the United States has ever seen. In the post-mortem of that evacuation, we learned a number of things that I think are relevant to the discussion today.
First, we heard from the California Highway Patrol that their asset is that they are routinely co-located with the traffic management centers. For transportation agencies, state DOTs, county DOTs, and city DOTs we found that this is not routine. During Hurricane Floyd we found that the traffic management centers were not engaged with FEMA and the other emergency responders in the evacuation. That was a connection that wasn't being made between them.
We found that there were in fact diverse decision points. In some places, Governors had the authority to call for an evacuation. In other places, that authority rested at the county level, and still other places, that was a city decision. Trying to work with all of the states, counties and cities and say, "We have got to come to some agreement on how we are going to look at evacuation along an interstate," took some juggling of just finding out who was in charge.
Since that time, we have developed one or two tools that I thought would be worth communicating to this audience. We started out with two workshops that brought together all the people involved in the southeastern states and put them around a table, literally, and said, "We can do better than we did in Hurricane Floyd." It was an interesting experience in that-you think the communication lines are well established, when in fact, they are not. To get through an evacuation planning exercise, that involved all of the players that potentially are involved in the operation of the highway system under those circumstances is alone valuable.
We also have offered two conferences that deal with the response in the aftermath of a disaster-the cleanup, the immediate restoring of traffic operations, and how to deploy equipment.
Having gone through those two exercises, we then worked with the states to establish simple protocols of what each agency was going to do and what conditions would trigger a call for evacuation.
We realized that we needed some kind of visual representation of what was actual happening on the highway in the real time. So we went back to the laboratory and built, what for transportation people is a very simple model. I'm sure most planners and engineers would be embarrassed at the simplicity. And yet, it was a godsend. It shows the sample highway network. When an evacuation is triggered, it begins building up the assumed traffic. If the next county evacuates, it accumulates the traffic so that you can see an entire network effect. It aids in the decision of calling for an evacuation, whether it’s of a building or of a whole county.
We were quite surprised at the level that we were starting at, and the fact that this model would be considered that valuable.
We then went forward with training courses to the states involved on how to use it. Then we developed tabletop exercises. I know, and each of the speakers has said, these are invaluable. There is just no substitute for actually simulating the event. In this case, it was a hurricane. We brought it in and had 20 minutes represent six hours. We watched the various states respond to what they were going to do as we introduced real life circumstances—a bridge just washed out, a piece of pavement just failed, or a county decided, for whatever reason, they're going to evacuate, whether the conditions were triggered or not. It helped them get familiar with working with each other, and that is critical.
We also, at the other end of the spectrum, dealt with lower level crisis, so to speak, on a daily basis, such as an overturned tractor-trailer, sometimes spilling HAZMAT, that can tie up a city for hours. Yet some of the things that we have found in trying to deal with lower level crisis-which are accountable for about half of our congestion during the peak hours-has so riveted our attention, are the very same issues that we find we need to deal with in a disaster. In 1998 we developed an incident management course that brings together the right people-transportation people, towing people, police, state highways people, fire, and EMS. We also like to include in that course, media. Federal Highway offers the course. It can be sponsored by a state DOT. The price is $6,900 and we suggest that fees not be charged, but underwritten by a state highway department so that all of these players can come to the table. In the course, we accomplish some of the first level planning that needs to go on for incident management.
Some other things that we deal with are: first having some kind of a permanent planning process. We went through an exercise about a decade ago in which we raised all kinds of awareness about incident management across the 50 states and bringing police and transportation people together. And you know what? It went away. I will say the same thing would happen here. We will bring all of the right people together, but unless we have some institutionalized method of keeping them together, the people we train will be promoted, will retire, and the champions will be gone. Somehow, we won't meet on a regular basis and we won't continue the planning, executing and coordinating.
We then do go through procedures, which I won't bore you with here. But, they are all the procedures that deal with handling small incidents right up to major six-hour hazardous material horrible incidents.
Then we deal with technology issues, and that I'll say a little bit more about. It’s key. Having a complete flow of information among all of the players is half the battle in any incident. In the highway industry, we in essence operate in the blind. That is not quite so true of our aviation or railroad brothers. Right now, in most major cities, we are about 22 percent instrumented on our highway system. Beyond that, it’s even worse. We don’t have real time information. Nevertheless, what we do in this part of the course is talk about what information each agency has and how we can make it available, with appropriate fire walls, to all other agencies so each of them can do their jobs better. Probably the best thing about the course is that believable people teach it. I have learned, you can't go in to enforcement personnel as a transportation engineer or planner and try to teach them to do their job. We have enforcement personnel as half of the teaching team and we have engineers as the other half of the team. Between the two, folks have come out able to do their jobs better. I think one of the best examples is in San Antonio, where two weeks after the whole team had taken the course, they had a major truck incident. Normally it would have taken about six hours to clear this type of a truck incident, but they were able to cut it down to two hours.
