Security and Safety

CATS app lets riders alert authorities about safety, security concerns

Posted on February 23, 2016

ELERTS See Say app screenshot for Charlotte Area Transit System.
ELERTS See Say app screenshot for Charlotte Area Transit System.

ELERTS has created a smartphone app for the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), which will enable riders to alert transit authorities about safety and security concerns on trains and buses.

Beyond mere notification, the CATS See Say app enables riders to submit reports containing photos, video, and a description the issue, as well as a GPS map, pinpointing the problem area. A CATS dispatcher will be able to engage in a two-way dialogue with riders.

“The ELERTS app provides another layer of security for riders and many thousands of extra sets of eyes and ears for transit and local police,” said Ed English, CEO of ELERTS. 

A similar ELERTS app is used by major transits, including MARTA in Atlanta, the MBTA in Boston, the NFTA in Buffalo, the VTA in Santa Clara and BART in San Francisco. By enlisting riders to report security concerns, the app acts as a force multiplier for transit police. More than 2.5 million riders may use an ELERTS transit app daily.

“Safety is and always will be a primary concern of CATS,” said CATS CEO John Lewis. “Through the use of this mobile app, riders can have a bigger hand in helping our public transit system operate as safely as possible.”

The ELERTS app for CATS transmits rider’s reports over cellular or Wi-Fi signals. The app automatically disables the camera flash when the user takes a photo, so it is discreet. Reports can be sent anonymous, if desired.

Reports from riders are managed by the transit police dispatch center, using ELERTS management console. Two-way communication allows the dispatcher to ask riders for more details or to advise the rider. In addition, alerts can be broadcast to riders using the app. For example, the transit system may enlist the help of riders with BOLO (Be On the Look-Out) alerts for missing persons or persons of interest, and provide information about delays and service interruptions.

The ELERTS app is designed for challenging communication environments. In the event that a cell or Wi-Fi signal is weak or non-existent, the app uses a store and forward model, delivering reports to transit police when signals reach usable levels. Available for iPhones and Android phones, the app may be installed at no cost to riders.

“Riders nationwide have demonstrated a willingness to help keep their transit systems safe and we anticipate that to be the case in Charlotte as well,” said English. “To date, more than 50,000 incidents have been reported to transit police using our app. These include assaults, vandalism, abandoned bags, robberies, suspicious activity, drug and gun dealing, sexual harassment and medical concerns.”

ELERTS Corp., headquartered in Weymouth, Mass., develops emergency communication software empowered by community-sourced reporting of safety and security concerns.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Driver’s actions led to Metro-North grade crossing collision, NTSB finds

The SUV driver died, along with five passengers on the train, in the Feb. 3, 2015, accident. The rail passengers were killed when 343 feet of the third rail, which powers the train, penetrated the floor of the first train car and struck passengers.

NCTD testing PTC on passenger-carrying trains

The agency's system has been tested for months on a non-revenue train in the Stuart Mesa Rail facility and along the coastal corridor.

Audit launched to explore how federal PTC funds are being used

The latest data from the FRA shows some rail systems are still lagging, with the technology operational along 27% of freight-rail route miles and 23% of passenger-rail route miles, as of the first three months of this year.

Speed restrictions lifted on part of NJ Transit rail service into Penn Station

The speed restrictions and accompanying 15 to 30 minute delays have been in place since mid-May for inspections and track work. NJ Transit officials said the agency posted historic low numbers for on-time performance in May.

BART completes installation of security cameras on train car fleet

The new cameras bolster BART’s existing security infrastructure network, which includes cameras on platforms and inside and outside stations.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close