Port of New York Tests ID Card Readers


Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has announced that the Port of New York and New Jersey will test new high-tech ID card readers as part of a 10-city pilot program. The card readers – designed to verify Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) cards – will make New York’s port more secure by preventing unauthorized access to sensitive areas.

Currently, workers who operate in more than one port must carry several kinds of identification. The TWIC will be a standard for the industry, increasing both security and productivity. Under the new technology, the card readers will verify biometric information, making the cards useless for anyone but the original owner.

“Protecting our ports has been a top goal since 9/11, yet the TWIC program has been beset by errors and delays from the get-go,” says Schumer. “Our port should not have to wait any longer to receive the most advanced technology available. The millions of people who live near this port will rest a little easier given this important step in securing access to the port.”

The Transportation Security Administration, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, will be working with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on the installation of the pilot program. Testing the card readers brings the TWIC program one step closer to implementation. TWIC cards can be obtained only after a full security threat assessment and once they have been designed for transportation workers, including biometric information and requiring the use of a personal identification number. The cards will eventually be used in all port facilities, standardizing security procedures for all ports.

The Port of New York and New Jersey is the nation’s third-largest port and the largest on the East Coast. Nearly 10,000 ships come through the Port of New York each year.

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