That's the second course that we in Federal Highways are offering. We certainly understand, and have in the works, how we can add to this a security dimension. We have found in dealing with incidents, that there are three or four key issues involved.
First, is decision making, as I said in the hurricane incident, who has the authority to do what in a crisis? Knowing that in advance is key, so that each agency knows who is going to make what decision.
Second, information flow is absolutely paramount. I talked to you about the fact that we in the surface transportation industry somewhat are operating in the blind. I think that we are going to have to take care of that fact.
Communications compatibility cannot be overemphasized. We have heard some talk about that in the New York situation. We must enable fire, police, and transportation to talk to one another without having to resort to cellular telephones, which in many instances, is what we are doing now with major incidents.
Finally, instant communication to the public is also key in the aftermath of a disaster, whether that's a 60- or 70-car pileup on the interstate or, as terrible as an evacuation from a terrorist. What we find is that the very people who have the information that can respond accurately to the public and tell them what they should be doing in an evacuation, are really tied up with the incident itself. They’re completely tied up and can’t communicate accurately to the media. We have found, fortunately in both locations, tremendous advantage in having a transportation controlled center that acts as a buffer between the enforcement, first responder personnel and the media to hand out information on what the public ought to do. Having pre-established protocols on dealing with the media in getting out incident information is key.
I’d like to draw your attention to one or two other resources that we have available. I think when you came in, you saw a small booklet on electronic security. It is simply an executive summary. That’s because, to hand out, particularly the final volume of that particular book, was a roadmap for a terrorist. So we give the final volume out very carefully.
After the survey on critical infrastructure reported on where some of our vulnerabilities were, they pointed out that whether it’s our traffic signals or some of our high tech highway ITS type of equipment, we needed to be careful about our security. So, we put together a set of guidelines to try to first sensitize—and that’s the first and second volumes—the agency on security issues. The final volumes gets into what ought to be done to try to protect and at least delay acts of terrorism.
The final thing that I would like to make you aware of from our perspective, is a public safety initiative that we have under way within Federal Highway and broader within DOT.
We have recognized that without bringing the enforcement community, the towing community, the medical community, and the transportation engineering community together, there is no way at a table, where we can routinely work together. There is no way we are going to be able to effectively, in a peak performance way, respond to small incidents or very large terrorist attacks.
We have begun working with the major law enforcement associations to try to bring the transportation culture together with the enforcement culture-two very old cultures. We are carrying out a number of demonstrations on how we can work together better.
I will end with one example, actually in New York City, where we have supplied the enforcement community with video equipment, computer equipment, and a number of other electronics in the car. The first person to discover and be on the scene in a major incident can communicate back digitally, not just to their command post, but also to all of the other first and second responders video images of what is going on. But, tagged with a GPS tag. It may seem obvious to say, "Well, I’m on XYZ ramp of the George Washington Bridge." There are ten places that could be. If you send the equipment to the wrong side, it takes another 30 minutes to turn around, you lose half of the golden hour in life saving. So the tag of geo-location is critical. We are experimenting with that now. Also we have a number of other experiments that are trying to bring these two communities together to work in, essentially, a team fashion on a routine basis, not just in responding to terrorist attacks.
I’d like to close with a couple of observations. September 11th was very frightening, but I think it has given us an opportunity. It certainly has given our nation an opportunity to come together as a nation to reaffirm our values. I think it gives us an opportunity, at least in the highway community, to motivate the coordination that is fundamentally necessary between the cultures of the public safety community and the transportation community. I think that it will cause, because of the urgency of the present situation, something that was long overdue. That is the planning among all of the various operators that needs to take place, not only for these kinds of spectacular terrible disasters, but for the kind that occur every single day and shut down the economy of cities.
Finally, I think it is going to spur our motivation to put in place the technology that we need to give our surface transportation the visibility that we must have so that we are no longer operating in the blind.
Thank you very much for this opportunity.
Questions and Answers
I think this is where the good news, bad news comes in. The good news is that we’ve had five excellent presentations. And thank you very much.
