New York police will begin randomly searching bags and backpacks of passengers
on the city's buses, subways and commuter trains to guard against terrorists following
today's attempted London transit bombings, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
Searches also will be conducted by Metropolitan Transportation Authority police
on suburban commuter trains, Governor George Pataki said. The mayor and governor
announced the measures during a news conference on Staten Island.
``I want to emphasize that there is still no threats to this city that have
been explicitly made or to our subway or bus system,'' Bloomberg said. ``People
should go ahead and feel comfortable in using'' mass transit, he said.
New York stepped up security measures for transportation facilities after the
July 7 London subway and bus bombings that killed at least 56 people.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the new random- search policy would
last ``as long as necessary.'' He asked passengers to try to avoid carrying
backpacks or large bags.
Kelly said last week that New York is paying overtime to have more officers
in subway trains on platforms, at commuter rail terminals, and at bus stops
and bridge and tunnel crossings. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security raised
the threat level to high from elevated after the July 7 London bombings, making
federal funds available to protect major transit systems, Kelly said.
Poll on Terror
A poll of registered New York City voters released yesterday showed that by
an 8-to-1 margin New Yorkers have continued their routines even after the July
Still, the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute poll found 72 percent either
``very worried'' or ``somewhat worried'' about an attack on New York mass transit,
compared with 28 percent who were ``not too'' or ``not at all'' worried.
The survey of 1,313 New York City voters conducted July 12- 17 had a margin
of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.
The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg