Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA)

COTA Recognized for Superior Security Efforts

The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) has received the Gold Standard Award for Excellence in Security from the federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

At the COTA Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, March 28, TSA officials will present COTA with the award in recognition of COTA's efforts to build a strong security program. COTA is one of only 17 agencies to receive the award for 2011.

"We are very pleased to receive this prestigious award," said W. Curtis Stitt, COTA president/CEO. "The safety and security of our customers and employees is our number one priority, and being recognized by TSA is indeed a great honor."

In recognizing COTA's efforts, TSA noted COTA's successful partnerships with the city of Columbus Division of Police, Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency and the Ohio Public Transit Association's Security Committee.

"Congratulations to everyone at COTA," said Ron Masciana, TSA deputy general manager of Mass Transit/Passenger Rail. "The recognition embodied by this award is a well-deserved honor, made possible by the quality of work you do every day to provide safe and secure bus transportation throughout central Ohio."

The Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement (BASE) program is designed to establish a security standard for individual system security programs and assess progress. This voluntary comprehensive review focuses on multiple categories identified as fundamentals for a sound transit security program. They include an agency's security plans, security training, drills and exercise programs, public outreach efforts and background check programs. The BASE assessment analyzes the security program and identifies vulnerabilities that are addressed. BASE was developed to increase domain awareness, enhance prevention and protection capabilities and further response preparedness of transit systems nationwide.