According to USA Today "75% of the nation's major rail and bus systems aren't meeting Homeland Security guidelines." This according to the first ever evaluation of mass-transit security by the federal Transit Security Agency. First ever? You mean this hasn't come up before?
You'll be relieved to know that 96% of airlines are in compliance. Well, at least they've got their priories straight.
The story goes on to say that "the report doesn't identify which rail and bus systems fell short."
Stop right there.
I kinda wanna know that. Don't you? Is the Washington Metro system among the laggards? I ride that damn thing every day. It breaks a lot, but it seems secure. But what do I know? What about the New York subway system? Or the Port Authority?
I suppose there could be a downside to revealing the precise names of the systems that are slacking off, but tell me this. What's the upside is of releasing this report at all? I suppose, if your TSA, you're argument would be that the report would embarrass the hacks into dehacking themselves. But, since they are not being publicly exposed and there is no penalty for being out of compliance, what's to stop the hacks from continuing to enjoy the lower costs that come with hackdom - a nice perq in a tight budget environment? I suppose another argument for releasing the report would be that it might stimulate a little buyer-beware behavior on the part of the riding public - pay a little closer attention to the person sitting next to you when you get on the bus, for example. But if I'm a regular using of public transportation, which I am, I'm gonna play the odds and think twice before even hopping on the Metro. Why wouldn't buyer-beware become buyer-boycott?
Fortunately, USA Today story aside, nobody in the country knows this report exists except the transportation folks, and I've already gone through my cynical version of their logic.
To be fair, the new administration is promising to divert more resources to the commuter rail and bus systems that many of us use every day. Bravo! Not a moment too soon. But I still wanna know if the Metrorail system complies.