Metro officials in Washington, D.C. recently announced that over the next five years they would be putting surveillance cameras in their entire fleet of 1,500 buses to monitor driver performance and improve transportation security. New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority said it would order 340 new subway cars equipped with surveillance cameras. The Champaign-Urbana (Ill.) Mass Transit District is adding hundreds of cameras to its fleet of buses and vans. Transportation security is on the rise partially fueled by DHS stimulus funds and some recently highly publicized violence on public transit systems.
There are some very good ways to make public transportation safer and more efficient. Video surveillance cameras can be effective as a deterrent and also provides excellent investigative and forensic information after an incident. Transit officials also say the cameras will help them to better manage crowds.
But for any transportation facility or system it is important to assess all of the potential areas of risk. Those risks include:
◦ Emergency path/shafts
◦ Platform and passenger areas
◦ Fare collection areas
◦ Parking lots
◦ Common corridors
◦ Non-public operating room
There are other technologies in addition to surveillance cameras that can help in transportation security. Some of those include, access control, intrusion detection, monitoring, panic buttons and in some instances video analytics.
But surveillance cameras can go beyond security and provide vital information for better and more efficient operations. Cameras can let officials know about traffic patterns, usage and emergency situations. That is the kind of information that can go a long way towards helping them to keep transit passengers more satisfied and safer.Leave a comment