MTA. Seeks Designs for Cameras In Subway Cars
New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA.) has asked two subway car manufacturers to create designs for digital security cameras that could be installed inside the cars, reports The New York Times.
Images from the cameras could be used in criminal investigations and to help investigators in the aftermath of a terrorist attack.
Michael Lombardi, senior vice president for subways of New York City Transit, says the authority had asked Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. and Alstom, the two companies that are producing the latest model of subway car, known as the R160, to propose ways to add security cameras to the cars. Lombardi says the MTA. will review the designs and test them in a small number of cars to examine whether the cameras could withstand bumps, jolts, dust particles and stop-and-go conditions.
According to the newspaper story, there is no timeline for the program, and any decision on the cameras would hinge in part on the cost.
The MTA. has ordered a total of 660 cars from the two manufacturers and has options to order up to 1,040 more. The authority has already received 110 cars as part of the first order.
At a recent meeting of the MTA. board committee that oversees long-term spending projects, Norman Seabrook, a board member, proposed installing security cameras that could send live images from a subway train to a central command center in case of an emergency.
At the meeting, Lombardi said that such a system would be technically difficult to build in the subway system and that the costs would be prohibitive.
Lombardi said the cameras would store images for a period of time, and if a crime were reported, the stored data could be retrieved. He suggests they might be designed with the capability to download the data via a wireless Internet connection, although that would not include the ability to send live images.
Paul J. Fleuranges, a spokesman for the New York City Transit, says the goal of the effort is to examine where the technology is and whether or not it is feasible to develop it.
“We have done this for buses; we have done this for stations. Now we have to do it for subway cars,” he says.