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VIDEO SURVEILLANCE USES BY RAIL TRANSIT AGENCIES SUMMARY Previous TCRP reports, notably Electronic Surveillance Technologies on Transit Vehicles (Maier and Malone 2001) and Transit Security Update (Nakanishi 2009), have studied overall security and the use of electronic video surveillance technology in the transit envi- ronment. Improving Transit Security (Needle and Cobb 1997) and Guidelines for the Effec- tive Use of Uniformed Transit Police and Security Personnel (Interactive Elements Inc. 1997) considered how transit agencies were using video surveillance as part of their overall security strategies, primarily in conjunction with uniformed patrol by police or security officers. Most of the examples and case studies in earlier reports combined discussions of the use of electronic video surveillance cameras in bus and rail systems and few considered nonsecurity uses of such technology. This synthesis differs from the earlier ones in several ways. It is the first synthesis to document the current use of electronic video surveillance technology solely by passenger rail agencies and to consider the totality of its use, including onboard railcars and along the right-of-way (ROW). The synthesis also describes current administrative policies on moni- toring video images either in real time or for post-event analysis; policies on archiving and storing images and access to them by employees, other public agencies (primarily police), and the general public; and funding sources for installing new or upgrading existing video surveillance systems. Results of a survey emailed to passenger rail agencies throughout the United States are used to document important issues, including the following: The percentage of stations, station platforms, or shelters where surveillance is employed and how decisions are made on which locations to cover. The percentage of railcars in which onboard surveillance is employed and how deci- sions are made on which vehicles to cover. Whether video surveillance is employed along the ROW and, if so, where. The type of video surveillance systems in use and any special features they may utilize. Policies pertaining to monitoring, recording, and archiving images, including chain of custody policies. Purposes other than for crime/vandalism prevention for which surveillance is employed and its perceived effectiveness for those applications. Whether patrons or employees have been surveyed regarding their perceptions of security and, if so, what those perceptions are. Funding sources for installing and/or upgrading electronic video surveillance systems. Existing plans for installing video surveillance systems in new vehicles or stations. Forty-three completed surveys were received from the 58 passenger rail agencies to which questionnaires were sent, a response rate of 73%. Five agencies were selected as case study sites because they reflected a variety of modes, had different security configurations (transit police or reliance on local agencies), and were upgrading their systems to include

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2 technologies that other agencies are likely to be considering. These agencies provided oppor- tunities to share information in a lessons-learned format. Agencies that did not employ surveillance technology were encouraged to complete the survey by answering two brief questions: (1) whether the agency was considering installing a surveillance system and, if so, where, or (2) whether the agency was not considering install- ing a surveillance system and, if so, why not. All the responding agencies employed video surveillance in some capacity. Although the authors cannot speak for agencies that did not respond, it is reasonable to say that all passenger rail transit agencies make at least some use of electronic video surveillance on their property. The following key findings could be determined from completed surveys and case studies: The overwhelming majority of passenger rail transit agencies make use of electronic video surveillance somewhere on their property. Despite the focus on electronic video surveillance systems in the context of terrorism since September 11, 2001, most passenger rail transit agencies have employed surveil- lance on their systems since the 1990s, and some as early as the 1970s. The largest single set of locations where electronic video surveillance cameras were used was stations, station platforms, and shelters. Unsurprisingly, systems that came into existence in the past 10 years are more likely to make greater use of video surveil- lance than older systems. More than half the respondents (28 agencies) employed video surveillance cameras in their patron parking areas. The same number of agencies (28, though not all the same agencies) employed surveil- lance cameras onboard vehicles; fewer than half of these (11) indicated their use in operator/cab areas. More than half the respondents relied on video surveillance in storage yards, adminis- trative areas, or other nonpublic areas. Of the uses presented, ROW surveillance was used least frequently and was most likely to be installed near stations. Light rail systems were more likely to employ onboard video surveillance than heavy or commuter rail systems; many respondents indicated that at least 75% of their vehi- cles had cameras. This difference can be attributed to the age of these systems. Newer systems were more likely to have had video surveillance cameras installed by the rail- car manufacturer and were more likely to indicate that all new vehicles will have video systems preinstalled. More than half the video surveillance systems are digital rather than analog, but most are either combined or in transition. The most common special features were 24-hour recording, existence of a secondary power source, and low light resolution. Recent media attention to analytics ("smart" or "intelligent" video) is not yet reflected widely in transit agencies' existing technology. Almost one-half the agencies assign personnel to monitor video cameras on a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week basis; the most common staffing configuration is a combination of police/ security and rail operations personnel. Agencies that do not monitor their cameras regularly or at all indicated that personnel costs were the major determining factor. Most agencies archive video images, although the retention periods differed substan- tially from a few days to a year or more. Similarly, access to images is controlled by the agencies; the most common limitation is "designated individuals only," which most often includes police/security personnel, rail operations supervisors, and risk manage- ment personnel. The two most common applications of video surveillance were crime/vandalism prevention and accident investigation; the least common application was employee monitoring.

