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

First day of MBTA bag-search initiative goes smoothly

(The following article by Mac Daniel was posted on the Boston Globe website on October 11.)

BOSTON -- A new era for T passengers started at 7 a.m. sharp yesterday at the Anderson RTC commuter rail station in Woburn, when the bags of every 11th passenger to walk through the doors were tested for explosives.

The random searches by MBTA Transit Police went smoothly in the first 90 minutes, apart from one passenger whose bag falsely tested positive. A subsequent search found nothing, but caused the man to miss his train and arrive a half-hour late to work.

“I have no problems with bag searches. I think it's perfectly reasonable,” said Paul Cianciulli, 40, of Andover, who said his asthma medication may have triggered the false result. “But they have to be efficient at it. And they have to make sure their equipment is working, and obviously their equipment is not working.”

The search team also deployed around noon at Government Center, where no incidents were reported.

Governor Mitt Romney announced the searches last week. The T and the New York subways are the only transit systems in the country to have regular, random screening of passengers' bags and packages. Romney did not cite a specific terrorist threat, but did mention attacks on transit targets in Madrid, London, and Mumbai, India, since 2004 that have killed more than 400 commuters.

Most T commuters interviewed yesterday morning knew that the searches, which mirrored the temporary ones during the 2004 Democratic National Convention, were happening and supported them.

Reynard Wright , 45, of Woburn, his girlfriend Michelle Avery , 34, and her son, 2-year-old Michael Rogers , breezed through the checkpoint.

Wright commended officials who did the searches. “My only concern is that they don't do any form of racial profiling, “ he said.

MBTA Transit Police will fan out unannounced on commuter trains, subways, buses, and commuter boats, randomly choose riders, and use a piece of cloth to swab the zippers, bottom, or handles of carry-ons.

Officers then place the swab in a portable machine that can detect explosives residue.

The process took less than a minute per passenger yesterday. If there is probable cause, officers will ask passengers to open bags and packages.

Passengers who refuse the search won't be allowed into the transit system, and any person refusing to leave could be arrested.

Wednesday, October 11, 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

Shippers: Show us the benefits of PSR
KCS says PSR transition will benefit customers
Portland activists block rail line at Zenith oil terminal
Trouble ahead for New York’s Amtrak if Trump’s 2020 budget proposal advances
Senators push Transportation Department, Amtrak for answers on future of Empire Builder
Teamsters Local 528 members strike at Sysco over violations of workers’ rights
Third lawsuit filed in CSX Hyndman derailment
Union Pacific “pauses” construction of new $550 million Texas rail yard
NJ Transit: Atlantic City Rail Line to resume service on May 12
New Alberta premier aims to cancel oil by rail lease
Q&A: Comparison of benefits under Railroad Retirement and Social Security
Get the latest labor news from the Teamsters

More Headlines