Public transport comprises an effective and safe means of reducing traffic congestion in and between urban areas, and in “bridging the distance” between them and peripheral areas. It makes places of employment in cities accessible to employees living in the suburbs and in neighboring towns, and can therefore be regarded as the social lifeline of every city and country.
Mass transit systems are the backbone of public transport. Their stability and capacity to provide transport services are extremely important from both social and economic perspectives.
The most prominent characteristics of public transport systems, as inferred by their name, are their public, accessible and open-to-all nature. However, it is specifically because of these characteristics that these systems are exposed to threats of terror, violence and vandalism. Furthermore, public transport operators face criminal threats involving the theft of expensive equipment and sabotage of infrastructures.
Public transport security comprises a range of proactive activities whose purpose is to prevent terrorists from penetrating the system and smuggling weapons into stations and vehicles, and to protect the stations and those arriving at their gates from hostile elements attempting to harm them.
At the same time, the security plan is intended to prevent property crime and to foil attempts to sabotage the public transport operator’s equipment or use it without authorization. The security plan also enables the organization to function in emergencies, and once these are resolved, to quickly resume routine operation.
- Security is not a goal in itself, but rather a means whose goal is to enable the public transport operator to effectively transport passengers from one place to another, and to provide these services in an uninterrupted manner.
- The security arrangements must be adapted to the specific threats faced by the public transport operator and by each of its facilities and interests that require protection.
- The security system will be based on skilled, qualified manpower and on technical means. The precise number and role of the security team members and type and quantity of equipment, as well as the appropriate balance between them, will be determined based on the nature of the security facilities and of the organization’s activities.
- Security measures will be implemented in full coordination with the local authorities, in a manner fully complying with all local laws, regulations and standards set by the local bodies responsible for providing professional guidance.
- The security plan will comply with accepted standards in the field of security.
- The security plan will be developed taking into account budgetary and other constraints and available resources.
- The security plan will be developed so as to maximize the benefit of resources invested.
Goals and objectives:
- Primary goal: To develop and consolidate a security concept and plan that will blend in with the activity carried out in the public transport system and allow it to maintain its characteristics and fulfill its objectives.
- To protect the lives of the passengers, employees, providers, clients and crowds found at stations and other facilities, and onboard vehicles.
- To protect the public transport operator’s equipment and assets from theft, intentional damage and sabotage.
- The security plan will include required Loss Prevention components.
- The security plan will also cover contingency planning and the means and measures required to ensure continuity of operation.
The goal of an effective security plan is first and foremost to prevent and foil attempted attacks directed at persons and property, instigated by hostile elements. At the same time, the implementation of a well-thought out, tailored and professional security plan will transmit a reassuring message of control and responsibility to the public transport operator’s employees, passengers and the public at large.
The fundamental precondition of any public transport security plan is that it must be adapted to the activity and characteristics of the public transport system. It is imperative that it be professionally designed, taking into account cost-benefit considerations. It will focus on dealing with the identified threats, and will not diminish the level of customer service provided to the traveling public and others arriving at the system’s facilities by the operator. Such a plan will reassure the public on the one hand, and transmit a firm message of preparedness that will deter the adversary from perpetrating attacks, on the other hand.