The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) honored the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) with the prestigious Gold Standard Award on March 30 at the agency’s board meeting. JTA CEO Nathaniel Ford, Sr. received the award on behalf of the dedicated team across his agency.
JTA is one of four transit agencies nationwide to be honored with this recognition this year.
The Gold Standard Award is the highest level of recognition TSA can give to a transit agency for achieving top scores during an annual review of 17 categories of security and emergency preparedness elements. The review evaluates several aspects of a transit agency’s operations, including its 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 Mary V. Leftridge Byrd, TSA’s Regional Security Director for Surface Operations. “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.”
JTA operates a city bus system, Skyway monorail system, St John River Ferry, and paratransit operations in the largest city in the continental U.S. by area.
TSA has oversight of 6,800 public transit agencies in the country. Every year, the TSA assesses a select number of transit agencies nationwide for evaluation through its Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement (BASE) program. The very highest scoring transit agencies are recognized with the prestigious Gold Standard Award.
In the most recent round of BASE evaluations, TSA reviewed 108 mass transit agencies for their security posture. JTA distinguished itself among the nation’s transit agencies to earn this Gold Standard Award.