BART receives $6.8M FEMA grant to improve security

BART announced Monday that they have received a $6.8 million grant from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help improve the safety and security of riders. 

“The grant provides an extra boost to the important steps we’re already taking to improve the safety and security of BART riders,” said BART General Manager Grace Crunican in a statement on BART's website. 

BART Spokesman Jim Allison said roughly 12 transit agencies across the country were awarded the funds. 

“Certainly the fact that we’re getting this money at a time when we have more day to day security concerns is helpful, but we can’t forget the fact that we need to keep an eye on anti-terrorism aspect of public transportation as well,” Allison said.

$1,137,333 of the grant will help fund the continuation of the Critical Asset Patrol team. It consists of seven officers and one sergeant who provide a visible presence on trains, especially during peak passenger travel times including special events, according to BART. 

The majority of the money, $3,616,300 will help upgrade security cameras from analog to digital at Powell St., Civic Center, and 16th Street stations. $2,000,000 will go towards improving radio communications systems for first responders if they use their own radios underground. 

One of BART board of directors, Bevan Dufty, said the money comes at a critical time for BART and said it is thanks in part to Bay Area members of Congress, especially Eric Swalwell.

“Congressman Swalwell has been at the leadership for many years of bringing resources to BART, in particularly, this year, FEMA’s grant award of 6.8 million dollars,” Dufty.