In the wake of deadly attacks in Brussels that targeted the subway system and airport, state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) renewed a push Sunday for a state level review of security in the region’s transit and commuter rail system.
The proposed legislation would require the New York State division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to conduct regular, comprehensive assessments of security on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s systems, including Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North and city subways.
“With what happened in Brussels, it’s obviously brought renewed attention to the vulnerabilities of the subways and transportation infrastructure,” Gianaris said at a news conference at Grand Central Station. Gianaris said the entire system should be looked at by anti-terror experts within the state homeland security office.
“The commuter rail is just as vulnerable,” Gianaris said. “Any transportation system that has thousands and thousands of people using it every day is one that needs protection and what we need are the experts to come in and evaluate it.”
The bill is sponsored in the Assembly by Assemb. Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows). Gianaris has sponsored the bill six times previously both as an assemblyman and as a senator, but it died in committee each time.
MTA spokesman Chris McKniff said the agency doesn’t comment on pending legislation. McKniff said the authority’s police collaborate with local law enforcement partners on security.
The legislation was first introduced in 2006 after the attacks on the London subway system the previous year.