GUIDANCE DOCUMENT


Immediate Actions (IAs)

for Transit Agencies


For Potential and Actual Life-Threatening Incidents


FTA Logo

 

Office of Safety and Security

Federal Transit Administration

Washington, DC


April, 2004

 


 

Immediate Actions (IAs) for Transit Agencies

For Potential and Actual Life-Threatening Incidents


Section A: Background on IAs


Purpose

The purpose of this Immediate Actions publication is to assist operators and other transit agency personnel who may encounter potential or actual life-threatening events involving criminal activities or terrorism. In such heightened risk situations, the transit employee may have only seconds to recognize, observe, and assess activities or incidents.

Threats—including terrorists and violent criminal acts—can manifest themselves in a matter of seconds or minutes in a transit environment and can have serious impacts. Immediate Actions (IAs) are clear procedures that may help prevent or mitigate a terrorist or violent criminal act.

The IAs in this document are focused on protecting a transit agency’s employees, passengers/patrons, and anyone else working in the vicinity. Section A provides general background information about the IA process and Section B describes the procedures and provides samples of immediate action instructions (called IA Matrix). Each transit agency will need to study the IA instructions and determine the best actions for their system and operation.


What Are Immediate Actions?

Immediate Actions (IAs) are a protective measure1for potential threats or attacks. An IA is intended to help transit agency employees detect, deter or mitigate a potential or an actual incident in progress. Aviation and military operations, civil defense, and public safety campaigns have historically used IAs composed of one to four actions that, if performed immediately, can make a significant difference in the outcome of a life-threatening incident.

Two well known examples illustrate the format of the IA:

In the transit environment, IAs are procedures a transit agency employee should follow during the time between recognizing a preliminary activity, a potential incident, or active incident and when the opportunity to request guidance and support is available. There are three relevant activities that might be recognized by or reported to a transit agency employee that would cause the use of an IA:

1. A Preliminary Activity is when a criminal or terrorist might be involved in “casing” (as in checking out weaknesses), surveillance, reconnaissance, or a rehearsal to support a planned act. A preliminary activity IA is intended to help the transit employee quickly identify the potential criminal or terrorists for security personnel.

2. A Potential Incident is when someone perceives activities that may indicate that a criminal or terrorist could be about to act. In fact, a criminal or terrorist act may be imminent, and quick action may prevent or mitigate the incident.

3. An Active Incident is synonymous with an attack or active emergency. Something has in fact happened, and lives and property are at risk. Immediate action may save lives and reduce property damage.

The transit agency employee who becomes aware of the possibility of a criminal or terrorist situation can initiate an IA (based on a preliminary, potential, or active incident) within seconds without consulting another person. The transit agency employee initiating the IA will most likely be a bus or rail operator, station agent, or someone working in close proximity to significant numbers of patrons and other employees. However, any employee—including an executive, administrative, maintenance or security employee—may initiate an IA. For the trained transit agency employee, no communication with workers or emergency personnel is needed or desired until the IA is completed or well underway.

Situations can and do exist during day-to-day transit activities when an IA can deter or mitigate a serious incident. IA procedures are the first few steps of a standard or emergency operating procedure for criminal and terrorist threats to transit system passengers, patrons, or other personnel as shown in the following example.


Example: Emergency Operating Procedure – Armed Attack

The assumption is that someone has a firearm and has used it or is threatening to use it.

Here are steps in chronological order. The bold items are the Immediate Actions.

Transit Agency Employee Actions (operator)


1. Do not confront suspects or put yourself, passengers/patrons, or others in jeopardy by attempting to intervene.

2. Quickly assess the situation by using your powers of observation. Watch out for accomplices or other individuals threatening your escape.

3. Perform the Evacuation (EVAC ) or Lockdown (Shelter in Place) Immediate Action, based on your best judgment about which IA provides the best protection.

