• MBTA Ordered to Resume Bag Searches

  • Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.
Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

  by helium
 
From Boston.com:

http://tinyurl.com/fkj54


Personally, I wouldn't have a problem with it, unless it got repetitive.
But just what is "probable cause"?
A kid with blue hair?
A person of a certain ethnicity?
Or do you actually have to be doing something?

  by Robert Paniagua
 
Well, they said that even after the second London bombings, that they MBTA wouldn't do bag searches unless it received a specific thread.
  by sabourinj
 
helium wrote:From Boston.com:

http://tinyurl.com/fkj54


Personally, I wouldn't have a problem with it, unless it got repetitive.
But just what is "probable cause"?
A kid with blue hair?
A person of a certain ethnicity?
Or do you actually have to be doing something?
Actually the regulations say it has to be conducted at a predetermined interval "one out of every five" I think is the example they used. Once that is done, a possitive hit with the "swab" testing machines would be probable cause for further inspection.

See the MBTA press release at http://www.mbta.com/insidethet/press_re ... sp?ID=1276

  by helium
 
Yeah, but the article states that Romney is ORDERING the T to resume searches, seemingly whenever they feel like it as long as there "is probable cause".

I'd like to see statistics on how many non-white people get searched, or people of a certain age, etc.

  by jamesinclair
 
As long as I dont get stopped as my train is pulling into the station and Im running to catch it.....

  by MBTA3247
 
the tests can be done in a less than one minute, minimizing impacts on T riders.
Where are they planning to conduct the tests? On the trains, like they did in 2004, or on the platforms? Either way, I don't see how they can do this without causing substantial delays and/or leaving plenty of opportunities for a terrorist to evade the inspections.

This is a feel-good measure. It's a waste of taxpayer money that will do nothing to increase security on the T.

  by sabourinj
 
MBTA3247 wrote:
the tests can be done in a less than one minute, minimizing impacts on T riders.
Where are they planning to conduct the tests? On the trains, like they did in 2004, or on the platforms? Either way, I don't see how they can do this without causing substantial delays and/or leaving plenty of opportunities for a terrorist to evade the inspections.

This is a feel-good measure. It's a waste of taxpayer money that will do nothing to increase security on the T.
Do you have a more effective idea? Something can't possibly be worse than doing nothing.

  by jck
 
"Let's do something" is not a good reason to be doing these types of searches. I simply cannot see how they can be effective.

Should we stop random cars on the Mass Pike coming into Boston as well?

Why not just have more officers patrolling the system, rather than randomly (or not-so randomly) harrassing riders? At least the additional officers could do something useful, like stopping on fare evaders.

  by sabourinj
 
jck wrote:"Let's do something" is not a good reason to be doing these types of searches. I simply cannot see how they can be effective.

Should we stop random cars on the Mass Pike coming into Boston as well?

Why not just have more officers patrolling the system, rather than randomly (or not-so randomly) harrassing riders? At least the additional officers could do something useful, like stopping on fare evaders.
Are you willing to pay more taxes or even higher fares to get the funds to hire extra officers? Keep in mind the MBTA is already trying to merge their police with the State Police to become more effective at patrolling.

  by BigRock
 
Yes, we definitely need to stop 1 out of every 5 cars that drives into Boston on the MassPike and on I-93 from the North and South. Cars are obviously a security threat because they can hold thousands of pounds of explosives, as opposed to humans who are walking. Since the swab tests take less than a minute, it should only affect rush hour congestion by a minute.

  by jck
 
sabourinj wrote:
jck wrote:"Let's do something" is not a good reason to be doing these types of searches. I simply cannot see how they can be effective.

Should we stop random cars on the Mass Pike coming into Boston as well?

Why not just have more officers patrolling the system, rather than randomly (or not-so randomly) harrassing riders? At least the additional officers could do something useful, like stopping on fare evaders.
Are you willing to pay more taxes or even higher fares to get the funds to hire extra officers? Keep in mind the MBTA is already trying to merge their police with the State Police to become more effective at patrolling.
How are the bag searches being paid for? I'm arguing if the governor is going to order security personal into the MBTA system anyway, I would favor having them do something useful, e.g., patrol the stations, stop fare evaders, prevent crime or mischief, rather than perform random bags search on unsuspecting commuters.

Is there any evidence at all that stopping commuters at random on the train is at all useful in preventing terrorist attacks as compared to simply having an increased police presence?

  by sery2831
 
As of Sept 11 this year the T police have been doing random searches at Anderson, Beverly, and Salem. They come during morning rush hour, and walk the trains with bomb dogs.

I am also going to monitor this thread closely. If its goes off topic or tempers heat up, this will be locked.

  by stevefoley
 
Robert Paniagua wrote:Well, they said that even after the second London bombings, that they MBTA wouldn't do bag searches unless it received a specific thread.
Yeah, and the only specific threat is to his lieutenent gov's job, so he thinks that "reminding" us of the so called "war on terror" will frighten us into somehow voting for her. Nice job Mutt.

  by danib62
 
I have no problem with the swab tests that the MBTA police are going to be doing. Remember that the goal of bag checks is not to find bombs but to serve as a deterent so someone wouldn't try to bring a bomb along in the first place. You don't need to to screen every bag to be a viable detterent. Checking random bags at random locations at random times serves this purpose fine.

  by jamesinclair
 
danib62 wrote:I have no problem with the swab tests that the MBTA police are going to be doing. Remember that the goal of bag checks is not to find bombs but to serve as a deterent so someone wouldn't try to bring a bomb along in the first place. You don't need to to screen every bag to be a viable detterent. Checking random bags at random locations at random times serves this purpose fine.
I disagree.

Terrorist brings bomg into station.
Officer stops him to check bag
Terrorist says "oh *" and detonates bomb.


Oh wait, looks like he got what he wanted. Officer couldnt do a thing to stop it.