Posted on July 31, 2009
Subway riders will soon have a watchful eye looking over them as they travel. By the end of the year, a single New York City subway train will have CCTV security cameras in every one of its cars as an experimental program by the MTA. It is a groundbreaking security initiative used to determine if similar systems should be installed on every train as a way to deter criminal activity and to aid officials in emergencies. The footage could also assist in determining the facts in incidents, as the MTA has had to shell out millions in damages to injured passengers who have sued. The train will be outfitted with a digital surveillance system in the corner of every car. The system creates a computer-based log that can be viewed after a crime. The images will not be watched live because of financial constraints, but authorities are hoping that would-be criminals will think twice. Authorities also hope it will act as a weapon against terrorism. MTA officials won’t reveal which subway line will get the camera-equipped train, though it will likely be on one of the newest “letter” trains with the proper computer wiring. To install surveillance cameras in all subway cars would be an expensive endeavor for New York City. The MTA currently has no money in its capital plan to pay for the installation of cameras in all trains, and it’s unclear if money could be allocated in the next capital program.