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Rail Transit Security in an International Context. Security Issues and Impacts Conference UCLA, June 1, 2006. Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris Department of Urban Planning, UCLA A Collaborative Research Project: UCLA Department of Urban Planning UC Berkeley Institute of Transportation Studies.

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Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris Department of Urban Planning, UCLA A Collaborative Research Project: UCLA Department of Urba

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Rail Transit Security in an International Context

Security Issues and Impacts Conference

UCLA, June 1, 2006

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris

Department of Urban Planning, UCLA

A Collaborative Research Project:

UCLA Department of Urban Planning

UC Berkeley Institute of Transportation Studies


“For those intending to kill in quantity and

  • willing to kill indiscriminately,
  • public transit offers an ideal target”
  • While air transport security has been given great attention, urban transport systems carry more people and depend on open, accessible design to function well
public transit terrorist incidents
Public Transit Terrorist Incidents
  • Over 900 incidents since 1920
  • Two-thirds intended to kill people rather than just to disrupt service
  • More than one-third of attacks actually produced fatalities
  • Of fatal incidents, three-quarters produced multiple deaths, and one quarter produced ten or more deaths

Since 1990 more than 40% of all terrorist attacks in the entire world have been on transportation systems

stages in security planning
Stages in Security Planning
  • Stage 1: Planning, Design, & Building
  • Stage 2: Planning for Incident Response
  • Stage 3: Immediate Response to Incidents
  • Stage 4: Long-Term Recovery and Adoption of New Rules & Procedures
components of the project
Components of the Project
  • Review of the literature on transit terrorist incidents
  • Survey of 113 U.S. transit agencies
  • Case studies of U.S. transit systems: New York, Washington, D.C.
  • International case studies: London, Madrid, Paris, Tokyo
a great deal to learn from international experience
A Great Deal to Learn From International Experience
  • London after IRA attacks
  • Japan after sarin gas attacks
  • Paris after GIA bombings
  • Madrid after Al-Queda attack
scope of research
Scope of Research
  • Comparing strategies of transit agencies in U.S. and around the world
  • Contrasting transit security processes of different transit authorities and ministries
  • Evaluating transit station design for security
  • Assessing lessons learned from actual attacks in different contexts for future response & prevention
survey of domestic transit operators
Survey of Domestic Transit Operators
  • The survey looked at the perceptions and experiences after the 9-11 attacks, in four distinct areas of transit security planning
    • Policing
    • Security hardware and technology
    • Public education/user outreach
    • Environmental design strategies
  • 113 transit agencies responded (44% of agencies contacted)
    • 108 cities in 40 different states
threat and vulnerability assessments
Threat and Vulnerability Assessments
  • Of 113 agencies, 85% have conducted some level of threat and vulnerability assessment of key system infrastructure
  • Almost half (46%) of systems have conducted comprehensive security assessments
  • Among agencies who have not conducted assessments (n=11), reasons given for not doing so included lack of resources, agency in the process of planning assessment, and one respondent claimed that his agency was not a “high value target”
frequency of assessments
Frequency of Assessments
  • A third of agencies reported doing assessments at least once a year
  • Other agencies did not have regular policy – conduct assessments as deemed necessary
  • 70% have conducted an assessment in the last 3 years
cpted strategies and transit security
CPTED Strategies and Transit Security
  • More than two-thirds (69%) of respondents familiar with crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED)
  • 58% of the transit systems employ CPTED strategies
  • Familiarity and use of CPTED was higher among systems with rail
general survey conclusions
General Survey Conclusions
  • Significant attacks are so far rare in the US although transit agencies have received at times credible threats
  • Attention to transit security increased significantly after 9-11; CPTED and information and outreach was given much more attention after 9-11
  • Survey findings reflect fundamental dilemmas of transit security planning – systems inherently open and vulnerable, but security has increased dramatically in the past decade
international case studies research questions
International Case Studies: Research Questions
  • How are transportation systems in different cities of the world handling transit security?
  • What mix of strategies do they use?
  • Do they perceive crime prevention through environmental design as a valid security strategy?
  • What lessons can U.S. transit systems learn from the international experience?
international fieldwork
International Fieldwork
  • Interviews with transit managers, transit officials responsible for security, architects, and engineers designing the operation of transit systems in 4 cities.
