On the Ground: Protecting America’s Roads and Transit Against Terrorism

Arnold M. Howitt and Jonathan Makler

Though the federal government, states, and localities have spent considerable sums on transportation security since September 11, little funding has addressed needs outside of the air travel system and equipment for the “first responders” of public safety agencies. However, from 1991 to 2001, 42 percent of all terrorist attacks worldwide have targeted rail systems or buses. This brief examines the regulatory, financial, and logistical landscape of surface transportation security, making policy recommendations while counseling decision-makers to weigh carefully the trade-offs between accessibility and security.