The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration has once again recognized PSTA as one the nation’s best transit systems when it comes to safety and security. The TSA has awarded PSTA the “Gold Standard” designation for the transit agency’s dedication to building a strong safety and security program, in accordance with the TSA’s Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement (BASE) criteria.
“This is the highest achievement a transit agency can receive through the program,” says PSTA Chief Operations Officer James Bradford. “TSA has a special matrix for measuring a transit agency’s threat levels, vulnerabilities, and preparedness in the face of an emergency, or disaster. This year PSTA scored 99 out of 100 improving one point over our previous high of 98 set back in 2011.”
The TSA’s BASE program is a voluntary comprehensive review of transit agency security programs focusing on multiple categories such as an agency’s security plans, training, drills/exercises, preparedness, public outreach and background check programs.
PSTA officials say the agency has long been dedicated to providing the highest level of safety and security for every one of the more than 14.4 million rides provided annually. They say this award is a testament not only to the hard work of our safety staff, but to each one of our more than 500 professional operators and maintenance technicians who make safety and security their priority every day.
PSTA’s Safety, Security and Training Division works closely with Pinellas County Emergency Management to continually prepare for emergencies or disasters such as hurricanes as well as coordinating drills and activities with the Department of Homeland Security, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and other local emergency response agencies.