4. REPORT – contact the Communications Center or police as soon as possible.

5. Prepare for the arrival of responders— provide additional descriptive information about the attackers and potential injured persons.

 
Communications Center (receiver)
  1. Take the report.

  2. Call police and other responders.

  3. Stop and/or redirect transit vehicles as necessary to avoid the area.

  4. Remind operator of the IA procedure.

  5. Alert the system to the incident and/or attack.

  6. Call for increased vigilance.



Why Use IAs?

Knowing what to do in an emergency—when passengers and transit agency employees are in danger—is critical for protecting and saving lives. Waiting for emergency response from police and fire crews may take as long as 10 to 30 minutes depending on the type of incident. For example, in a suspected chemical attack or spill, the fire department’s HAZMAT team may take several minutes to get to the scene, put on their breathing apparatus and chemical suits, and gain access to the site.

This does not mean that a transit agency employee is expected to confront a criminal or terrorist and put his or her life at risk (absolutely not!). What is needed is quick and smart observation and assessment and immediate actions that end up limiting the most risks for the most people.


IAs Are Training Tools

Many of the IA instructions include leading passengers to safety and then reporting to the transit agency communications center2. In almost all cases, this will be the best course of action. Having the training and discipline to do the right thing in a crisis sometimes means not following one’s natural instincts to go to the center of the disturbance and not risking becoming a victim of a criminal or terrorist act. A transit agency employee who is a victim is in no position to help patrons or the transit agency.

This approach requires that each transit agency employee be well trained in IA and emergency procedures to protect employees, passengers/patrons, and anyone else in the vicinity at the time of the incident. Training transit agency employees on IAs also can reduce the number of false alarms. This allows the transit agency employee in the field to decide to evacuate a vehicle or station without permission from the communications center.

At the same time, it is important that the transit agency employees understand their responsibilities and are willing to act. A false alarm from a transit agency employee, while not desirable, is far better than not acting in a situation that turns out to be a real emergency. Frequent refresher training on emergency procedures and IAs can be an effective way of reducing false alarms.

How to Use IAs

All transit agency employees have security responsibilities. These responsibilities become more important as the likelihood increases that some person, package, vehicle, or substance might cause injuries to people and/or damage to property. Transit agency employees are expected to change their security responses based on their observations, or alerts by transit patrons, and assessments of their observations.

Routine security responsibilities for transit agency employees always include monitoring activities around the work area while performing their primary job duties. This monitoring includes watching for things out of the ordinary and identifying suspicious activities, packages, and substances.

As indicated earlier, during routine monitoring activities, a transit agency employee might detect something suspicious or potentially dangerous, which might require the activation of an IA. In addition, a transit agency employee may be alerted to potential security situations by transit patrons.

Alerts from patrons of the transit system may become more common with the addition of FTA’s Transit Watch program, which was rolled out in October, 2003. Transit Watch is intended to raise the awareness of transit employees, riders, and the general public by encouraging the public to watch for and report suspicious packages and behavior, and to be prepared if an emergency were to occur in the transit system.

Security conditions requiring action that might be observed are as follows:

chronology of an attack/incident

The detection of any of these four types of conditions requires the activation of an IA. If an agency employee is alerted to any of these conditions by a transit patron, the employee should try to verify the condition. However, if verification is not possible, the agency employee should assume that the report is valid and activate an IA.

The decisions leading up to activating IAs and proposed reactions (in italics) are as follows:

  1. A transit agency employee observes, or is alerted to, something that appears suspicious or might be a security threat.
     

  2. The transit agency employee must assess and determine if this situation might pose a threat to transit agency employees, passengers/ patrons, or transit agency property. This assessment, when concluded, may result in nothing more than the employee contacting the communications center to report the situation and ask for advice.

Observe and Assess – Observe behavior, activities, or items that are out of the ordinary and assess whether or not those activities or items are a potential or actual threat to lives and/or property damage.

