September 17, 2012

MARTA, Apollo team for surveillance camera pilot

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) launched a pilot program of buses equipped with surveillance cameras that will later be expanded to its entire fleet of passenger vehicles.

Seven buses on randomly chosen routes have cameras provided by Apollo Video Technology to strategically positioned on the interior and exterior to record high-quality video and audio. Each bus has 11 cameras; three outside and eight inside. There’s also a 17-inch, full-color monitor mounted behind the driver that lets customers view themselves and their surroundings in real-time.

The Vehicle Security Camera System (VSCS) will capture and store images, audio and vehicle data that can help MARTA Police investigate crimes and which could prove useful in resolving customer complaints and settling accident claims.

The MARTA board of directors approved the $17 million system last year. Recently, however, the federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) awarded MARTA with a $9 million grant that will help defray the cost. The grant is part of the “See Something, Say Something” public awareness campaign sponsored by DHS to counter terrorist attacks and other criminal activity nationwide.

After the pilot program ends in November, camera installation will begin on MARTA’s remaining fixed-route bus fleet and is scheduled for completion by June 2013. Starting next April, cameras will be installed on the system's railcars. Mobility vans should be outfitted with cameras by July 2013 and VSCS installation on all of MARTA’s “rolling stock” is expected to be finished by July 2014.

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