7061 East Pleasant Valley Road, Independence, Ohio 44131 • (216) 241-2630 / Fax: (216) 241-6516

Membership
Benefits
News and Issues
Departments
Information
Secretary-Treasurer
Merchandise
Communications
FELA
Events
Links
User Info

DHS alters plans for transportation worker ID program

(The following article by Jonathan Marino was posted on Govexec.com on August 25.)

WASHINGTON -- Homeland Security Department agencies on Monday announced changes to plans for implementing a transportation worker identification card program.

Facility and vessel owners and operators will not need to verify biometric data contained in workers' ID cards during the initial phase of the Transportation Worker Identification Credentials effort.

The Transportation Security Administration and Coast Guard announced they will hold off indefinitely on requiring that TWIC card readers be installed at points of entry for shipping businesses and at ports. Biometric security companies criticized the decision.

Walter Hamilton, chairman of the International Biometric Industry Association, called a program where biometric data is collected, but not verified, "half of a TWIC."

"Without means to authenticate the card ... anyone could use a TWIC card to gain entry" to ports, he said. "That's not ideal."

In addition to holding off on TWIC card verification, TSA and the Coast Guard said in the Monday announcement that despite requests to extend the 45-day comment period on a draft proposal for implementing the program, they will not allow more time for discussion. The cards are set to be issued later this year.

Under the current plan, transportation and shipping industry workers will have to pay for their own cards, at a cost of about $140.

Card readers could also prove costly when they are required. One analysis conducted by Alabama's state port authority estimates that readers could cost more than $6,000 each. Hamilton said that the cost will likely be closer to $1,000 to $2,000 per machine -- but said several might be needed.

Hamilton said he envisioned verification points for drivers entering ports - some in cars, others in 18-wheeler trucks - that would necessitate one card reader at window-level for a car and one positioned higher for trucks.

"It's not cheap," Hamilton said.

Another problem is the machines' durability. "They can't survive in a maritime-weather-exposed environment," he said.

TSA did not respond to requests for comment.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Like us on Facebook at
Facebook.com/BLETNational

Sign up for BLET News Flash Alerts

© 1997-2019 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

 


Decertification Helpline
(216) 694-0240

Sign up for BLET
News Flash Alerts

DAILY HEADLINES

SEPTA worker dies after falling onto tracks, getting hit by train
GAO: Longer freight trains create delays, safety concerns
Forest products and scrap recycling rail shippers seek oversight
Teamsters stand in solidarity with California UFCW workers
CN train derailed on Canadaís side of international tunnel, TSB says
Union Pacificís new reservation system set to kick in with fines
Virgin Trains USA expanding service in Florida, California and Nevada
New book details danger of moving oil by rail
Organizers say efforts underway to run W.Va. New River Train this fall
Amtrak releases FY2018 sustainability report
Amtrak begins Philadelphia stationís name change
Unions allege BNSF employee medical reporting rules violate Americans with Disabilities Act
RRB Q&A: Reporting events that can affect retirement benefits
Get the latest labor news from the Teamsters

More Headlines