  1. If the employee decides that this situation is suspicious enough or is a dangerous situation, then the proper IA should be activated and followed. IAs always include contacting the communications center and/or the police, but only after the IA is at least underway.

Distance – Lead people away from the threat, which may require moving upwind and uphill.

Barriers – If possible, put barriers between people and the threat. Shelter in place if necessary.

Report – Notify (communications center or police) and await trained response.

  1. If the employee determines that this situation is not suspicious enough to act, then the employee should continue with the standard security monitoring activities.

 

There are three types of IAs designed to provide users with smart and easy-to-master actions:

  1. The Suspicious Activity IAs include suspicious activities or suspicious packages/substances.

If the transit agency employee observes, or is alerted to, suspicious activity, activation of one of the Suspicious Activity IAs may be warranted. Suspicious activity includes someone acting suspiciously or there is a suspicious package or unknown powder or substance in the transit vehicle or facility. These IAs make sure that the transit agency employee quickly and efficiently collects the information required for the communications center to provide proper response if needed.

  1. The Imminent Threat and Attack IAs include armed (personal deadly weapons such as firearms, knives or clubs) threat and attack, explosives threat and attack, and chem/bio threat and attack.

If the transit agency employee observes something that appears to cause an immediate threat to life and property or perhaps the transit agency employee observes (or is alerted to) a crime in progress, activation of one or more of the Imminent Threat and Attack IAs may be warranted.

These IAs help the employee provide distance and barriers for protecting himself or herself, passengers/patrons, and any others in the vicinity of the imminent or actual incident. Then, promptly (Speed is more important than complete accuracy at this point.) report to the communications center or the police.

  1. The Life Safety IAs include: lockdown (shelter in place) and evacuation.

The Life Safety IAs are often performed as a part of the Imminent Threat and Attack IAs. Typically in a threat or actual incident, life safety requires the use of barriers (shelter in place) or moving to a safer location (evacuation). The Life Safety IAs provide protection for transit agency employees, passengers/patrons, and others for several threatening situations.



Section B: Procedures for Transit Employee’s Immediate Action (IA)

The following scenarios define Immediate Actions (IAs) in terms of (1) the situation and (2) the IA procedure for on-site personnel. On-site personnel, identified here as “Transit Agency Employees,” are transit agency operators (for any mode), conductors, station attendants, station agents, inspectors, maintenance employees, and other transit agency employees including managers and administration. These IAs provide a basis for training transit agency employees for initial responses to threats and possible attacks.

The following IAs are provided to assist the transit agency employee to being aware through observation, assessing the situation, determining what to do, acting appropriately through the use of the IA, and then reporting as soon as possible and appropriate to the communications center or police. Typically, a transit agency employee is instructed to report only to the communications center (or appropriate control center, communications center is used here as a generic term for any number of terms in the transit industry such as dispatch center, rail control, central control, and others) and await instructions. It is up to the transit agency to determine if the use of 911 is an appropriate option for the transit agency employee in a perceived emergency.

A glossary of definitions of terms used in this document follow these IA procedures for reference.

These IAs are provided here as guidance and as a starting point. The transit agency must determine the final form of IAs for the transit agency’s particular systems and operations. Specific issues that the transit agency must address as part of implementing IAs include the following:

  1. Evacuation “safe zones” for bus or rail routes – the transit agency should consider and determine in advance where “safe zones” in the system would be to evacuate passengers/patrons when an emergency in the system or on a bus or rail car have occurred. One issue to be considered includes locations on the rail system where the rail cars should NOT be evacuated such as between platforms underground or elevated portions that do not have access for first responders to remove persons. There may be places in the system where a rail car or even a bus may go underground for long portions of operation. In some cases, the transit agency may want to have the ability to have those bus or rail operators stop before entering that underground portion of the route. Specifically for buses, highway routes should have planned stopping points in case of an emergency while on the highway.

