|BC Transportation & Infrastructure BC Transportation & Infrastructure|
|May 12th, 2007, 01:27 AM||#1|
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: █♣█ Vancouver
Likes (Received): 471
New cameras on buses, fare zones, and improvements to transit
TransLink tests digital cameras in city buses
Linda Nguyen, Vancouver Sun
Published: Friday, May 11, 2007
Transit officials are combing through six weeks of surveillance tapes filmed on Greater Vancouver buses to decide how to award a $20-million contract for a new high-tech video security system on its entire fleet.
The pilot project was launched with no formal announcement and little publicity.
"We didn't want want to make a big fuss about it," TransLink spokesman Ken Hardie said.
"It would've been pretty obvious that there were cameras on there [the buses]. It wasn't like they were hidden."
The eight cameras were supplied by four vendors who have experience with other transit systems in North America.
TransLink wouldn't identify the companies.
The cameras were tested on downtown trolley and diesel buses in Greater Vancouver.
B.C.'s privacy body said TransLink sought advice before the pilot project, which didn't breach any privacy laws.
"We were aware the images weren't going to be used in any fashion but to see if and how the cameras work," said Jim Burrows of the Office of Information and Privacy Commissioner.
Surveillance cameras are one of the new safety measures announced Wednesday after recent video footage showed a bus driver spitting back at a passenger on a downtown route.
The cameras vary somewhat in size and capabilities with most resembling an oversized coffee cup that will be mounted at the front of a bus to digitally record passengers and events, Doug McDonald of Coast Mountain said.
They'll also be able to see at different angles.
The video, although not monitored in real time, can be bookmarked in case of an emergency by a driver pushing a button.
The digital tape can also be tagged by the bus itself if it gets involved in an unusual physical manoeuvre, like a collision.
"At the end of the day, it will be downloaded and the event will be looked at," McDonald said, noting the video will be used to protect both passengers and drivers.
Coast Mountain advises their drivers to "inform, not enforce" fares but says new "fare-paid zones" mandated on all buses starting June 25 will help.
When the new zones policy begin, passengers will be legally required to show proof of payment any time on a bus and can face fines and other legal repercussions if they can't.
The zones, which are similar to the current system on the SkyTrain, will allow for future plans of front and backdoor boarding on busy routes, Hardie said.
Also starting in June, fare inspectors and transit officers will be patrolling the 99 B-Line route for eight weeks to help increase loading speeds.
It takes about three minutes to load a bus.
With multiple door boarding, it can take as little as 60 seconds.
The officers will also ticket fare violators and act as a deterrent to assaults against drivers on this busy route that runs along Commercial Drive and Broadway to the University of British Columbia.
A state-of-the-art, $44.7-million radio and global positioning system will also be installed on buses in August, speeding up emergency response times.
TransLink is also currently rolling out a new digital surveillance system at SkyTrain stations, that will allow video to be recorded and stored for seven days.
"Our current analog system works on endless loop tape, and re-records every two hours but with these digital cameras, we now have the capacity of capturing a better image and store it indefinitely," Hardie said.
Lighting in stations along the Expo Line also will be upgraded.
Massive renovations like installing new elevators and creating different entrances at some stations including Metrotown and Broadway are expected for 2009.
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|May 13th, 2007, 12:44 AM||#2|
"The Ignorant Fool"
Join Date: Jun 2005
Likes (Received): 8
Very good investment. Security should be a top priority if mass transit is to have continued public support. I know the cameras make me feel better and have been shown to be a very powerful deterent to crime.
|May 13th, 2007, 08:43 AM||#3|
Join Date: Jan 2006
Likes (Received): 2
sometimes when i take the skytrain
i have realised there has been mini surveilence cameras
between the poles at the doors
i was wondering what it was in the first place haha