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TSA to Enhance Security Training for Railroads, Buses and More

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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently issued a new final rule requiring higher-risk surface transportation providers to provide security training for some employees in an important move that fulfills multiple congressional mandates.

While typically associated with aviation, TSA’s new rule—which was published in the Federal Register on March 23—will not affect airlines but select railroads, public transportation systems and over-the-road buses.

Given the various challenges faced amid the coronavirus-outbreak” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the effective date has been delayed by two months to 90 days from the date of publication, TSA said, meaning it’s scheduled to take effect in late June.

“The rule is intended to solidify the baseline of security for higher-risk surface transportation operations and sustain a commitment to ensuring employees within higher-risk surface systems and operations are prepared to help prevent a terrorist act and mitigate the consequences,” TSA stated.

“Preparing and training these employees to observe, assess and respond to anomalies, threats and incidents provides an important and effective tool for averting or mitigating potential attacks by terrorists or others with malicious intent that may target surface transportation.”

Examples of additional TSA surface transportation security initiatives include Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams to combat potential terrorist activities as well as grant programs that support surface transportation risk-reduction or mitigation measures with the help of federal funding, among others.

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Amtrak Asks Government for More Bailout Money

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Amtrak announced Tuesday it has requested another $1.475 billion in bailout funding from the United States government to avoid service cuts and route suspensions as a result of reduced demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

While the rail company received $1 billion in emergency funding in April, Amtrak officials said the continued impact of the viral pandemic on business has forced them to reduce operating costs by approximately $500 million.

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Amtrak plans to cut costs through restructuring its workforce and controlling discretionary expenses. The funds would be used to maintain minimum service levels and continue capital investments for the future.

“As the severity and duration of this pandemic and its economic fallout become clearer, we are seeking supplemental federal funding for the next fiscal year,” Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn said in a letter to congress.

“It is clear that Amtrak faces daunting challenges in Fiscal Year 2021, which will require us to take action to protect our rail network, our critical capital assets, and the livelihoods of our employees,” Flynn continued.

Even with the government assistance, Amtrak revealed it still plans to extend service cuts, as social distancing guidelines will continue to capacity limits as travel demand returns. Flynn also said the railroad faces “daunting challenges” that will require the company to take action.

Amtrak officials said revenue for the next fiscal year is expected to fall by $1.6 billion and to run a $1.4 billion loss after it nearly broke even last year. Employee expenses are expected to be cut by $350 million.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

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