Center for American Progress

: New Strategies to Protect America: Terrorism and Mass Transit after London and Madrid
Past Event

New Strategies to Protect America: Terrorism and Mass Transit after London and Madrid

Terrorism and Mass Transit after London and Madrid

12:00 AM - 11:59 PM EDT

August 10, 2005

Please join the Center for American Progress for a panel discussion on:

New Strategies to Protect America
Terrorism and Mass Transit after London and Madrid

Bill Johnstone, author and former Member of the 9/11 Commission team on aviation and transportation security
Brian D. Taylor, Associate Professor and Vice-Chair of Urban Planning and Director, Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA

Moderated by:
Philip J. (P.J.) Crowley, Senior Fellow and Director of National Defense and Homeland Security, Center for American Progress

Featured Reports & Transcript
• New Strategies to Protect America: Full text (PDF)
• 12 Recommendations for Progress: Full text (PDF)
• Transcript: Full Text (PDF)

Despite the recent terror attacks in London, the security dimension of American mass transit systems remains a low priority for the federal government. While complete security is unattainable on transit systems that are designed to be accessible, better security is imperative. However, despite London and prior attacks in Madrid and Moscow, the Department of Homeland Security continues to underestimate the terrorist threat to transit systems. Transportation infrastructure protection is dominated by aviation security at the expense of other requirements. A better balance is required. Cities, states and the private sector have critical roles to play, but the federal government must increase transit security funding in order to sustain a stronger police presence; improve our surveillance capability; accelerate the development of better detectors; and incorporate security into future transit system design. London shows that al Qaeda and its affiliates and sympathizers are adapting their tactics. The United States must do the same.

As part of its ongoing Critical Infrastructure Protection Series, the Center for American Progress is convening an expert panel to assess transit security. What can be done and who is responsible for mass transit security in the United States? What resources are necessary and where should they come from? What should the nation’s transportation infrastructure security priorities be? The Center for American Progress will also release a strategy paper entitled New Strategies to Protect America: Terrorism and Mass Transit after London and Madrid, which provides specific recommendations on how we can provide better security for our nation’s public transportation.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Lunch will be served at 12 noon.
Program: 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Admission is free.

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Philip J. (P.J.) Crowley is a Senior Fellow and Director of National Defense and Homeland Security at the Center for American Progress. During the Clinton administration, Crowley was Special Assistant to the President of the United States for National Security Affairs, serving as Senior Director of Public Affairs for the National Security Council. Prior to that, he was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. In all, Crowley was a spokesman for the United States government and United States military for 28 years, 11 of those years at the Pentagon and three at the White House. He served for 26 years in the United States Air Force, retiring at the rank of colonel in September 1999. He is a veteran of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. During the Kosovo conflict, he was temporarily assigned to work with then NATO Secretary General Javier Solana. Prior to joining American Progress, he served as a national spokesman for the property/casualty insurance industry, focusing on strategic industry issues that included the impact of terrorism on commercial insurance in the aftermath of the World Trade Center tragedy and the effect of asbestos litigation on the broader economy. A native of Massachusetts, P.J. is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross.

Bill Johnstone is currently working on a book on the 9/11 hijackings and transit security. Johnstone was recently a professional staff member of the 9/11 Commission, serving on the team on aviation and transportation security, where he co-authored the reports on its findings and recommendations. As a 9/11 Commission staff member, he also analyzed and evaluated the current status of transportation security in the United States and vetted recommendations for its improvement. Johnstone has over 20 years experience directing public policy operations in federal government offices. In addition to working with other members of Congress in various capacities, Johnstone served as Senior Policy Advisor to Senator Max Cleland (1997-2002) with a focus on the areas of foreign policy, homeland security, defense, intelligence and budget. Johnstone holds a B.A. and M.A. in political science from Emory University .

Brian D. Taylor is an Associate Professor and Vice-Chair of Urban Planning and Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA. His research centers on both transportation finance and travel demographics. He has examined the politics of transportation finance, including the influence of finance on the development of metropolitan freeway systems and the effect of public transit subsidy programs on both system performance and social equity. His research on the demographics of travel behavior has emphasized access-deprived populations, including women, racial-ethnic minorities, the disabled, and the poor. His work in this area has also explored the relationships between transportation and urban form, with a focus on commuting and employment access for low-wage workers. Most recently his research has examined (1) technological and political obstacles to pricing roads and public transit systems, and (2) the factors explaining changes in transit ridership on public transit systems, including the deployment of rapid bus service in congested suburban settings, and transit system design for increased security. At UCLA Professor Taylor teaches courses in transportation policy and planning and research design. Prior to coming to UCLA in 1994, he was a faculty member in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and before that a Transportation Analyst with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in Oakland, California.