January 19, 2007

Senator Dodd Announces Banking Committee Will Conduct Hearing on Transit Security

First hearing to focus on ensuring better security and safety for transit riders nationwide

Senator Chris Dodd, D-Conn., announced today that the first hearing he will convene as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs will examine the critically important need for greater transit security to protect Americans and our nation’s economy. Since the devastating attacks of 9/11, terrorists have attacked transit facilities in London, Madrid and Moscow. “Each and every work day millions of Americans step onto buses and trains and yet our nation still is not properly prepared to face this threat,” said Dodd. “It is critically important that we put in place basic protections and make transit a top priority when it comes to protecting our nation and our citizens. It also goes without saying that keeping America’s transit systems safe and secure is vital to keeping our economy strong.” The hearing will take place Thursday, January 18th, at 10 a.m. in 538 Senate Dirksen Building. Worldwide, public transit is a top target of terrorist attacks. However, since the events of September 11th, our nation has spent approximately $7 per airplane rider on security measures, compared with less than one penny per transit rider. This hearing will consider what needs to be done to better secure our nation’s transit systems, protect those who use and operate public transportation, and hear from others who have direct experience in dealing with terror attacks against public transit. Witnesses at the hearing will include Mayor Dannel P. Malloy, Mayor, Stamford Connecticut, testifying on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Mayors; William Millar, President, American Public Transportation Association; Warren George, President, Amalgamated Transit Union; and Aurelio Rojo Garrido, Operations Director, Metro Madrid and Secretary General, Association of Latin American Metros and Subways. Additional witnesses will be announced at a later date.