February 25, 2015 - The federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that MTA Long Island Rail Road is a winner of its Gold Standard Award for 2014, the agency’s highest security rating and one granted to only five transit agencies after a nationwide competition.
The LIRR was previously awarded this distinction back in 2010. The ratings are part of TSA's 2014 Baseline Assessments for Security Enhancement program, which involves a voluntary review of various security measures, ranging from security plans and training to public outreach efforts and background check programs.
“This achievement is significant and shows the LIRR is committed to maintaining a strong security posture,” said Ronald J. Masciana, Special Advisor/Director Surface Division of the Transportation Security Administration, a division of the Department of Homeland Security.
LIRR President Patrick Nowakowski said: “The LIRR is proud to accept this honor from the TSA. Safety and security are always our top priority and this achievement owes much to the work of LIRR Chief of Security Robert Murphy, Chief Safety Officer Loretta Ebbighausen and their respective teams working in close conjunction with MTA Office of Security and the MTA Police.”
The assessments are conducted by Transportation Security Inspectors with emphasis on the 100 largest systems based on passenger volume, which collectively account for over 80 percent of all users of public transit focusing on multiple categories including agency security plans, security training, drills, and exercise programs, public outreach efforts and background checks.
In addition to the LIRR, the other awardees for 2014 were the Virginia Railway Express in Northern Virginia, the Washington Metro in Washington D.C. and the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority and Pinellas Suncoast Transit, both in Florida.