By: Georgia Lobb
In light of the tragic marathon bombings in Boston, transportation authorities are taking extra precautions and urging travelers to help keep public transit safe.
Last Monday’s act of violence prompted many transportation entities in New England to beef up security.
After the attack, the Federal Aviation Administration mandated a “ground stop” that halted any flight activity from around 4:50pm-5:20pm last Monday, according to the International Business Times. The Massachusetts public transit systems were also shut down.
“My train back to school pulled out of South Station right after the bomb went off, literally moments after,” Recalls Maggie McCuen, a senior at Fairfield University who had returned to her hometown of Boston to watch the marathon. “It was a really peculiar feeling to be kind of trapped on a moving train away from a city I love that was being terrorized. I felt really helpless.”
Ms. McCuen said that when she got off her train in Bridgeport, a policeman searched her bags.
We all know the saying, “If you see something, say something.” Authorities are asking people to take this mantra to heart now more than ever.
Outside of Boston, many other transportation organizations are making changes.
The NYPD is “stepping up security at hotels as well as other prominent locations, through deployment of the NYPD’s critical response vehicles,” according to CBS.
The MTA also has heightened security. “The agency has deployed extra police and K-9 units to monitor LIRR, Metro-North and subway trains and stations across the region. And while riders’ bags were subject to random search, many say the stronger police presence gives them a sense of security,” said News12.com
New Jersey transit is also being careful. Police Director Samuel DeMaio says that Newark police “will add patrols in the downtown area and other areas of large gatherings and transportation centers. There will also be additional aerial surveillance.” (News12.com).