Monday, September 27, 2010

Denver RTD Errors Caught on Bus Camera

Mississauga Transit Buses to Get New Security Cameras

City councillors endorsed a draft policy yesterday that will see all Mississauga Transit buses equipped with security cameras by the end of 2011.
The first to sport the devices will be newly-branded MiWay buses due to start hitting the road next month.
“Video/audio surveillance has become common in the transit industry,” Martin Powell, the City of Mississauga’s commissioner of transportation and works, told General Committee. “The systems, when utilized with other security measures, have become an effective means of ensuring transit safety and security.”
Although it’s a first for Mississauga, neighbouring municipalities such as Brampton and Toronto have already had the devices installed, Powell noted. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) alone has some 12,000 cameras across its bus, subway and streetcar network since mid-2009.
In addition to the 57 newly-acquired buses, Mississauga's entire existing fleet, starting next spring, will be retrofitted to include the security cameras. Staff anticipate the job to be completed by the end of next year.
Video cameras have already been installed at the City Centre and Westwood Mall bus terminals.
City officials believe they’re long overdue. Ward 8 Councillor Katie Mahoney says the need was brought up recently when she knocked on the door of a Mississauga Transit driver while canvassing for the Oct. 25 election.
“(His wife) had a lot to say about it, and I agreed with her that many of our drivers get abused, get spit upon, that sort of thing,” she said.
Mayor Hazel McCallion has long called for more protection for drivers.
“It’s amazing what happens when people get on a bus in the morning upset about something. They take it out on the drivers. (Drivers) are seeking support – there’s no question about it,” said McCallion, noting incidents are escalating.
“Years ago, you would never dream of somebody abusing or assaulting a driver. But that’s not the case today. Look at what’s happening in Toronto. So we must take the necessary actions to protect our drivers.”
Last week, a man was charged with trying to kill a TTC driver after becoming embroiled in a fare dispute. The knifing was captured by a security camera.
Powell says Mississauga’s draft policy complies with recommendations to the TTC made by Ontario privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian in 2008. Among her 13 recommendations were specific steps that the TTC must take to protect the privacy rights of its riders. Once they were implemented, she gave the green light to the measures.
“Mass transit systems like the TTC, that are required to move large volumes of people, in confined spaces, on a daily basis, give rise to unique safety and security issues for the general public and operators of the system,” she said.
Like the TTC’s, Mississauga’s draft policy ensures that personal information will only be collected for legitimate, limited and specific purposes, says Powell.
“The cameras will be positioned in the interior of the bus and will only record video and audio data captured in the interior of the vehicle,” he said. “Recorded data will be stored in a secure manner on the bus, where it will remain for a maximum of 24 vehicle operating hours, and then will be recorded over and destroyed.”

Monday, September 20, 2010

Camera Captures Angry Dad on School Bus

Friday, September 17, 2010

DHS Develops ‘Black Boxes’ For Mass Transit Buses

The Homeland Security Department’s Science and Technology Directorate is developing cameras that could serve as “black boxes” for mass transit.

The forensic cameras will include memory chips strong enough to withstand bombings, fires or floods, said Stephen Dennis, the directorate’s deputy director for innovation. Two companies — Videology Inc. of Grenville, R.I., and Visual Defence-USA Inc. of Alexandria, Va. — have delivered prototypes for testing.

Last year, the cameras held up well during a bombing exercise at the Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. Researchers mounted 16 cameras on the walls of a retired public transit bus rigged with explosives. The bombs destroyed the bus but not the cameras, all of which survived despite being thrown in all directions. Fourteen of the camera’s memory chips made it through the blasts.

Preloaded videos in the cameras allowed engineers to compare the content and quality of images before and after the explosion. “Every video minute on there was without degradation,” Dennis noted.

The directorate next plans to study the reliability, performance and maintenance of cameras operating on regular bus routes and trains. The Transportation Security Administration and several major U.S. cities are interested in participating, DHS officials said.

The final phase of testing will examine how well the cameras will do in burning vehicles. To see if they can survive extreme heat, engineers literally will bake the cameras and their chips in an oven.

Fresno Upgrades Bus Security Cameras


Thursday, September 02, 2010

NY MTA Plans to Equip New Subway Cars with Camera Surveillance

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

New York Subway Cars to be Equipped with Surveillance Cameras

Subway passengers will soon be on candid camera, as transit officials are ordering 340 new subway cars equipped for surveillance cameras.

The cars come at a cost of about $750 million and will replace aging cars on the A line by 2015.

Purchasing new cars is an alternative to the costly process of renovating and rewiring older cars.

The camera feeds are not monitored in real time, but footage can be passed on to law enforcement if a crime occurs.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials will decide in about six months whether all future subway cars will be built to include camera technology.

Surveillance technology has already been installed as a pilot program in several trains on the E line.