BART transit system welcomes video surveillance overhaul
The Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART), which serves riders throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, has big plans for a major video surveillance overhaul aimed at protecting riders from everyday crime as well as the threat of terrorism. State-of-the-art security cameras will be placed in stations, along tracks, in all trains and parking lots, and throughout other BART facilities. While the transit system has an existing surveillance network, the new one will be far more comprehensive and will feature cutting-edge technology including IP cameras and sophisticated software capable of video analytics.
The new technology, for example, enables the cameras and software to detect situations involving left objects, or intruders in restricted areas. Another benefit is the ability to program the cameras to send automated alerts when suspicious activity is detected. The automated alerts can point officers to potential threats even in cases where the cameras aren't being monitored by security staffers. And when it comes to monitoring the cameras, authorized viewers will be able to take advantage of improved zooming capabilities and digital video archives which can be a tremendous aid in criminal investigations.
The BART surveillance upgrades will cost a pretty penny, but with transportation systems seen as high-risk terrorist targets worldwide, this isn't an area to cut corners in terms of security. The upgrades will be made in phases as funds become available. The initial camera deployment will use $5.4 million in voter-approved funding allocated to the camera project.