  2. Evacuation Procedures – the transit agency should consider what appropriate evacuation procedures are for all possible operating locations including routes, stations, and facilities. These evacuation procedures should provide guidance for primary and secondary evacuation locations for personnel and patrons.

  3. Procedures for an Operator Becoming Impaired/Affected – the transit agency should consider situations where the operator of a bus or train becomes impaired or affected by something such as a chemical. The operator should be trained to consider what the options are ahead of time if they were to become impaired and possibly unable to safely operate the vehicle.

  4. Training and Pocket Guide for Transit Agency Employees – the transit agency should consider developing training for the immediate actions for new employee and refresher training for security awareness and emergency operating procedures. Along with this training, the transit agency should consider the development of a pocket guide for the transit agency employees in regards to immediate actions. The pocket guide may need to be designed and developed by type of employee and transit mode.

General Comments for Immediate Actions: In an accident/incident, many transit agency employees will want to render assistance to others. This assistance might be appropriate because there is no other threat against you or patrons. In an attack, there is a possibility of accomplices that may threaten you and others. You may still choose to render assistance, and your judgment will be respected. However, the transit agency (including the safety of others) is counting on you to protect yourself, to lead your passengers/patrons and anyone else in the vicinity to safety, and to render a good and accurate report so that responders may rush to the precise location where they are needed most. Your accurate and timely report is critical.


Immediate Action Matrix for Transit

No.

IA

Transit Agency Employee (On Scene)

Suspicious Activity Immediate Actions

1

Suspicious Activity


1. Recognize unusual (out of the ordinary) behavior or actions that may indicate the person may be conducting preliminary activities or preparing for more imminent criminal or terrorist actions.

2. Assess by using your powers of observation. Do not be confrontational. Do you feel strongly that an attack may be imminent?

3. Get a good physical description of the person, including race/sex, approximate age, height, weight, hair color, and clothing from the top down (hat, jacket, shirt, pants, and shoes).

4. Look for other associates, persons, vehicles, or indications of a weapon.

5. Consider a ruse to reduce a potential threat (for example, mechanical trouble).

6. Report the circumstances that gave rise to your suspicions to communications center or the police department.



2

Suspicious Package or Substance


  1. Recognize suspicious items based on appearance, location, and absence of logical explanation for the presence of the item, be ready to give a good description of the item regarding its placement, location, size, shape, and color.

  2. Assess the situation – determine for yourself if this may be a dangerous situation.

  3. Move a safe distance away if possible (do not touch).

  4. Look for persons of interest who may be focusing on the package.

  5. Report the item to communications center or police, noting location and specific reasons it is suspicious.



Imminent Threat & Attack Immediate Actions

3

Armed3Threat


  1. Observe and rapidly gather specific information regarding location, physical description of involved parties, direction of movement, vehicles involved, and any other information thought to be important.

  2. Assess by using your powers of observation. Do not confront suspects or put yourself in jeopardy by attempting to intervene.

  3. Continue observing individual and consider possibility of associates of the individual in the area.

  4. Consider a ruse to reduce a potential threat (for example, mechanical trouble).

  5. Report the information to communications center or police, emphasizing the reported or observed involvement of a firearm, provide specific information regarding location, physical description of involved parties, direction of movement, vehicles involved, and anything else thought to be important.



4

Armed Threat


  1. Do not confront suspects or put yourself, passengers/patrons, or others in jeopardy by attempting to intervene.

2. Quickly assess by using your powers of observation. Watch out for accomplices or other individuals threatening your escape.

3. Perform evacuation (EVAC) or lockdown (Shelter in Place) immediate action based on your best judgment on which IA provides the best protection.

4. Report – contact communications center or police as soon as possible.

5. Prepare for the arrival of responders and to provide additional descriptive information about the attackers and potential injured persons.



