WASHINGTON—New Haven is among four tri-state cities that will soon receive a $37.5 million transit security grant from the Department of Homeland Security, Senators Chris Dodd and Joe Lieberman announced Monday. The grant, which will be shared by New Haven, New York City, Newark, N.J. and Jersey City, N.J., was announced in April, three months after the entire Connecticut Congressional Delegation and Gov. Jodi Rell called on DHS to develop a regional approach to transit security.
“It’s critical that we take every possible precaution to keep our transit systems safe and this funding is a good first step but much more needs to be done,” said Sen. Chris Dodd. “The tragic terrorist attack in London once again shows us that we must do more to protect commuters, and I intend to continue to fight to make our transit and transportation infrastructure as secure as possible.” “The recent terrorist attacks in London demonstrate how important it is that we have secure rail and transit systems,” Lieberman said. “This funding is particularly good news for the five and a half million people who ride New Haven’s commuter line every month, and we must continue to work to make sure trains and stations around the country have the resources they need to meet the terrorist threat.” Last week, Dodd and Lieberman joined other Senate colleagues in urging DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff to expedite the distribution of rail and transit security funds, many of which had been appropriated for fiscal year 2005 but not yet distributed. “It is estimated that there is over $7 billion in security needs for our nation’s rail and transit systems and yet there has only been approximately $300 million allocated for such public transportation security needs since the September 11, 2001 attacks,” the Senators wrote in a July 8th letter to Chertoff. “We must act to ensure that our transportation systems have the resources they need immediately.” The Senators’ July 8 letter to Chertoff is available at: http://hsgac.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&Affiliation=R&PressRelease_id=1045&Month=7&Year=2005 The January letter from the Connecticut Delegation urging a regional approach to transit security funding is available at: http://hsgac.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&Affiliation=R&PressRelease_id=880&Month=1&Year=2005