Amendment Provides Local Transit Authorities Greater Access, Less Bureaucracy
Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2200, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Authorization Act, which included provisions authored by Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL). The Roskam Amendment requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to adapt to feedback from local transit authorities, like Metra and CTA, on needed improvements to the Transit Security Grant Program. Local agencies will better be able to communicate and coordinate with DHS and thus more effectively protect and serve local residents who rely on public transportation daily.
"This amendment will allow local transit agencies to cut through government bureaucracy, have a forum to voice their concerns, and improve the administration of the Department of Homeland Security," said Congressman Peter Roskam. "Chicago is home to the rail hub of the nation, and bureaucratic red tape should never intrude on my constituents' need for a safe and secure public transit system."
Support for the Roskam Amendment from local and national transit leaders has been widespread. "We greatly appreciate Congressman Roskam's amendment to the TSA authorization bill," said Carole Doris, Chairman of Metra. "His efforts to strengthen the bill by reducing bureaucratic hurdles will help ensure that the needs of local transit agencies are being addressed by the Department of Homeland Security, which will ultimately enhance the security of our Nation's transit and commuter rail systems, including Metra."
In a letter to Congressman Roskam, William Millar, President of the American Public Transportation System wrote, "I'm writing to express our support for your amendment APTA strongly believes that greater transparency and communication and cooperation with industry stakeholders can ultimately benefit the process by producing rules and practices that are effective, efficient, operationally feasible and scalable."
Congressman Roskam's leadership on transit security issues was recognized by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) as they worked together to make bipartisan improvements to the transit security grants program. Congressman Roskam is on the House Ways and Means Committee.