5

Explosives Threat


If the threat is communicated to or discovered by a transit agency employee and if possible, determine or ask as much of the following within a few seconds because time is critical:


  1. Assess by using your powers of observation. Make sure you are not at immediate risk from another person.

  2. What is the location of the device?

  3. When is the device supposed to explode?

  4. What does it look like?

  5. What is the type of explosive involved (pipe bomb, package bomb, car bomb, truck bomb)?

  6. Who placed it?

  7. Why was it placed?

  8. Report – contact communications center or police to determine if an evacuation will be undertaken.

  9. If a threat device is located or an evacuation is ordered, perform an EVAC immediate action.



6

Explosives/ Incendiary/ Fire Attack


  1. Perform EVAC immediate action as soon as possible or appropriate.

  2. Watch out for a secondary attack or accomplices threatening your escape. Assess by using your powers of observation. Continue to move away from the impacted area, leading passengers/patrons and anyone else in the vicinity to safety.

  3. Do not stop or congregate near an area where other threats may be concealed and DO NOT TOUCH affected persons.

  4. Report – contact communications center or police as soon as possible.

  5. Prepare for the arrival of responders and to provide additional descriptive information about the attack and locations of potential injured persons.



7

Chem/Bio Threat


If the threat is communicated to or discovered by a transit agency employee and if possible, determine or ask the following:


  1. Assess by using your powers of observation. Make sure you are not at immediate risk from another person.

  2. What is the location of the device?

  3. When is the device supposed to be activated?

  4. What does it look like?

  5. What is the type of agent involved (chemical/biological/radiological)?

  6. Who placed it?

  7. Why was it placed?

  8. Report – contact communications center or police to determine if evacuations will be undertaken.

  9. If a device is located or an evacuation is ordered, perform EVAC immediate action.



8

Biological Agent Attack


Biological Incident Indicators – The effects of a biological agent may take from hours to days after exposure to become evident. With that in mind, transit agency employees must be aware of possible biological agent delivery techniques. These include sprayers, aerosol dispersal devices and powder sprinkled in populated areas or in areas where air flow occurs. If a transit agency employee sees an individual using a dispersal device or technique, the following Immediate action should be implemented.


  1. Take measures to put barriers and distance between the threat and yourself, passengers/patrons, and anyone else in the vicinity.

  2. Perform lockdown or EVAC immediate action (IA), as appropriate (If in a vehicle, do not go near the facility that is reporting the attack).

  3. As soon as possible, call the communications center or police.

  4. Follow police or transit agency instructions.

  5. Refer to the material as HAZMAT until it can be identified, do not say “biological attack” because that is unknown.



9

Chemical Agent Attack Inside Vehicle or Building (station or other buildings)


Chemical Incident Indicators – Two or more people exhibiting similar symptoms. Some examples are lying down on the ground, nausea, vomiting, sensitive eyes, or tightness of chest. Note that chemicals may be colorless and odorless, so your observations may be the only assessment information you can provide to the communications center. These chemicals may seriously injure or kill in a matter of seconds to minutes. If a transit agency employee sees a situation that matches this indicator description inside a vehicle or facility, the following Immediate Action should be implemented.


  1. If the attack is in a building, perform EVAC immediate action.

  2. If the attack is in a bus, the preferred action is for the operator to pull over to a location where it is safe to stop and then perform the EVAC immediate action.

  3. If the attack is in a rail vehicle, the preferred action is for the operator to contact the communications center immediately and at the same time, continue on to the next station. Once at the next station, the rail vehicle operator should execute the EVAC immediate action unless advised with different instructions from the communications center.

  4. There are some situations when it may be necessary to stop the bus or rail vehicle immediately rather than moving to the next planned stopping location4. This should only be done as a last resort such as in the case of the operator becoming affected and unable to continue safely operating the vehicle. In this case, stop the vehicle wherever necessary in order to evacuate (perform EVAC immediate action) as safely as possible.

