NY Governor and MTA Chairman ride subway to discuss potential threats and state responses

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Governor Andrew Cuomo and MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast address news of another potential transit threat after comments Thursday from the Iraqi Prime Minister.

Earlier in the week, the Governor announced the assignment of additional patrols at transit location. State officials said they were not aware of another new threat.

The Governor described this as the highest state of preparedness for the metropolitan region since 9/11.

“You are going to see a greater police presence than you have seen before. You are going to see more city police, more MTA police, PA police, State Police, more K9 units," Governor Cuomo said. "Don’t be alarmed, if anything that should be comforting. We are increasing resources all across the board. But again, in our efforts, the efforts of our citizens are key."

Also this week, the MTA released it's 2015-2019 Capital Program detailing $32 billion in construction and improvement projects.

It includes $16.9 million specifically directed to enhancing security, including "the strategic expansion of camera coverage and track intrusion detection technology" (which automatically alerts train crews or the Rail Control Center if anything substantial falls onto the tracks). The MTA says the system has 4,500 security cameras and there are 1,500 buses with cameras.

The MTA is testing that sensor technology now at undisclosed stations.

Other items would spend $3.1 million for Atlantic Ave Tunnel Security Improvements, $20 million for passenger security systems, and upgrades in radio communications and improved fencing and security along tracks and at bridges and tunnels.

A search of the word "security" within the MTA document turned up a $336 million entry for "Repair and upgrade employee facilities, administrative and operations buildings, police facilities, and security systems."

The MTA is seeking funding for the entire plan, which you can read here.