Watching out for bus safety
Two years ago, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) sought to replace the transit surveillance systems in its fixed-route buses to increase the amount of video that was captured on its fleet without increasing equipment or personnel. The agency issued a request for proposals in October 2009 to find new surveillance technology that would allow it to wirelessly download video and vehicle information from the buses in a central location where staff could monitor fleet-wide security.
MTS tested several technologies on a variety of buses, and in October 2010 contracted with Woodinville, Wash.-based Apollo Video Technology to install its RoadRunner MRH digital video recorders (DVRs) on 246 transit buses and its Vehicle Information Management (ViM) Software for back-end data management. The installation included interior and exterior cameras, motion detectors and wireless local area network equipment. The system's ViM software supplies vehicle status reports, event logs, on-demand video clip retrieval and automated video downloads.
The DVRs are connected to seven to nine cameras, depending on the bus type. Each camera system has Wi-Fi, accelerometers and GPS, so transit officials can monitor real-time video and view location data along with video playback. To capture potential incidents inside the transit yards overnight, the cameras include passive infrared motion detection sensors that trigger the system to start recording. The sensors also detect movement inside the vehicles when they are turned off.
MTS' initial installation was completed in April, and MTS officials are pleased with the increased amount of video and improved view angles from fewer cameras. In addition, the ViM software provides access to video archives and on-demand clips that help them react more quickly to incidents. MTS is now installing the video surveillance system on an additional 300 buses, and officials plan to install the same system on paratransit vehicles next year.
Project: Transit surveillance system replacement
Jurisdiction: San Diego
Agency: San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
Vendor: Woodinville, Wash.-based Apollo Video Technology
Date completed: April 2011