I have been asked to share with you that we would like to go directly into question and answer now and give you an opportunity to ask some questions. But before you do that, please stand up and stretch, because you need to do so. I know I had to. I was looking forward to coming back up to the microphone, Please stand up and stretch.
What I am going to suggest is that we have some questions to address to the panel so that everyone can hear them and their response. And then, when we break, you’ll have still time in your afternoon to meet with the folks here individually.
So, that’s enough standing up. Sit down again please.
Thank you so much.
The second thing I’ve been asked to do, if I may, is to try to summarize very quickly some of the key pints that you heard from these presenters. Obviously, having assessment of your vulnerabilities is critical. You must determine yourselves where you are vulnerable and how you can best address that.
Secondly, practice, practice, practice. I think we’ve heard training and practice on several different levels.
Third, a personal commitment.
Fourth, you cannot be passive or reactive. We must be proactive.
And then lastly, communication, coordination, collaboration, and cooperation are all required. We’ve all been focusing on the accident. We now have to focus on the incident.
So with that, we’ll ask for our questions. We’ll go through a few questions from the audience, and then allow you to meet more with these folks one on one if you’d like. I’ll open the floor please. Any questions?
I had a question for Sherrie, I think, maybe for Christine Johnson as well. Christine mentioned that one of the issues was getting information to the public. Sherrie, you mentioned that this was an issue for everyone, and I think you were including the public in that. My question is—is there any consideration of training for the public, and if so, what form might that take?
From the department standpoint at this point no because there are agencies out there that are doing it in house. Example—Ramada System is training it’s employees, has for some time, before all of this even happened, they had taken a proactive step in training employees. Security awareness is what we call it. I believe Amtrak has done the same thing in terms of their engineers who are out there, the crew who is out and in the community. So we in the department, at this point, do not have—well I can speak for my office because I cannot speak for the whole department—but the Office of Intelligence and Security, at this time, we’re just following along with the LTAP, the Land Transportation Anti-Terrorism Training Program. But we’re always looking for new things to explore, And if the outcry is the same as it was with law enforcement and security, it’s something we could think about for sure.
Ellen, could I just respond to that as well. I think this is a very important role for Governor Rich and the Office of Homeland Security. This is the way the government can speak with one voice to the public, and alert them to the issue. And I think the more we hear of that the better it will be.
The good news that I heard Brian Jenkins assessment this morning…
… as opposed to our highway communities than assessing our vulnerabilities from terrorist explosions of bridges and towers and things like that. But Christine, the question I wanted to direct to you—let’s assume there is an attack like what happened at the Pentagon here or the World Trade Centers up in New York, is everyone going to exit, if they do try to flee the scene, are they all going to exit by transit or are the highway planners still on the hook to plan evacuation and emergency response?
DR. CHRISTINE JOHNSON:
If by any chance, I said that highway planners were off the hook, I am making a huge mistake. Because I absolutely think that this is the newest terror here. I think that New York was very fortunate in having the kind of system that they did. I think Washington was fortunate. Albeit, what we saw in Virginia was that citizens in fear essentially broke through and went down the wrong way, reversed an interstate lane, on their own, which is highly dangerous. There is no question that we now have to be in the business of evacuation planning, not just the [Inaudible].
No more good news questions, okay? Let’s do a bad news question or something.
Let me follow up with the same question and ask Bob to address it from the Boston experience. Do you or are you planning on having any integrated evacuation exercise or plan where you work with the other transportation agencies within the Boston area?
ROBERT PRINCE JR.:
We have that. We just did one about a month ago. We have them quarterly now with all of our agencies. We invite everybody. Because, we found it was important that it’s a coordinated effort from all of the departments to get as many people safely out of the city and out of the system as we can. So that we don’t have the good news, bad news story, about not being able to be able to move that kind of people. We did Boston. In about two and a half hours, we had cleared the entire city. We had activated not only all of our bus systems, and our private carriers throughout our state, but also the internal system of putting on extra trains and getting people out of the city as quickly as possible. So we do that and those drills are ongoing.
I’d like to answer that on behalf of the department on an intermodal aspect too. Perhaps you’ve heard this reported. Ironically, fortuitously, take your choice, 12 days prior to the incident on September 11th, we were going though a tabletop exercise. It was actually much more than a tabletop… in preparation for the Olympic games, at the Department of Transportation, which was a full intermodal exercise. During that exercise, part of the scenario, interestingly enough, involved a potentially highjacked plane and someone calling on a cell phone, among other aspects of the scenario that were very strange when twelve days later, as you know, we had the actual event.
