2005_07_seesomethingsay.jpgAfter the NY Times reminded everyone that the MTA had only spent $30 million out of $600 million that it committed to upgrading subway security over the past few years (this was something that City Councilman John Liu had been outraged about back in March), New Yorkers wondered if the MTA was really concerned with subway security. Gothamist is totally pissed off about the MTA's feet dragging, but we can only assume that the $600 million was a made up number, since the MTA can barely get more money from the state to maintain its facilities. Anyway, the Times article pointed out that DC and Boston transit systems have "employed sensors to detect the presence of biochemical agents in their subway systems," while Houston has live closed circuit surveillance and Atlanta has upgraded its radios to connect with the police. But the big pee-your-pants quote was from a Rand Corporation (spooky already) counterterrorism expert, Brian M. Jenkins:

"Apart from Israel, there is no public that has been trained to be more vigilant than London's," he said, citing the Irish Republican Army's repeated attacks on the London Underground since the 1970's. "It didn't prevent the bombings this week, and that's the reality...

"The New York system is an old system and it does not facilitate surveillance," he said, noting the extensive columns, narrow passageways and wide design variations across the 468 stations.

The Mayor criticized the MTA's slowness, but also defended them, when he said something like (and forgive Gothamist, because we're mentally replaying this from the press conference footage we saw), "They can't spend $600 million from Friday to Sunday," which we didn't get because the MTA had the $600 million from at least 2002...and they had it earmarked in March 2003, when the Madrid trains were bombed. The Daily News looks at whether the MTA's policy to tell customers to "stay where they are" in the case of an emergency is helpful or dangerous, resetting back to a 1990 fire in the subways.

And the MTA and Port Authority are shutting cellphone service in area tunnels, after fears that the London bombs were set off by cellphone. And authorities in London are slowly searching for bodies in the London Underground's tunnels.