(Kansas City, Mo. – July 29, 2015) Kansas City this week landed a $174,000 federal grant to prepare for possible emergencies and protect its transit system from terrorism.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant will go to the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority for security training and developing a plan for responding to a terrorist attack on the bus system.
About $100,000 will go toward developing a blueprint for coordinating with local law enforcement and other public safety agencies responding to any terrorist incident on a bus or affecting bus service.
Another $74,000 is earmarked for an exercise responding to a simulated terrorist attack on the city’s bus network. Some of the money also is expected to be used for teaching more than 450 KCATA employees the best methods for defusing hostile situations on a bus. Each employee would receive four hours of training during the course of a year.
Kansas City shared in $87 million distributed to public transportation agencies nationally by the federal government. About $236,000 went to St. Louis. No grant money went to any other transit agency in Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa or Nebraska.
The grant money coming to Kansas City is part of a national program to protect the country’s transit infrastructure, including bus, rail and ferry systems, from a terrorist attack.
Eligibility criteria for the grants included transit agencies serving high-density urban areas with high ridership. Last year, Kansas City had nearly 16 million bus boardings.
The grants were announced Tuesday by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.