Even as the grim message of the London terror bombings sink in, the Bush Administration and the GOP-controlled Congress still refuse to take the steps necessary to make our trains, subways, buses and ferries safer from attack.
As columnist Neal Peirce notes: "Should the federal government be investing substantially more effort and dollars to protect (mass transit)? The London attacks on three crowded subway trains and a double-decker bus, on the heels of last year’s terrorist hit at Madrid’s commuter-rail system, ought to offer proof.
Thirty-two million times a day, argues William Millar, president of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Americans board trains, buses and passenger ferry boats. That’s 16 times the number (just under 2 million) who board airplanes daily. Yet since 9/11, Washington has allocated a scant $250 million for transit security, compared with the $18.1 billion it has granted the airline industry."
Peirce goes on to point out: “As for Congress, before the London bombings the Republican-controlled Senate had been set to reduce the allocation for public-transit-safety efforts from $150 million to $100 million in the $31.8 billion appropriations bill for homeland-security operations. While the federal government was spending $9.16 per passenger on airliner security in 2002-2003, its outlays for transit-security grants came to six-tenths of a penny per passenger. The federal government has never responded to a 2004 APTA survey in which transit agencies reported they needed $6 billion over three years for security equipment, technology and personnel overtime costs.”
Aren’t you glad your fate rests in the hands of the dynamic trio of Bush, DeLay and Frist?