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SEPTA Reaches 'Gold Standard' With TSA Award

Andrew Busch
SEPTA Press Officer

SEPTA is officially the "Gold Standard" for transit agencies.

That's the rating bestowed on the Authority by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). SEPTA is one of a select group of transit agencies to earn the TSA's highest rating - Gold Standard - on its most recent Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement (BASE).

According to the TSA, this designation recognizes SEPTA's dedication to building a strong security program.

"Outstanding agencies like SEPTA are instrumental in efforts to keep the traveling public safe," said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole. "This is the TSA's highest award, and we commend you on your work in lifting SEPTA to this level."

Pistole and TSA officials gathered with SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey, SEPTA Transit Police Chief Richard Evans and several members of the transit police force for the award presentation at Market East Station on Thursday, March 1, 2012.

Casey said recent projects focusing improving SEPTA's infrastructure, stations and facilities have helped make the system more secure.

"These investments have made us all safer, and receiving the award validates the work we have done," Casey said. "Our customers also play a role in keeping us safe, and we continue to encourage them to be alert of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity."

Evans talked about the critical role cooperation among law enforcement agencies plays in enhancing security.

"The key to our success has been sharing information with other agencies, along with intense training, preparation and planning," Evans said.

Evans noted the presence of representatives from several of SEPTA's partner agencies in these efforts, including the Philadelphia Police Department, Amtrak, Philadelphia International Airport, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI. SEPTA police serve with these agencies on the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Delaware Valley Intelligence Center.

"Our strong relationships and intelligence sharing are essential to our success," Evans said. "SEPTA police will continue to hone their skills and work in cooperation with our law enforcement partners to keep the riding public safe."

The TSA's BASE program is designed to establish a security standard for individual system security programs and assess progress. It is a voluntary, comprehensive review that focuses on multiple categories identified by the transit community as fundamentals for a sound transit security program.

They include a review of topics such as an agency's security plans, security training, drills/exercise programs, public outreach efforts and background check programs. The BASE assessment analyzes the security program for each transit system and identifies vulnerabilities that are addressed.

For more information about the award, visit the TSA's Website,

SEPTA received the TSA 'Gold Standard' Award during a press conference at Market East Station.

SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey speaks at the press conference.

TSA Administrator John S. Pistole presents the award to Casey.

SEPTA Transit Police Chief Richard Evans responds to a reporter's question.

Pistole highlights SEPTA's security enhancements.