ROLES AND IMPLICATIONS OF TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS IN HOMELAND SECURITY
Virginia Department of Transportation, Richmond, Virginia
High Street Consulting Group, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
In the United States, state Departments of Transportation (DOTs), working with agencies at the local and federal governmental levels, have responsibility for planning, delivering, operating, and maintaining a vast surface transportation network that includes not only four million miles of roads serving local, regional, and national travel needs , but also many rail lines, bus and rail transit systems, ferries, ports, and waterways. The emergency preparedness capabilities that public-sector transportation agencies are acquiring are critical to safe and efficient operation of the nation's transportation network in the twenty-first century.
Surface transportation is uniquely positioned among critical infrastructures and key resources in terms of its management by agencies with broad policy responsibility, public accountability, large and distributed workforces, heavy equipment, communications infrastructure, and ability to directly and swiftly take action (akin to the private sector). This institutional heft and continuous programmatic investment provide a stable base for a campaign to systematically reduce risk exposure over time through hazards capital budgeting.
Whether moving by car, truck, bus, train, ferry, bicycle, or on foot, Americans depend on surface ...