President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget would cut transportation security grants that support patrols of so-called soft targets like New York City’s Penn Station and Washington, D.C.’s Union Station.
In the document released this week, the Trump administration proposed cutting by more than half a $100 million grant program that supports security operations at passenger transportation sites, $10 million of which funds security at Amtrak. The bulk of the grants in recent years have paid for security measures at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the New York City subway system. NJ Transit also receives funding from the program.
Government officials and safety regulators have warned that the existing funding was already too low to meet the threats against some of the nation’s most crowded transportation networks.
“President Trump promised to make America safe, yet his budget treats security needs at transit hubs — such as Penn Station, JFK, Grand Central Terminal–like an inconvenience,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, (D., N.Y.), said in a statement.
Mr. Schumer, the senate minority leader, said transit hubs are “a prime target for would-be terrorists,” and his New York colleague, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, said the state’s residents “should not be gambling with their safety when they use public transportation.”
Safeguarding soft targets like Penn Station and Washington’s Union Station is “already incredibly difficult and has long been underfunded — but these latest cuts are draconian,” said Sarah Feinberg, who led the Federal Railroad…