From the state perspective, however, what we are seeing is federal funding increasingly being shifted into the large urban areas. This is not only happening with transit security, but also with UASI grants and ships and ports security.
The focus on security for cities make sense for a lot of reasons, but shrinking funding for those surrounding communities with transit links into those urban areas may have the unintended consequence of pushing the risk out to those surrounding areas, and Connecticut has real experience with this. The 9/11 terrorists and the attempted bomber in Times Square both spent time in Connecticut.
So our view is that the challenge is to modify some of the current federal transit security grant criteria to include more proportionate funding for those communities outside of the major urban areas, but with transit links into those major urban areas.
We may be a relatively small transit system, but because we're part of a larger one, their security depends on our security. We need additional funding to continue to complete some of the basic security enhancements that have already begun, and these are basic things -- fencing, lighting, communications, cameras.
Specific example is that under the new criteria for the transit grant program, Connecticut is unlikely to continue to receive transit security grant funding this year except in category one for public awareness -- very important. We need more of that money, and we will use that money well, but we are unlikely to qualify under the new criteria to complete some of those enhancements that we have already done.
And again, it makes sense to focus on the urban areas, but we're part of the urban areas, and there's a potential vulnerability by pushing that risk out to us.
In addition to modifying the grant criteria, there may be some utility to using the model used in the port security grant area whereby the local Coast Guard captain of the port convenes a group of users to help evaluate and prioritize the grant submissions. And potentially, the analogous person to do that might be the TSA federal security director pulling together users of the transit system to help us do an evaluation of those grant proposals, and we've produced something like that in Connecticut that I'll talk about a little bit later.
I'd also like to note that, at least from our perspective, in balancing the grant criteria for some proportional funding for the surrounding communities, and we're really talking about small dollars, is linked to the evolving terrorist threat. On the one hand, the federal partners have helped us understand how this threat is evolving -- diversification of threat essentially requiring more involvement from a local community level.
But on the other hand, and this would be the federal hand with the money, it seems in some respects to be going in a different direction, and that is increasingly focusing that within the city limits of large urban areas. And those of us who are connected with mass transit really have a need not just for our own state and our own population, but as a partner with that urban area to help them stay safe as well.
In addition to balancing the grant funding to achieve transit security, another way is information sharing, and this was the point I mentioned earlier. In Connecticut, we have convened a transit security working group. We have representatives from every mode of transportation -- rail, bus, trucking, highway, aviation, maritime, even pipelines, all working together.
We've all heard of the danger of people operating in silos. One of our local partners just a couple of weeks ago gave me a new term to use, and the term was "cylinder of expertise."
We all have cylinders of expertise, and those aren't bad things, but the difficulty is pulling them together with horizontal integration, and this does not happen without effort to pull people together. We have to take people out of their comfort zones and get them to work together, and we've had great success through that committee.