  5. Continue to leave the area, leading your passengers/patrons and others in the vicinity to safety.

  6. Do not stop near an area where other threats may be concealed and DO NOT TOUCH affected persons.

  7. Consider removing outer layer of clothing (which removes greater than 80% of contaminants) and move farther away (upwind/uphill) from the pile of clothing; advise your passengers/patrons and others that help is on the way and that they should remain with you for protection against possible contamination from HAZMAT.

  8. Report – contact communications center or police as soon as possible.

  9. Refer to the material as HAZMAT. Do not say “chemical attack” because that is not known.


10

Chemical Agent Attack Outside Vehicle


Chemical Incident Indicators – Multiple people exhibiting similar symptoms (some examples are lying down on the ground, nausea, vomiting, sensitive eyes, tightness of chest). Note that chemicals may be colorless and odorless so your observations may be the only assessment information you can provide to communications. These chemicals may seriously injure or kill in a matter of seconds to minutes. If a transit agency employee sees a situation that matches this indicator description outside a vehicle or facility, the following immediate actions should be implemented.


  1. Do not enter the attack area or if you are already in the area, leave the area of the attack immediately.

  2. Leave barriers to the attack in place (doors remain closed and shut off air circulation, if possible); However, if the doors have already been opened, consider ordering an immediate evacuation of the vehicle or facility – use emergency and normal exits to get away from the area of the attack and outside into fresher air. Remember that it may not be possible to evacuate if the main attack is nearby outside the vehicle or facility.

  3. Once away from the attack area, move further away as quickly as possible. Perform EVAC immediate action.

  4. Continue to leave the area, leading your passengers/patrons and others to safety.

  5. Do not stop near an area where other threats may be concealed and DO NOT TOUCH affected persons.

  6. Consider removing outer layer of clothing (which removes greater than 80% of contaminants) and move further away (upwind/uphill) from the pile of clothing. Advise your passengers/patrons and others that help is on the way and they should remain with you for protection against possible contamination from HAZMAT.

  7. Report – contact communications center or police as soon as possible.

  8. Refer to the material as HAZMAT; do not say “chemical attack” because that is not known.



Life Safety Immediate Actions

11

Lockdown Shelter in Place*



  1. Do not open doors to approaching persons who may represent a threat.

  2. Use barriers and distance from the threat for yourself and other employees and patrons that are unaffected by the threat

  3. Assess the situation.

  4. Call in a report to the communications center or police to seek information regarding evacuation versus shelter in place options.

  5. Be aware, persons may attempt to block your ability to exit the area—this is important if evacuation becomes necessary.

  6. As long as your position appears safe, await further instructions from communications center or police if possible.


* May be used in response to potential HAZMAT situations or in response to threatening behavior from individuals.



12

Evacuate (EVAC)


Perform EVAC immediate action:


E EVACUATE the immediate area (train, bus, or building).

V VACATE – Vacate the entire area – keep going and put distance and barriers in place between you and the incident. If outside, get at least 100 yards away, preferably uphill and upwind, from the incident location.

A ASSESS – the situation, continue to protect yourself and your passengers/patrons or other co-workers from the incident.

C COMMUNICATE – call in a report to the communications center or call police.

 

Note: One question that comes up with the need for a vehicle or station evacuation is what should the message be to the passengers and patrons of the transit system? One suggestion is to use the following message: “There is an emergency in the system. We must evacuate NOW. Follow me. Leave the area as quickly as possible.” Or a general public address announcement could be: “There is an emergency in the system. Evacuate immediately. Leave the area as quickly and safely as possible.” In both cases, the message should be repeated.


Glossary of Definitions for Transit Agency Employee Immediate Actions

The following definitions are important to understanding the IA procedures:

Active Incident is synonymous with an attack, something has in fact happened and lives and property are at risk.

Armed threat or attack refers to an individual(s) having, threatening, or using a personal deadly weapon such as a firearm, knife, baseball bat, or other personal weapon that can be carried or concealed by a person.

