Metro Transit bus system to get security camera upgrade
by Elizabeth Baier, Minnesota Public Radio
July 23, 2009
St. Paul, Minn. — Dozens of buses around the metro area will be getting security camera upgrades in the coming months, according to Metro Transit officials.
Cameras on 167 buses will be retrofitted with digital, multi-camera systems on board. The new system also will be added to another 11 new buses, officials said.
Currently, all Metro Transit buses on have camera systems, according to Metro Transit Spokesman Bob Gibbons.
But some of that original equipment is old and "from a much more primitive technology," Gibbons said.
The older, VHS tape system will be replaced with a multi-camera, DVD system that will be able to record all the cameras simultaneously in color. Each bus has between 5 and 6 cameras on board, recording images and sound from multiple angles and in color.
Gibbons said the upgraded system will have storage space on board the buses -- rather than at a centralized location -- and will be able to record for 30 days. Under the older system, the images recorded over themselves every 8 or 9 hours, Gibbons said.
"It's sort of like having an officer on board every bus, but done much more affordably and on an around-the-clock basis," Gibbons said. "Drivers like to have the cameras on board. And customers -- the well-behaving customers --like to have the camera systems on board as well."
Gibbons said the camera systems for each bus cost $4,800.
Metro Transit began retrofitting its fleet in 2007, and 240 have already been installed.
Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro Transit Implementing Nextiva Solution from Verint Video Intelligence Solutions, Extending Its Security Investment
Verint® Systems Inc., a leading global provider of analytics software-based solutions for workforce-enterprise optimization and security, today announced that Metro Transit in Minneapolis/St. Paul is implementing the Nextiva® Transit video solution from Verint® Video Intelligence Solutions™. The organization extended its investment in the video security solution to further enhance passenger and operator security in its bus fleet.
Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro Transit is the principal transit provider for the Minneapolis-St. Paul region and among the largest transit systems in the U.S., providing approximately 268,000 rides each weekday on its light rail line and fleet of 893 buses.
When it originally outfitted 240 buses with Verint’s Nextiva Transit solution, Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro Transit replaced existing analog recorders as part of a fleet-wide security upgrade to help enhance passenger safety and deter crime. Continuing its fleet-wide modernization initiative, the transit operator is implementing Nextiva Transit on an additional 167 buses, along with 11 new buses. In total, its initial investment, coupled with this expansion, will see Verint video security technology deployed across more than 400 buses in the system, furthering Metro Transit’s focus on passenger and driver security by leveraging a reliable, scalable and flexible IP video platform.
“Nextiva Transit has allowed us to revolutionize the way we approach and manage security by providing high quality images from multiple camera views and increased storage capabilities,” explains Dave Indrehus, Chief of Metropolitan Transit Police. “Verint’s integrated solution provides high quality color images that help us identify, arrest and prosecute offenders.”
Nextiva Transit will enable more effective management of Metro Transit’s entire on-board video network through automatic system health monitoring, camera tampering detection and proactive problem notification.
“We are pleased to continue providing Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro Transit with world-class surveillance capabilities, enabling authorities to maintain the highest level of security and safety standards for the Twin Cities’ passengers and operators,” adds Elan Moriah, president, Verint Video Intelligence Solutions and Verint® Witness Actionable Solutions®. “As a leading provider of networked IP video solutions, Verint is committed to delivering the high reliability, performance and video quality required by transit organizations worldwide.”