Democrats propose rail, mass transit security bill

Democrats propose rail, mass transit security bill

WASHINGTON -- House Democrats have introduced passenger rail and public transportation security legislation, the fourth in a series of proposals offered by Democrats on the House Select Committee on Homeland Security to reauthorize the Department of Homeland Security and its programs.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., would provide $2.8 billion over three years for grants to make security improvements to public transportation systems. Grants could be used to improve passenger, commuter and light rail systems, bus lines, commuter ferries and other modes of public transit. Norton introduced the bill Thursday.

The rail bill does not include provisions for cargo. A spokesperson for the Democrats on the House Select Committee on Homeland Security said rail cargo provisions may be offered to another bill.

The bill would require Homeland Security to develop a plan for the nation's transportation system, and require grant recipients to submit emergency response plans and conduct safety exercises.

It would also establish a center to conduct transportation research, education and to develop training programs.

-- Andrew Beadle