What You Need to Know about TSA Surface Security Training Rule | American Bus Association

What You Need to Know about TSA Surface Security Training Rule

The TSA Security Training for Surface Transportation Employees final rule was published in the Federal Register on March 23. In consideration of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the on-going challenges confronting the surface transportation industry in response, TSA revised the original effective date of the final rule from June 22 to Sept. 21. This new date was published in the revised final rule back in May 2020. Therefore, the final rule became effective Sept. 21.

Consistent with TSA’s commitment to a risk-based approach to transportation security, a portion of the rule’s requirements only apply to higher-risk surface transportation operations as defined in the rule. Motorcoach owner/operators are required to use the criteria in 49 CFR parts 1584.101 (Over-the-Road Bus) to determine whether or not the rule is applicable to them. The full text of the rule can be viewed and downloaded here.

The rule will primarily apply to fixed route and commuter bus operations that go into 10 cities: New York City, DC, Chicago, LA, Houston, Newark, San Francisco, Boston, San Diego, and Philadelphia.

In case you missed it, ABA hosted a webinar with TSA going over the specifics of the new rule in June. You can view a recording of the session by clicking here.

There is one major regulatory requirement that became effective today. Beginning Sept. 21, a regulated company must report significant security concerns to TSA.

A company must report, within 24 hours of initial discovery, any potential threats and significant security concerns involving transportation-related operations in the United States or transportation to, from, or within the United States as soon as possible by the methods prescribed by TSA.
Reports are to be made telephonically to the TSA Transportation Security Operations Center (TSOC) by calling 1-866-615-5150.

Please refer to §1570.203 and Appendix A to Part 1570 for additional details on what information is to be reported and for descriptions of the categories of security concerns and potential threats that are to be reported.

There are two additional requirements of the rule that must be completed within the next 30-37 days. One, notifying TSA that the rule is applicable to a company and two, identifying and providing contact information for the designated security coordinators for the company.

By Oc. 21: owner/operators must notify TSA of their applicability determination. If you determine that the rule applies to your company, you must notify TSA of your determination of applicability by sending an email to TSA at SecurityTrainingPolicy@tsa.dhs.gov.

1. Include in the subject line of your email:

  • Security Training Rule Applicability – (Agency or Company Name)

2. Include the following information in the body of the email:

  • Mode of Transportation (Over-the-Road Bus)
  • Owner/Operator corporate name
  • Doing Business As (DBA) name
  • Corporate address
  • Contact name, email address, and phone number

By Oc. 28: regulated entities must report the names and contact information for a primary and alternate Security Coordinator to TSA. Security Coordinator information can be submitted by email to TSA at TSA.seccord@tsa.dhs.gov

1. Include in the subject line of your email:

  • Security Coordinator and Company Name

2. Include the following information in the body of the email:

  • First and last name of Security Coordinator (Primary/Alternate)
  • Title
  • Office and mobile phone number
  • Email address
  • U.S. citizenship status
  • Corporate address and/or Shipping/mailing address (optional)

The training plans that are required by this rule are currently required to be submitted to TSA by Dec. 21. TSA is considering extending this deadline. Additional information about any extensions will be provided in the near future.

Informational materials and frequently asked questions are available on the TSA.GOV website. If you have any additional questions, TSA Surface Policy can be contacted by email at securitytrainingpolicy@tsa.dhs.gov or by phone at (571) 227-5563.

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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