AP report: Shooting on bus in Calif. exposes soft spots in ground transport security
A shooting aboard a Greyhound bus traveling between Los Angeles and San Francisco shows how passenger and operator security for ground transportation is more vulnerable when compared to air travel, The Associated Press reported.
One passenger lost her life and five other people were wounded, two critically, in the shooting that happened as the bus was moving on Interstate 5 near the small mountain community of Lebec, Calif., early Monday, Feb. 3. The suspect, a Maryland man, was restrained by passengers and arrested by authorities.
“Anyone determined to carry out an attack on ground transportation faces few, if any, security checks,” the AP report stated.
The report mentions that more than 30 million people in the U.S. use ground transportation daily while 3 million fly. But spending on security for ground transportation such as passenger trains, subways, light rail and buses is dwarfed by spending on air transportation security. An estimate from a former U.S. representative mentioned that after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that security for buses, trains, subways and ferries combined was outspent by air security by more than $20 billion.
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Agency in conjunction with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is enacting security devices that scan for weapons and explosives, the first in the nation to do so, AP reported.
But duplicating the level of security that exists at the nation’s airports would be a difficult task for ground transportation providers nationwide, AP stated.
“As it is now, drivers and passengers are the de facto, frontline security when violence breaks out on buses,” the report stated.