Security & Preparedness Training | American Bus Association

Security & Preparedness Training

The motorcoach industry continually strives to improve the safety and security of bus operations. Tom Ridge, former Department of Homeland Security Secretary, once said the motorcoach idustry is “America’s Strategic Transportation Reserve.” Over the past few years, security training has become a key issue for all operators and a major issue for the industry.

Since 9/11/01, more than $100 million has been secured by the ABA from Congress for security. This money has been used towards training, screening, lights, fences, security planning and more. It is vital that the Intercity Bus Security Grant Program be reinstated and enhanced.

No security plan, program or process is capable of addressing every possible threat or attack scenario within the context of every stakeholder’s operational environment, however TSA put the following recommendations together after working with the industry, facilities, security consutlants and other government agencies

Best practices are noted under the following categories:
• Management and Accountability
– Security Planning and Coordination
– Incident Command, Control, Continuity of Operations
– Leadership
• Communication
• Personnel Security
– Background Checks
– Training
– Enroute Procedures
• Facility Security
– Access Control
– Physical Security
– Information Security
• Vehicle Security
– Passenger, Baggage and Cargo Screening
– Inspections
– Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR)
• Cyber Security
• Emergency Response Capability

Sharing best practices is one part of an effective security planning process. Motorcoach industry stakeholders may wish to consider a complimentary TSA Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement (BASE) evaluation. Designed to provide motorcoach owners, operators and security teams a no-cost,
measurable view of existing security programs and plans, participating in a voluntary BASE evaluation is an effective approach to establishing the groundwork required to create a robust, customized security plan.

TSA BASE specialists analyze motorcoach industry security plans and processes and provide feedback regarding vulnerability, risk and consequence. At the conclusion of each BASE assessment, the organization is not left empty-handed. Each organization requesting a confidential BASE evaluation receives specific guidance on how to develop working risk based security plans and programs. To learn how your organization can request and participate in a TSA BASE evaluation, contact the TSA Industry Engagement Branch at

Click here to view TSA’s Motorcoach Security Recommendations

Securing Transportation Assets & Operations Mitigation Strategies for Highway Modes Training and Guidance (2016)

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Highway and Motor Carrier (HMC) Section and the Bus Industry Safety Council (BISC) collaborated with multiple bus opreators and other law enforcement stakeholders to create this security guidance, which serves to enhance security awareness among the industry. This guidance offers useful information, tips, and tools to strengthen the industry’s resistance to disruption of its critical services. It contains viable options for consideration, but these recommended measures are not required by TSA or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). TSA does not intend for the information in this document to conflict with or supersede existing regulatory requirements, statutory requirements, or laws. Furthermore, stakeholders using this guidance should ensure practices align with company/organizational policies and protocols prior to implementation.

Click here to view a Powerpoint training tool and overview of the guidance

Click here to download the Guidance

Operation Secure Transport II: Over the Road Bus Security Training (2011)

This updated version of Operation Secure Transport (OST) is an online training module created by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to provide the motorcoach industry with specific security, safety and awareness training for all employee levels. This free self-paced training course is intended to increase the awareness of motorcoach drivers, dispatchers, mechanics and other support personnel.

Operators click here to register and access the free training.

Operation Secure Transport I: Bus Security Training Program (2005)

Operation Secure Transport (OST) is a self-paced training program that was developed through a grant from the Department of Homeland Security to the American Bus Association and the United Motorcoach Association. OST is a training program for the private over-the-road bus industry, designed by the motorcoach industry. As times have changed in our society, many organizations and facilities have been forced to become more cognizant of security for their operations. Over 1,000 motorcoach operators have taken and implemented the lessons from the Operation Secure Transport training.

The five-module course covers specific training for the driver, maintenance employees, terminal employees, company management and crisis response.

Disaster Preparedness: Principles for Partnering with Government

When disasters hit, the federal government is responsible for many logistical challenges. In the case of Hurricane Katrina, it was responsible for evacuating thousands of people, and if another disaster hit the area, as many as 200,000 people would need evacuating out of New Orleans. In the case of Katrina, the response of top officials at the departments of Transportation and Homeland Security, as well as the Federal Emergency Management Association, was to consult with us.

ABA’s statement of principles highlights the main aim of the motorcoach industry: to help during an emergency.

Related Resources

Security and Emergency Preparedness Plan
This document is a guideline and template that you may use in developing a SEPP.

The American Bus Association serves a thriving industry that provides nearly 600 million passenger trips annually on charters, tours, scheduled service, and shuttles. Membership in ABA includes motorcoach operators, tour operators, tourism-related organizations, and products and service suppliers.

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