The Transportation Security Administration honored OmniRide with the BASE Gold Standard Award at a ceremony last month at the OmniRide Transit Center.
Scott T. Johnson, TSA federal security director, presented the award to OmniRide. Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission Board Chair Margaret Angela Franklin, OmniRide Executive Director Bob Schneider, and guests from the TSA attended the Sept. 25 event.
The award is the top recognition TSA can give to a transit agency for demonstrating outstanding performance in enhancing its security programs. OmniRide is the only bus-only transit system in the National Capital Region to earn this recognition.
“To be recognized across the transit industry as a leader in security is an honor,” Schneider said. “Being in the D.C. region allows for us to play a unique role. We are tasked to focus on the movement and security of many of our nation’s workers who travel to the Pentagon and into the capital every day. We don’t take that responsibility lightly, and for the TSA to acknowledge that is a tribute to what we do every day.”
BASE stands for Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement and was developed by the TSA’s Surface Transportation Security Inspection Program and the Office of Security Policy and Industry Engagement office. The BASE compares a transit agency’s internal security processes, procedures, and policies against TSA and Federal Transit Administration security recommendations.
The comparison is achieved through a voluntary annual review of 17 categories of security and emergency preparedness elements, including security and emergency response plans, training programs, and inspections. The criterion for achieving the “Gold Standard” in security is attained by an overall average score of 90% in each category evaluated.
Johnson said that four separate BASE audits have been conducted over the past eight years and OmniRide has scored higher each time. “OmniRide’s diligence and dedication to security improvements and their partnership with TSA serves as a model for the entire transit industry. The results speak for themselves.”
OmniRide is one of only three transportation providers to win a Gold Standard Award this year. The other two winners are Oahu Transit Inc. of Hawaii and Go Triangle of North Carolina. Past recipients from the Washington area include the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and the Virginia Railway Express.
OmniRide cited Byren Lloyd, its manager of safety and security, as leading the effort for OmniRide to receive the honor from the TSA.