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New York transit to get a $10M security boost

(The following article by Glenn Thrush was posted on the Newsday website on July 6.)

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration is boosting anti-terror funding to New York-area transit systems by about $10 million this year, after being criticized for recently slashing city Homeland Funding Security money by $83 million.

The transit funding will rise from $37.5 million last year to $47 million this year, a 25 percent increase, according to an official with knowledge of the grants program. The Department of Homeland Security is expected to make the announcement as early as today.

The decision comes after author Ron Suskind revealed that al-Qaida terrorists came close to attacking city subways with cyanide gas in 2003.

"It's positive news, considering we went down 40 percent in the last month," said House Homeland Security chairman Peter King (R-Seaford), who has lobbied the administration for more funding. "It's a small step in the right direction."

In addition to funding security on subways, the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North, the money will go to improvements on New Jersey and Connecticut transit systems.

City and state officials have urged Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff to help offset New York's losses by increasing funding in other programs.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the LIRR, Metro-North and the subways, had no comment on the funding increase.

In March, the MTA, New York City Police Department and federal agencies staged a drill to simulate a deadly chemical attack on the LIRR.

Thursday, July 6, 2006

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