Vantage point

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

How Safe Is the NY Subway?

I've always been of the opinion that it is in America's interests to pay close attention to all the terrorist attacks that happen in India. Especially those committed by Pakistani elements like the Lashkar-e-Toiba which are connected to the Al Qaeda.

After the 11 July serial blasts in local trains in Bombay, the NY subway was placed on a high alert. But how safe is the subway really? I recently traveled in the NY subway and found that in many respects it was similar to the Bombay local train system. Massive crowds at rush hour, poor infrastructure, and not many policemen around. What's more, there is no security presencein the train cars at all.

After the London metro blasts, the NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority decided to add 1000 surveillance cameras and 3000 motion sensors, in addition to a technology which scans commuters in a matter of seconds. However all these measures will be fully implemented only in about 3 years or so. That still gives terrorists a big enough window to carry out the attack.