So, from that exercise, and then since September 11th, the Department of Transportation as a whole is going through intermodal discussion and planning as well. So it’s not just a single administration or a single agency. We are very cognizant of the fact that we will have to and do have a team approach that must be conducted. We can’t have one system clogged by another. We’ve had some residual impact as you know because of people being cautious that have also led to new problems. For instance, if you stop one mode of transportation, whether it’s transit or railroads or whatever, where do the people go and how do we handle it. So it has to be an intermodal and multi-agency solution. We’re working actively on that, across DOT.
Does anyone else want to add to that? Steve?
I would just like to say one thing. And I agree. It has to be intermodal. Personally, I think the terrorists are going to hit from two sides. One is what we had occur on September 11th. What that does is strike terror in every American that was every going to get on an airplane again.
With the transit system, that’s the way they are going to interrupt it. But the second part of it, what they did, whether by intention or pure luck, was the economic impact it had ion the airline industry. For those of us sitting here, we’re responsible for the infrastructure, making sure that the roadways stay open.
If they shut down major roadways in California, the economic impact… you have to remember, the majority of the material transported from warehouses to stores to everything else is the trucking industry. You shut down the infrastructure, you’re having a tremendous impact on the economy. So we can’t just look at it from one side. We need to stay alert, all of us, to that side of it.
The fact that we are in a war footing, a lot of that is also moving to ports. They need to go overseas. And in a war situation, I would not rue out the fact that we might see attacks on our ports and on the access to the ports.
I am Celia Kupersmith from the Golden Gate Bridge, a favorite target amongst other things.
On a serious note, a lot of the conversation has been about talking about the facility itself. Both from a transit perspective as well as a highway perspective, you have locations where there is a joint use of that facility, whether it is a park over the I-5 in Seattle, or it is a multi modal transit system, a union station, that has all sorts of activities that are not in your control. From a transit perspective as well as a highway perspective, is that also being looked at as a part of this process?
I know that in meetings that we have had as recently as yesterday, we are beginning to understand that, for example, a bridge could be carrying a vital pipeline, a major gas supply, or other current to an entire city. And so it makes it particularly vulnerable. Or it could be over a chemical processing plant, making it a vulnerable target. [Inaudible] today more looked at it. Why would it be this bridge that is more attractive? It’s because of some of the other things that it might be carrying.
In terms of a facility, we are looking at, as you said, Union Station, for example. If you put security there, how that would impede the flow if traffic? You have to consider that in terms of the vendors and the different shops that are there. And as you beef up security, how much value are you gaining by protecting the facility? You have to consider also the tracks around the facility—the parking. If you go to Union Station now, you’ll see they have barriers in front where they park and that have been limited. And even with that, we have vendors complaining. So we have to reach a balance in terms of the transportation flow as well as security. And that is the challenge that we are looking at.
ROBERT PRINCE JR.:
In Boston, we have a nice $14 billion dollar hole in the ground that is a major concern for us because a lot of that construction that goes on is part of the transit organization also. So, we looked at areas around stations but are also looking at areas around construction. And I don’t think that anybody has really addressed that. We work with our vendors and our contractors trying to make sure that they have as much concern as we do about the security. Because anyone can don a hardhat, an orange vest, and a pair of boots and walk into any construction site in America. So we’re trying to make them aware of the fact that it is as much their responsibility also to make sure that their sites are as tightened up as they can possibly be.
I’d like to build on that message, Bob. I cannot stress enough the most critical factor in our winning this war is personal diligence, personal commitment. We have got to have an awareness at every level. And you know the success that we had in the transit system in New York. You have all heard that story, correct? Is there anyone who hasn’t heard that story? Really?
I want to hear it.
Okay, good, because I love this story. If you don’t know this story, you should put it on the rafters. You should put it behind every banner you can find. Because of training and personal commitment and empowerment at all levels, the transit subway station underneath the World Trade Center, when the events started to occur, the subway manager had been through practices, did have an emergency plan, knew of the plan, and had the empowerment to put that plan into place. The train that was coming into the station he would not let unload. He sent it out. The next train that was coming in, he let people get on and wouldn’t let people disembark. He sent it out and brought a third empty train in and got the rest of the people out. Forty minutes prior to the building collapse, there was no one down there. It was completely empty. Thousands and thousands of lives were saved because of personal dedication of the individual and the commitment and training. It’s a huge success story. And I don’t think we could ever tell that particular success story enough about that event.
