Mineta Transportation Institute Hosts Fact-Finding Group from Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority

Delegates met with MTI experts to continue discussions about security and crisis management best practices for their city’s new metro system.
January 28, 2010
|
San José, CA

The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) hosted representatives from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), who continued discussions with MTI experts about security and crisis management for their city’s new metro rail system. The ambitious project calls for three new elevated rail lines totaling nearly 40 miles, along with a monorail. Considering Mumbai’s historic possibilities for accidents, terrorism, and other incidents, the Indian delegation was on a fact-finding mission to the United States.

“Mumbai has a very large rail and bus system, moving about 11 million people each day,” said Brian Michael Jenkins, director of MTI’s National Transportation Security Center of Excellence (NTSCOE). “It’s no longer adequate to serve a growing metropolitan area that now has 22 million people. Therefore, the city is facing a huge problem with mobility. But it also wants to ensure safety and security for its passengers, especially because Mumbai and the surrounding region have lost nearly 1000 people to terrorist attacks in the last decade.”

Mr. Jenkins had met with MMRDA a few months ago while in India as an invited expert discussing counter-terrorism. He invited representatives to come to the U.S. on a fact-finding mission to see how this country builds crisis strategy and security preparations into the transit systems.

MMRDA delegates were Vijaya Lakshmi, additional chief, Transport and Communications Division, and Anil Wankhade, deputy metropolitan commissioner. They were accompanied by Ronald Boenau, a senior transportation systems manger for the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, and Satish Kastury, a principal engineer with Environmental Consulting & Technology in Florida. Earlier this month, they attended the Transportation Research Board’s conference in Washington DC before making on-site visits to Washington Metro, Amtrak, San Francisco area’s BART, and other sites.

MMRDA wishes to include a security strategy, along with training, policies,and procedures that will help to protect its transit network. While at MTI, they met with Dr. Frances Edwards, deputy director of MTI’s NTSCOE, who discussed options for creating a transportation security and emergency management certificate program; Rod Diridon, Sr., MTI’s executive director, who covered topics related to high-speed rail systems; Chief Rob Davis of the San Jose Police Department; Dan Goodrich, emergency preparedness coordinator for Lockheed Martin Space Systems, who covered the role of transportation in emergency planning; Dr. Wenbin Wei, MTI research associate and San Jose State University professor, who discussed rapid transit and light-rail systems; and John Schiffgens, manager of operations for Amtrak at Diridon Station.

ABOUT THE MINETA TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE:

The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) was established by Congress in 1991 as part of theIntermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) and was reauthorized under TEA- 21 and again under SAFETEA-LU. The institute is funded by Congress through the US DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration, by the California Legislature through the Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and by other public and private grants and donations, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The US DOT selected MTI as a national “Center of Excellence” following a 2002 competition.

The Institute has a Board of Trustees whose internationally-respected members represent all major surface transportation modes. MTI’s focus on policy and management resulted from a board assessment of the industry’s unmet needs and led directly to choosing the San José State University College of Business as the Institute’s home. MTI conducts research, education, and information and technology transfer focusing on multi-modal surface transportation policy and management issues.