Monday, April 26, 2010

Transit Security Only As Secure As Least Secure Facility

Security is only as good as the least secure facility when it comes to mass transit or air safety. So, a report that suggests that keys to access the NYC subway system are easily obtainable for a pittance because unethical transit workers, police, and firefighters (among others) have gotten their hands on the keys and then sell them to others for a free ride on the subway system. While the loss in revenues is potentially significant, the keys open up the possibility that the efforts to secure the transit system from a possible terror attack could be undone with the access of a key for all.

The keys allow unfettered access to the subways, which enable transit workers and others to ride the subways for free, which is the prime perk associated with the keys, which have been purchased for as little as $27 apiece.
A Bronx man who had one of the illegal all-access subway keys - until cops stopped him one day - lamented Sunday that he now has to pay to ride like the rest of us.

"It was a good deal," said the man, who agreed to be interviewed only if his name was not printed. "I saved a lot of money. Now I got to pay every trip."

The key, which should only be in the hands of authorized transit workers or police and fire officials, unlocks swing gates next to every subway turnstile, granting easy - and free - access to all platforms and trains.

The 25-year-old said he bought the copy of the master key from a transit worker for $50, but a copy of the universal key could be had for as little as $27, the Daily News learned.

The man's key was seized when police saw him charging straphangers discount rates to let them through the security gates.

The worker was very solemn when he handed over the prize.

"Don't get caught," the worker warned.

For the most part, the man said, he used the key only to snag free fares for himself, by opening up the locked security gates near the subway turnstiles.
All the security in the world can't thwart a determined terrorist who manages to get into the transit system, especially when they have a key that can pretty much unlock any entrance into the system.

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