  • Visits to stations of case study systems and their control and command centers
  • Visits to ‘model stations’ with state of the art measures of security (Alto del Arenal in Madrid, METEOR’s Gare de Lyon, and St. Lazare on the EOLE line in Paris).
  • Previous attacks more limited in scope.
  • Recognition that “threat is different today.”
  • “Security has become more of a goal than a reality. The primary goal is to create a feeling of security rather than reduce the risk to zero, which is practically impossible.”
paris a hierarchical system of security a web of plans
ParisA Hierarchical System of Security- A Web of Plans
  • Government plans for civil security under the authority of Prefet – ‘Plan Rouge’
  • In each region, ‘local communities of security’ composed of police, local government officials, and transit operators
  • After Algerian attacks of 1995, ‘Vigipirate Plan’ for periods of high alert in Paris
  • Security Audits and prioritization of security needs by French Ministry of Transport
  • Security plans for specific types of threats (chemical, biological, radioactive
  • Security measures by transit operators (SNCF and RATP)
paris key security emphasis
ParisKey Security Emphasis
  • Comprehensiveness, coordination, communication, adoption of a ‘systemic approach to security,’ integration of different strategies
  • Coordination transcends national borders. Pan-European cooperation through the International Union of Transportation (UITP)
line 14 meteor integration of security strategies
Line 14 - MeteorIntegration of Security Strategies
  • Security Technology: Computerized trains under a command center which can communicate with each train. Glass doors on platforms, adjustable locks on trains, remote control CCTV cameras
  • Policing: Uniformed and civilian-clothed staff and police on platforms and trains.
  • Information Campaigns
integration of security strategies
Integration of Security Strategies
  • Design: Wide, straight passageways, corridors, and platforms, limited exits, use of natural and artificial lighting, shatter proof fiberglass, transparent and resistant materials, transparent trashcans
  • Sarin attack came as a shock to the “safe society” of Japan; it was perceived as an isolated incident, an indiscriminate large-scale murder – not a terrorist incident
  • 9-11 attacks forced the Japanese to perceive terrorism as “a very serious threat” to their transit systems
tokyo responsibility on transit operators
TokyoResponsibility on Transit Operators
  • Minimal role of the national government in issuing security regulations or implementing transit security improvements
  • National government issues at times security suggestions and “guidance memos”
  • Broad security directives and strategies are decided by the Board of Directors of transit companies; smaller security issues are decided upon by the Safety Affairs Division of each company
tokyo transit security strategies
TokyoTransit Security Strategies
  • Policing and patrolling by staff, private security guards, municipal police
tokyo transit security strategies31
TokyoTransit Security Strategies
  • User outreach through posters, stickers and public announcements
tokyo transit security strategies32
TokyoTransit Security Strategies
  • Security technologies with security cameras and CCTV technology. Since sarin attack 2,200 security cameras have been installed at strategic points (platforms, ticket gates, restrooms)
  • Alarm and security buttons
tokyo transit security strategies33
TokyoTransit Security Strategies
  • Design strategies only considered after 9-11
    • Efforts to minimize ‘dead space’
    • Make inaccessible certain station areas
    • Locate restrooms away from secluded spaces; make walls out of translucent materials
    • Remove trashcans and cigarette receptacles
    • New train windows open more easily
    • Fireproof train materials
  • Very comprehensive system of security directives and standards due to the series of terrorist attacks by IRA in last 30 years
  • The Al-Queda attacks were perceived as “a different brand of terrorism” and have injected a new sense of urgency
london a layered network of security
LondonA Layered Network of Security
  • National Level: Two national committees under the Department of Transport – Rail Safety and Standards Board (sets safety standards) and TRANSEC (regulates airports, ports, and railway stations)
  • Regional Level: Transport for London (TfL) facilitates emergency planning and response of transportation agencies in the greater London area
  • Industry-wide:
    • British Transport Police (BTP) for all railway systems in Great Britain
    • Network Rail (nonprofit) owns and controls railway infrastructure; deals with the security of stations and infrastructure
  • Transit Operators operate their own Security Division, which oversees implementation of security standards and suggests enhancements
london key security emphasis
LondonKey Security Emphasis
  • Interagency coordination: Regular meetings of representatives from each agency
  • Coordination with European agencies to share best practices
  • Not much collaboration with American transport operators
london transit security strategies
LondonTransit Security Strategies
  • Mix of security technology, customer outreach, policing, and design strategies
  • “I don’t think one of these strategies sits on its own. You’ve got to do each one. And you’ve got to have an element of each one in terms of combating terrorism”

