City's rail rendering

BY DUANE SAYERS – In response to Panos Prevedouros’ post on January 16, 2012, “Urban Rail and Terrorism,” Mr. Prevedouros continues his campaign of fearmongering.  In this case, he cherry-picked pieces of an article in order to incite readers into thinking al Qaeda is waiting in the wings to terrorize the Honolulu rail system.

In point, Mr. Prevedouros uses a bullet from an article in the New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority magazine that says, “According to the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) Data Base of Terrorists Attacks against Public Surface Transportation, over 4,000 people were killed in 1,434 attacks between 2004 and 2010.”

However, in his scare tactics he fails to point out that the article goes on to say, “none took place on US soil,” a fact confirmed by Karen E. Philbrick, Ph.D., Deputy Executive Director and Director of Research at Mineta Transportation Institute.

There are roughly 10.4 billion unlinked transit passenger trips per year in the United States (per APTA).  Since 9/11, not one of those 104 billion passengers was injured or killed by terrorist attacks in the US.

Mr. Prevedouros goes on to say that the, “FTA does not provide funds for security.”  The TSA   however, gave out $273 million in competitive grants through its Transit Security Grant Program.

Mr. Prevedouros adds his own editorializing by saying, “Substantial funds are necessary to combat groping, pickpocketing, and other petty crime.”  Though it is difficult to find statistics that specifically address groping and pickpocketing, Mr. Prevedouros can take comfort in the fact that HART, Honolulu Police, TSA, HDOT, and other state and local agencies continue to work closely to develop plans to provide for a safe and secure rail transit system.

Duane Sayers is the Rail Operations Manager for the Honolulu Transit Authority.

Comments

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8 COMMENTS

  1. The original article was sufficiently alarming. I did not have to cherry pick anything from it. Perhaps Mr. Sayers can cherry pick some positives out of that article.

    I never implied that Honolulu rail will be an Al Qaeda target, but as a government system it will cost us as much as “necessary” to “protect us from an Al Qaeda attack.” In other words we will be paying for a useless system and the useless terrorism protection that comes with it.

    But as Mr. Sayers would say: we need all this for the 100s of idle, inefficient and very costly jobs.

    I will continue to do all the “fear mongering” necessary to steer us clear of Mr. Sayers black hole.

  2. Here is a relevant position dating back to 2000, that is before the 9/11 attacks:

    Authorities “believe urban rail, commuter rail, and bus and rail terminals are at greatest risk of being targeted in a terrorist event. Bridges and tunnels are perceived to be slightly less at risk. Bus vehicles and ferries are considered the least likely targets for terrorist activities.”

    Annabelle Boyd and John P. Sullivan, “Emergency Preparedness for Transit Terrorism,” Transportation Research News, May–June 2000, p. 14; http://www.nationalacademies.org/trb/publications/trnews/transit_security.pdf.

  3. Relax Panos they don’t have time to build rail. The Mayan calendar will end and our world as we know it will cease to exist on December 22nd, in an apocalypse of fire and destruction. No need to worry.

  4. The nut of the author’s argument is flawed. Before 9/11 no terrorist had knocked down two landmark skyscrapers in a U.S. city either. Unlike other nations, local commuter rails systems haven’t been attacked by terrorists in the U.S. … yet.

  5. This is getting out of control. Maybe this should just be dropped cause it seems to me it's causing a lot of problems and arguments.

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