Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New NJ Transit bus fleet to have surveillance cameras

Home News Tribune Online 01/22/07THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEWARK: The board of New Jersey Transit on is expected to approve the purchase of a fleet of new buses tomorrow that will include a new feature: closed-circuit camera systems.The agency would purchase 1,145 buses equipped with the cameras to bolster security.""They have great deterrent value,'' said Jim Gigantino, acting vice president and general manager for bus operations. ""If there's an incident that does occur, the images can be retrieved.''He said the cameras will not be monitored, but will record digitally. Pictures can be retrieved when necessary and can be used by police to identify suspects. Several cameras will be positioned inside each bus to record different views.

NJ Transit is testing two different types of cameras and recording systems and will determine which system to use in about eight to 10 months.Video cameras have been installed on some buses operating in Essex, Passaic, Bergen and Union counties. Those cameras record data when activated by the operator or when triggered by a sudden change in ""g-force'' such as a collision.The other pilot program in South Jersey uses cameras that continuously record from multiple interior and exterior positions.The new buses, to cost $443 million, are expected to be in service around the state in about a year, Gigantino said.The new fleet will be equipped with wheelchair lifts and will meet or exceed the latest environmental standards to reduce exhaust emissions, he said.