So it has to be that personal level of commitment. When you say that the person in a huge vest and boots and a pair of blue jeans can come in to a construction site, those guys on that construction site know if that’s not Vinnie or Bob or Charlie. They know it’s not someone who should be there. And they need to speak up. It’s as simple as that.
Truckers—I’m very concerned about truckers. Tell your guys to lock the trucks. Don’t leave the truck doors open. It’s as simple as that. And truck stops are a very vulnerable site, as you can only imagine. Why would a field truck be parked by an elementary school? Think about it. Okay? We need community awareness.
These are all individual things that can be done. A cell phone can be our biggest weapon if people know to call. From my perspective—and this is what we share with communities—we don’t like false alarms. But better a false alarm than lack of an alarm. So with good training and personal commitment, we will police ourselves and we will truly protect our nation at the homeland and local levels.
And I don’t even work for FTA. How’s that?
Any other questions?
Thank you. Ellen, will you tell the folks that are left here again about the broad agency announcement that RSPA has on its web site. Because I think it’s been very helpful to us on the hill as constituents call in and have good ideas about ways to improve security and transportation systems. And I want to help you get that word out.
Wow. Thank you. I’d like thank my Aunt Phyllis there and… (Laughter). Thank you very much.
On September 25, RSPA issued a broad agency announcement. The title was "Ongoing Transportation Service and Infrastructure Assurance Activities." That why they call them broad agency announcements. Broad announcements.
The intent of the announcement was to identify ongoing efforts currently funded by state or local governments, other federal departments, agencies, academic institutions, or the private sector. I think we have covered everyone that were dedicated to improving security, reducing vulnerability of transportation services, involving accidental or intentional disruption. We’re looking at innovative technology, [Inaudible] commercialized technology. I’m also accepting procedures, programs, and just plain good old ideas. Now, we are requesting [Inaudible] papers. The deadline has been extended to November 21. All those good people out there who have faxed you information, called you up, called their friends, sent a lobbyist, etcetera… to you with good ideas, I would urge you to offer them this BAA. It is a formal conduit to get the ideas to us, a formal conduit so that we can review them. We have a multi agency technical review team established. We will be looking at all these ideas, whether they apply to RSPA, Pipeline, HAZMAT, highways, federal aviation, Department of Energy, Department of Defense. We’re open to everything on this. I think it is very critical that we have a way to formally bring these ideas to the government for review. Now, it is currently an unfunded program. We don’t want anybody to have false expectations. We’re going to look for the best ideas possible, and then when people say to me, "Well what are you going to do next?" I don’t know. We’re going to have to see the ideas. And we’re going to do our best to support the things that will work.
Now, granted there will be a few opportunities for perpetual motion machines from guys who have nothing better to do but sit in Kansas City jails, but we’re going to try to weed those out. So not to worry. But you never know,
I used to work in the private sector and I used to get pen pal correspondence form those folks with perpetual motion ideas, so I am very familiar with most of them. We never funded any—don’t worry.
But we’re really looking for good ideas, so thank you very much for that. Because, we’re from the government and we’re here to help. (Laughter). And we really mean it. We need a way to collect those ideas because if they do lead to funding, which I anticipate, many will, we have to have an appropriate way for competition and competitive and contractual obligations to be met. So that’s why we have the BAA. Thank you again.
Any more questions?
Thank you all very much. It’s a privilege to be here. It’s a privilege to be here on behalf of Secretary Mineta. I thank all the panelists this afternoon. I thank Rod for hosting this. I would like to thank the staff at RSPA who have supported putting this conference together, and the other cosponsors. I think this is critical—that when you partner together, public, private, and academic, you can truly make a difference. So Secretary Mineta would say, "Thanks a million."
Ladies and gentlemen, let me offer my thanks also and note that there will be a summary proceeding developed of the discussions. Those will be available through the Mineta Transportation Institute web site in about a month. And, we’ll have a couple in hard copy too if you want pay a little money for them.
A special thanks to RSPA for cosponsoring this. And for Ellen. Ellen is like a Broadway show up here. She just is a performer. And I enjoyed watching her. Thank you.
And thanks to Caltrans, Jeff, for the funding. AASHTO and APTA, thank you very much to John and Pete. We wish you goodbye and have a safe trip home.