Assess refers to the action of a transit agency employee determining if an observed situation constitutes criminal or terrorist preliminary activities, or poses potential or real danger to the transit agency’s facilities, themselves, passengers/patrons, and anyone else in the vicinity.

Casing is the act of collecting data and information (surveillance, video taping, and other data collection methods) about potential targets for future criminal or terrorist activities.

Communications Center is used to describe any number of control center names such as dispatch center, rail control, central control, and others. This term is intended to be a generic term for any and all of this type of communications and control centers.

Criminal Activity refers generally to the act of doing anything that is against the law; in this case, the intended scope is activities that are against the law and intended to cause injury to people and damage to property.

Deter refers to an activity, procedure, or physical barrier that reduces the likelihood of an incident or attack.

Detect refers to the objective of a transit agency employee’s observing the environment around them. This observation activity’s objective is to detect suspicious things or activities, an imminent threat, or attack in progress on the transit agency’s facilities, passengers/patrons, and/or themselves.

EVAC is an IA that includes the following steps:

Immediate Actions (IAs) are actions transit agency employees are trained to perform in anticipation or response to a potential attack until further instructions are available. The steps are taken immediately (without management direction) upon awareness of a potential or actual incident. IAs are intended to provide immediate protection of life and property and generally take a very short time to execute. The IA ends with a notification to management (e.g., the communications center) of the conditions present.

Imminent Threat is the immediate potential of harm to people and property.

Incident/Attack is an act against the transit system’s facilities, passengers/patrons, and employees.

Lockdown/Shelter in Place are terms that refer to securing a facility or vehicle from people entering or exiting the area to protect those in the lockdown or shelter in place from a threat outside of the secured area. This may also include securing the threat in a vehicle or facility.

Mitigation is sustained action that reduces or eliminates long-term risk to people and property and limits the effects of criminal and terrorist activity.

Potential Incident is where someone perceives activities that may indicate that a criminal or terrorist act could be about to occur. In fact, a criminal or terrorist incident may be imminent.

Preliminary Activity is where a criminal or terrorist might conduct casing, surveillance, reconnaissance, or a rehearsal to support their planned act.

Prevent refers to an activity, procedure, or physical barrier that removes the ability of an incident or attack to be effective.

Protective Measures are something that may have the ability to reduce vulnerability or increase response capability during a period of heightened alert.

Reconnaissance is the surveying of a location and surrounding area to note locations of things of value or interest and security resources.

Rehearsal refers to the act of training by practicing the act being planned.

Risk refers to exposure to conditions (criminal or terrorist) that can cause death, physical harm, or equipment/property damage.

Safe Zone is a location along a route or near facilities and stations where it is safe to evacuate personnel and patron/passengers in case of an emergency.

Surveillance refers to the act of inspecting or watching.

Terrorism refers to an intentional act of violence that is intended to inflict significant damage to property, inflict casualties, and produce panic and fear.

Terrorist Activity includes a number of activities (including casing, reconnaissance, rehearsal, surveillance, and actual acts of violence) that are used to further a plan to perform an act of terrorism.



1 Immediate Actions are referenced in FTA’s Guidance onTransit Agency Security and Emergency Management Protective Measures”, April 2004.

2 Communications center is a general term used to represent many other names used in the transit industry, such as dispatch center, rail control, and central control.

3 Armed is intended to indicate that an individual(s) have a personal weapon that might include firearms, knives, baseball bats, or any other deadly weapon that can be carried or concealed by a person.

4 There are several situations that may need to be considered – In a tunnel or confined space, a train operator should continue to the next platform if at all possible to evacuate and a bus operator should proceed to a safe place to evacuate as soon as possible; at street level, a train or bus operator should find a safe location to evacuate as soon as possible; for a train on an elevated track, the operator should go to the next available “safe zone” to evacuate; for a bus on a highway, the operator should proceed to the next available “safe zone” to evacuate.