RTA receives "Gold Standard" Award from the TSA NEW ORLEANS – The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) will receive the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) “Gold Standard” Award for its strong transit security program and commitment to passenger security. The RTA is one of thirteen (13) rail and mass transit agencies recognized by TSA for receiving the highest rating on the Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement (BASE) program. The “Gold Standard” is awarded by achieving the highest scores on the BASE review specific to 17 categories of Security and Emergency Preparedness action items. The BASE assessment evaluates agencies’ security programs and identifies opportunities to further enhance them. “Security is paramount in daily operations, and securely transporting our 55,000 daily riders where they need to go is the most important thing we do,” stated Salvador G. Longoria, Chairman of the RTA Board of Commissioners. He added, “In 2015, RTA transported 19.6 million passengers. With enforced procedures, strict training for bus and streetcar operators, strategic communication among supervisors, transit police and the public, as well as recent upgrades to technology and real-time fleet surveillance, the RTA firmly upholds its commitment to passenger security.” “These agencies are to be commended for their commitment and hard work that this level of achievement requires, and for their continued dedication to ensure the security of travelers nationwide,” said TSA Assistant Administrator Eddie Mayenschein, who oversees the Office of Security Policy and Industry Engagement. The BASE program, a voluntary comprehensive review of transit agencies, establishes a standard for individual system security programs. The program establishes fundamental categories for a sound transit security program such as security plans, security training, drills/exercise programs, public outreach efforts and background check programs; assesses each transit system’s strengths and weaknesses in these categories; and assesses system progress in reaching security goals and objectives. Through the 9/11 Commission Act’s security assessment section, BASE was developed to increase domain awareness and response preparedness, and enhance prevention and protection capabilities of America’s transit systems. Chris McKay, Industry Engagement Manager/Mass Transit and Passenger Rail, will recognize and present the “Gold Standard” award to the RTA on Wednesday, May 25 at 2:00 pm. For more information about this award and the RTA in New Orleans, visit www.norta.com or call 504-248-3900. The 13 agencies recognized for achieving the Gold Standard in 2015 are: Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA); Miami-Dade Transit (MDT); Amtrak; Metro-North Railroad Company, which is part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority; Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD); Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA); Metropolitan Transportation Authority/ New York City Transit (MTA/NYCT); Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation (PATH), which is part of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; Pace-Suburban Bus Division in the Chicago area; New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (NORTA); North County Transit District (NCTD) of North San Diego County; Port Authority Transportation Corporation (PATCO), which is the high speed train line between Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia; and Minnesota Metro Transit, which serves the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.