JTA earns TSA Gold Standard Award for transit security

April 3, 2023
TSA awarded four transit agencies with the award, which recognizes top scores in an annual review of transit security and emergency preparedness elements.

Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) earned a Gold Standard Award from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which was recognized at JTA’s March 30 board meeting.

TSA, which has security oversight of 6,800 transit agencies in the United States, selects a number of agencies for evaluation through its Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement (BASE) program. TSA then recognizes the highest scoring agencies with a Gold Standard Award. TSA reviewed 108 transit agencies during the most recent round of BASE evaluations and recognized four with Gold Standard Awards.

“As one of only four transit agencies to receive this award, this is a testament to the team’s steadfast work to keep all of us safe,” said JTA CEO Nathaniel P. Ford. “We want to continue to live up to this recognition by providing a safe and secure environment for all employees, customers and contractors.”

TSA’s evaluation encompasses 17 categories of security and emergency preparedness elements, including an agency’s security plan, procedures and practices, as well as its security training, testing, drills and exercise programs, public outreach efforts and background check procedures.

“The TSA appreciates the long-standing partnership with CEO Ford and the JTA,” said TSA Regional Security Director for Surface Operations Mary V. Leftridge Byrd. “This vital bridge linking safety and security is delivered as a direct result of the working relationship and mutuality, established and honed over time. Clearly this optimal, stand-out success achieved by JTA demonstrates commitment on all levels. Further, we salute TSA’s surface inspectors for their valuable engagement.”

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.