NYS Comptroller Talks About MTA Capital Security Program

Yesterday afternoon, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released a report which talked about the new challenges that the MTA Capital Security Program will face. Here is a sample of the press release that came with the report:

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has made a number of important security improvements, but progress has been slow and the integrated electronic security program continues to experience problems. The first phase of the MTA’s capital security program is now expected to be completed in September 2011, three years later than the MTA’s original estimate and ten years after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, according to a report State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released today.

“With each completed security improvement, the MTA mass transit system is safer for commuters and better protected against attack, but delays continue and the program is falling further behind,” DiNapoli said. “The electronic security program, which accounts for a large share of the cost, is experiencing significant challenges.”

The DiNapoli report credits the MTA for successfully hardening 10 critical infrastructure facilities and establishing perimeter protection around three major transportation facilities. The report also notes security improvements the MTA has implemented through increased personnel, improved coordination with other security forces – such as NYPD, State Police, the National Guard, and federal agencies – and its successful “See Something, Say Something” public awareness campaign.

The DiNapoli report found that capital program costs have grown 42 percent to an estimated $837 million from the original forecast of $591 million. The integrated electronic security program has grown to $453 million — an increase of $188 million, or 71 percent, due in large part to the inclusion of additional facilities. These estimates exclude $63 million in potential costs that may be reflected in future budget estimates.

Click here for the complete press release.

Click here for a copy of the report (.pdf).

The most alarming part of this report is the delay in launching the program. I find the most alarming aspect to be the rise in cost. In a time where the MTA’s finances are so bleak, the last thing that is needed is for yet something else to cost a ton more than originally anticipated. They just can’t win!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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