Sending Office: Honorable Bonnie Watson Coleman
Sent By:

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Cosponsor the “Surface Transportation and Public Area Security Act of 2017”

Current Cosponsors: Barragán, Carson, Clarke (NY), Correa, Demings, Espaillat, Jackson Lee, Langevin, Lawson, Lipinski, Lynch, Pascrell, Payne, Rice (NY), Swalwell, Thompson (MS)

Endorsed by the American Public Transportation Association 

Dear Colleague,

I invite you to cosponsor my comprehensive legislation to bolster surface transportation security.  Surface transportation systems—including passenger and freight trains, commuter rail, mass transit, buses, and pipelines—and public areas of airports are
targets for mass-casualty terrorist attacks.

In recent years, terrorists have attacked overseas surface transportation systems and public airport areas, including attacks on the London Underground in 2017,[1] Istanbul Ataturk Airport in
2016,[2] and Brussels Airport and metro system in 2016.[3] Gun attacks within public airport areas in Ft. Lauderdale, New Orleans,
and Los Angeles have shown that the U.S. is not immune to such incidents.

Yet, President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 Budget proposes eliminating much of the Federal funding for surface transportation and public airport area security.[4] The Trump Administration’s proposed
cuts would irresponsibly scale back Federal support to surface transportation owners and operators and local law enforcement at a time when the threat of lone-wolf, vehicle-based, and other attacks is heightened.

The “Surface Transportation and Public Area Security Act of 2017” seeks to restore, revamp, and resource important programs aimed at securing vital surface transportation systems to protect these critical soft targets and the people who use them.  Among
other things, my legislation would:

  • Authorize $400 million in funding for the Transit Security Grant Program;
  • Authorize $67.5 million for a law enforcement officer grant program, with on third set aside for officers protecting surface transportation;
  • 200 additional canine detection teams dedicated to surface transportation;
  • Authorize research and development and technology innovation, including passive, continuous threat detection technologies; and
  • Enhance security in public areas of transportation centers through such measures as establishing a public-private working group; requiring a risk assessment of laws, regulations, and policies regarding open and concealed carrying of firearms and ammunition;
    and disseminating best practices to address vehicle-based terrorist attacks.

To cosponsor the “Surface Transportation and Public Area Security Act of 2017” or learn more about the legislation, please contact Kevin Block in my office at or Alex Marston on the Committee on Homeland Security (Democratic Staff) at



Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman


[1] Sewell Chan, Patrick Kingsley, and Ceylan Yeginsu, “‘Bucket Bomb’ Strikes London’s Vulnerable Underground,”
New York Times (September 15, 2017),

[2] Tim Arango, Sabrina Tavernise, and Ceylan Yeginsu, “Istanbul Airport Attack Leaves at Least 41 Dead,”
New York Times (June 28, 2016),

[3] Tim Hume, Tiffany Ap, and Ray Sanchez, “Here’s what we know about the Brussels terror attacks,”
CNN (March 25, 2016),

[4] Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Appendix for the Department of Homeland Security, The White House (accessed November 21, 2017),

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Homeland Security, Transportation

Related Bill Information

Bill Type: H.R.
Bill Type: 4474
Special Note:

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