TSA procedures have changed modes of travel since 9/11

Whitehaven High School/Memphis, Tenn.
Posted in Security

COLUMBIA — Standing with feet spread shoulder-width apart, being frisked by a total stranger and feeling totally violated.

That’s how many people have felt after experiencing their belongings and their bodies searched due to increased security measures while traveling since Sept. 11, 2001.

As a result of the attacks on America that day, there have been many precautions taken to keep such a tragedy from happening again. The government developed a preventive measure — the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, which operates under the Department of Homeland Security.

The TSA secures many of the nation’s transportation services by having passengers go through scanning and various procedures to ensure that no weapons are present.

The TSA covers various modes of transportation beyond aviation, including rail, transit, highway and pipeline sectors.

Myriad people ride the bus, which is also under TSA jurisdiction. Greyhound spokesman Timothy Stokes said the company’s buses now have a “no tolerance” policy. Greyhound bus drivers have the authority to deny bus service to anyone they feel is unruly,

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Stokes said.

At Columbia’s historic Wabash Station, frequent bus patrons said they felt safe riding the bus.

“It’s safer than a car,” Sherry Brandis said.

Chris Quarton said the video cameras and audio recorders on the bus — new since 2001 — make him “usually” feel safe.

When asked why he sometimes does not feel safe, Quarton said there are occasionally people who are disruptive on the buses, and he gets nervous. He said it doesn’t really happen as muchanymore, probably because of the cameras.

Buses aren’t the only form of transit that are taking on new safety procedures since 9/11. Amtrak Media Relations Manager Marc Magliari said that since 9/11, Amtrak stations, including the station in Jefferson City, have made public areas private.

Amtrak stations have changed restrictions on areas in which train riders can and cannot be picked up. In years past, taxis could drive into, under and through the building to pick up clients on their own service road, but new restrictions mandate that taxis remain outside to pick up their clients.

Transportation procedures and techniques used by troopers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol have also been revised. Sgt. Paul Reinsch said the patrol from Troop F, which serves Boone and surrounding counties, is even more vigilant to things that appear out of the ordinary.

Unattended bags and cars parked near bridges or overpasses are just a couple of things troopers look for when patrolling. Reinsch said the Highway Patrol also encourages the

public to be vigilant and to contact authorities if they see anything suspicious.