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OCTA Receives $1.5 Million Transit Security Grant

Money to be used for surveillance cameras and new emergency training program

ORANGE – The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) on Monday will accept a $1.5 million federal grant that will go toward adding video surveillance to buses and enhancing the agency’s emergency training program.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security provided $11.3 million to the Orange County-Los Angeles region for increased bus and rail security systems. Awarded through the Transit Security Grant Program, OCTA was successful in its efforts to receive $1.5 million.

A majority of the grant money will equip 126 fixed-route buses with on-board surveillance equipment. The buses will join a 118-vehicle fleet OCTA already equipped with video surveillance from a previous $2 million grant.

“Security and the safety of our passengers is a top priority,” said OCTA Chairman Chris Norby, also the Fourth District supervisor. “We hope to never encounter an emergency situation but in the event we do, it’s critical to have the strategies in place to respond as quickly as possible.”

The remaining funds will support an emergency preparedness exercise and training program that will include workshops, employee preparation and field drills to test OCTA’s Emergency Management Plan. The initial stages of planning are under way and a full-scale drill is expected to take place summer 2010.

The Transit Security Grant Program, which is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Infrastructure Protection Program, is designed to help strengthen the nation’s rail, bus and ferry transit systems against risks associated with potential terrorist attacks.

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