Security and Performance Analysis of Passenger Screening for Mass-transit

Supplement: IEEE 2012 Conference on Technology for Homeland Security: Best Papers

ABSTRACT: Awarded Best Paper, Attack and Disaster Preparation, Recovery, and Response

During the past decade, the international community has witnessed several attacks on forms of mass transportation such as train stations and subways. The Department of Homeland Security requested that we develop methods to assess the security of mass transit in order to mitigate the vulnerability of the nation’s public transportation systems. We present a methodology to quantify the impact of imposing screening on mass transit, which considers both security and delays incurred on the traveling public. We demonstrate the approach through a case study, the Fairfield Metro Station in Fairfield, Connecticut. Our results indicate that rigorous aviation-style screening will slow the flow of passengers drastically. We also show how to use the approach to identify where faster screening technologies can improve passenger throughput while ensuring security. The approach can thus be used to identify areas where investments in technology improvement would most effectively enhance security and convenience.  Download the full article.

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Suggested Citation

Fiondella, Lance et al. “Security and Performance Analysis of Passenger Screening for Mass-transit.” Homeland Security Affairs, IEEE 2012 Conference on Technology for Homeland Security: Best Papers (November 2012).

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1 thought on “Security and Performance Analysis of Passenger Screening for Mass-transit”

  1. Richard Weil

    As someone who routinely requests a free federal massage over Chertoff’s body scam machine (hey, I’m not the one being humiliated by a pat-down), I hope to never live where this sort of horror becomes routine. Yes, you can talk about London and Madrid, but with mass transit there’s nothing to stop somebody from standing by the tracks or on a street corner and firing a gun or a rocket. Or setting off an IED, for that matter. The math is interesting, but as someone who has taught a lot of statistics I’ll say that when you take out humanity it becomes a sterile end. If Americans are willing to put up with this nightmare vision, then maybe the country deserves it.

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