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MARTA Installs Security Cameras on Buses

All MARTA buses will have cameras by June 2013

Security cameras were installed on seven MARTA buses this week as part of the agency's effort to prevent crime on public transportation.

The MARTA board of directors approved the $17 million project in 2011 and all buses are expected to have cameras installed by June 2013.

The installations this week are part of a pilot program to test out the technology.

Each bus will have 11 cameras — three outside and eight inside.

The cameras capture real-time audio and video that feeds into a 17-inch monitor behind the driver for riders to use.

“MARTA is dedicated to ensuring that all reasonable measures are taken to secure the safety of customers and employees,” MARTA Police Chief Wanda Dunham said in a statement. “We are confident that this investment will provide an additional layer of protection and will act as a highly visible deterrent against operator assaults, crime and acts of terror.”

The federal Department of Homeland Security recently awarded MARTA a $9 million grant that will help defray the cost of the security system.

The state-of-the-art system was designed and manufactured by Apollo Video Technology. Located in the Seattle area, the company is an industry leader in video surveillance and fleet management solutions, according to a MARTA statement.

After the pilot program ends in November, cameras will be installed on the remaining bus fleet.

Cameras will be installed on rail cars starting in April 2013.

Do you think the cameras will help to prevent crime? Tell us in the comments!

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Bryan Farley September 18, 2012 at 02:18 PM
I think it is a great idea and a way to start with the change of the perception some OTP folks have that MARTA is unsafe. It will make criminals think twice about doing crimes and also employees not being professional.
Chris H September 18, 2012 at 06:49 PM
I think it's a great first step and one day we will have cameras on all the trains too. Altough crime does happen on MARTA, you are WAY more likely to get robbed walking the streets of Atlanta.
Eric H September 20, 2012 at 04:45 PM
I don't think its a good use of limited resources. This whole idea was instigated by politicians in the state legislature grandstanding in reaction to that one incident on that train late at night that ended up having very misleading initial reports. As you may recall the story initially was that a "gang" terrorized people on the train and held them captive. That all turned out to be false, someone had there wallet stolen and were hit with a can of coke and 2 people stopped the kids, who then got off the train. Re the cameras, like all the cameras in the stations these things are not all monitored in a real time manner. The cameras are used largely after the fact to gather evidence of a crime. To the extent crime happens, it usually doesn't happen on the actual bus since there is a bus driver and passengers. On trains more of the crime occurs outside the fare gates and the cameras capture that. Yes there are grab and gos on the train but everyone getting off the train passes by a platform camera so there are pictures of them. The cost is significant, the manpower needed to maintain all these additional cameras will not be cheap. If it doesn't exist already the bus driver should have push button instant access to the MARTA police for when an incident happens on the train and the train tunnels should be wired for cell phone services so that if something happens there everyone on the train can call 911 or MARTA police.
Vincent Kelly December 04, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Mr. Hovdesven couldn't be further from the truth. I ride MARTA daily from Indian Creek Station to the GWCC/CNN center/Phillips Arena/Georgia Dome Station. Passengers are constantly under a barrage of panhandlers, people eating on the train, playing loud music without earphones, etc. I just recently returned from Portland Maine where cameras are used on buses. The behavior of people riding the buses with the knowledge they are under constant surveillance is markedly different (of course, the attitude of Mainers is more subdued than Atlantans who are generally more boisterous than people riding transit in Northern cities). I’ve admired the use of cameras on transit vehicles since riding METRO subway in Baltimore, Maryland and thought they would be excellent addition on MARTA trains and buses. I suggested the use of cameras to the MARTA G.M/CEO over a year ago in a letter, in addition to a suggestion that MARTA implement full-height rotary turnstiles at stations. I’m glad MARTA has not been squeamish about using cameras. The cameras will make an excellent deterrent and I look forward to having them on the trains and buses. Maybe now I won’t have to make videos with my cellular phone for evidence later. It is just but one additional step MARTA needs to make, to become the professional agency it should be. Vinnie Kelly.

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