– London Underground official

london transit security strategies38
LondonTransit Security Strategies
  • Security technology: 6,000 CCTV cameras, some connected to alarms, and some with recording capabilities – some skepticism about their effectiveness
  • Policing and staff vigilance; 630 officers in London Underground in 2004
  • Information and outreach has resulted in significant vigilance by the public; reports of 10,000 unattended items every month!
london transit security strategies39
LondonTransit Security Strategies
  • Design strategies emerged in the last decade
    • Elimination of concealment spaces (vending machines and phone booths with sloping tops)
    • Securing in-between spaces (walkways, escalators, elevators, storage and power supply rooms)
    • Many decentralized control rooms for the system.
    • Redesigned trash receptacles (see-through plastic)
  • Long experience with terrorism because of ETA attacks
  • New understanding of terrorism after 3-11-04 attack as “indiscriminate,” “international,” “unexpected”
madrid triple layer of security national municipal transit operator
MadridTriple Layer of Security National – Municipal – TransitOperator
  • National Level: Ministry of Defense provides information about threats; Ministry of Interior instigates security regulations and standards; Civil Guard protects Metro Madrid.
  • Local Level: Municipal police protects Metro Madrid; Consorcio Regional de Tranportes de Madrid (CRTM) coordinates transportation agencies.
  • Transit Operators: Operate security departments, contract private security officers
  • Association holding bi-monthly meetings of representatives of local and regional agencies dealing with security.
madrid transit security strategies
MadridTransit Security Strategies
  • Security Technology
    • Retrofit of Metro Madrid and RENFE stations with anti-intrusion and detection systems, and video and security cameras.
    • Scanning system of passengers of high-speed (AVE) trains.
    • Command and control center
madrid transit security strategies43
MadridTransit Security Strategies
  • Public Outreach: Only training of employees; absence of warning posters and advice for the public
  • Policing: Combination of private and municipal police forces, and national forces for Metro Madrid
madrid transit security strategies44
MadridTransit Security Strategies
  • Design Strategies: Design guidelines for new stations
    • Limited entrance points
    • Clearly visible, open corridors, platforms, waiting areas
    • Avoidance of underground passages and footbridges, and winding corridors
madrid design strategies cont
MadridDesign Strategies (cont)
  • Elimination of dark zones
  • Panoramic elevators
  • No space on top or underneath vending machines
  • Transparent materials in station design
  • Good lighting
ten lessons learned
Ten Lessons Learned
  • Public transit systems are inherently vulnerable to terrorist attacks; they cannot be closed and secured like other parts of the transportation system.
  • The threat of transit terrorism is probably not universal; most attacks in the western world have been on largest systems in the largest cities.
  • Transit managers are struggling to balance the costs and benefits of increased security against the costs and benefits of attracting passengers.
  • Close coordination among government, security and transit sectors is critical to effective planning.
ten lessons learned47
Ten Lessons Learned
  • Despite significant progress in increasing coordination, much work remains (particularly in the U.S.).
  • Standardization of emergency training, security audits, and guidelines, and disaster preparedness procedures is important.
  • Passenger education is a challenge: Informed passengers can increase safety, fearful passengers may stop using transit.
ten lessons learned48
Ten Lessons Learned
  • Anti-terrorism efforts have had as a positive side-effect the reduction of person and property crime in transit systems.
  • The role of crime prevention through environmental design is waxing.
  • Transit agencies have been more likely to adopt comprehensive, multi-pronged approaches to security after 9-11.

“You can have the cleanest trains in the world, you can have the most luminous trains in the world, and you can have the most comfortable trains in the world, and you can have the most punctual trains in the world. But when you go in a train and do not feel safe you are not going to use that train.”

– Manuel Rodriguez Simons, Director of Security and Civil Protection, RENFE, Madrid