MBTA teaming up with Department of Homeland Security

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August 29, 2012, 1:21 pm

(NECN: Jackie Bruno, Cambridge, Mass.) - The T is teaming up with homeland security to test a system designed to prevent a bio-terror attack.

The testing started overnight on the red line.
Tests were done at the Davis Square T stop Tuesday night. This week, more tests will be done at the Harvard Square and Porter Square T stops, as well.

A biological terror attack on the T is not something people think about every day.

“Sounds kind of like a science fiction movie. But it could certainly happen it’s the reality of the world we live in. I guess you just have to accept it,” said Randi Griffin.

But, accepting it is not something the MBTA or the Department of Homeland Security want to do. Instead, they’ve installed biological detection sensors on the red line to quickly identify an attack if there ever was one.

During the T’s off hours this week, they’ll be testing those sensors with harmless bacteria. They say it’s absolutely safe and shouldn’t worry riders.

“The fact that they need to test for something like this is scary but I am glad that they’re doing it and since the chemicals are not hazardous, I’m glad they’re being proactive before something deadly happens,” said Kristen Frazee.

The DHS says this sensor system could save thousands of lives if a biological attack did occur by being able to contain it, but, realistically, they can’t completely prevent it.

“When you’re stuck down there in the little tube you worry about a lot of things, but you can’t let it stop your normal routines for the day,” said Scott Luther.

This is one of the first sensor systems of its kind. If it does work, it could be used as the model for other subway systems around the nation.

Tags: MBTA, Red Line, T, Harvard square, Department of Homeland Security, Jackie Bruno, cambridge massachusetts, bio terror, randi griffin, scott luther, kristen frazee, biological detection sensors, porter sqaure, davis sqaure
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