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3 Few agencies had surveyed patrons on whether the use of video surveillance added to their perceptions of security; fewer still had measured employee perceptions or had consulted employee groups in the decision to install surveillance systems. Agencies provided the percentage of funding for surveillance systems from vari- ous sources. The largest current funding source for surveillance systems is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); the next largest funding source was the Federal Transit Administration grant program. The major conclusions of the study are as follows: Reliable funding sources are necessary to assist agencies in making more effective use of available grants to upgrade security systems. The process for obtaining fund- ing for initial purchases or for upgrading existing video surveillance systems is com- plex and time-consuming. Many agencies rely primarily on DHS for all or most of their funds. The funding process involves a number of agency offices--most often police/security, safety, risk management, information technology, finance, and grant application personnel--which results in a large amount of employee collaboration. However, because funds must be applied for on a yearly basis, it is difficult to antici- pate the success of and even more difficult to plan for multiyear projects. Presently, DHS is seen as the largest single source of funding for security training and equip- ment purchases, and as a result it has a large influence on decisions made by transit agencies regardless of size, location, or mode. Agencies are seeking forums to share ideas and best practices. Despite large expen- ditures for design and purchase of surveillance equipment, transit agencies are highly dependent on vendor claims and on procedures that may require selection of the lowest bidder. Agencies would benefit from a forum to share transit-specific require- ments and experiences to balance against unsubstantiated claims; this role could be filled by U.S.DOT or by one or more transit-specific professional associations. Policies on image access and retention appear to vary. Transit agencies follow a vari- ety of procedures in these areas; some are guided by state laws pertaining to records maintenance and access but there is little overall guidance in establishing access and retention policies. The forum described previously could provide guidance and uniformity in these areas. ROW surveillance is an emerging issue. Relatively few agencies provide any sur- veillance of their ROWs; those that do provide it primarily immediately adjacent to stations. Though the reasons for this appear to be primarily cost-related, there are also issues pertaining to ownership of the ROW and adjacent areas; how and by whom surveillance equipment would be installed, monitored, and archived; and other questions. Publicizing successful applications of video surveillance may result in diversifying funding sources for system installation and upgrading. Because crime/vandalism prevention remains the single largest use of video surveillance by transit systems, agencies might work more closely with local media when malefactors are observed and caught in the act of committing a crime or when video images play a role in post-event investigation of a crime. Publicity given to these types of events may assist agencies in obtaining local funding for installation and upgrading of video sys- tems, resulting in less reliance on the competitive grant structure developed by DHS. However, media attention may result in criticism by groups opposed to the expansion of surveillance systems in public spaces. Findings from this synthesis suggested a number of major areas for future study. Each is summarized here and briefly expanded on at the end of chapter six. Measuring the value of surveillance systems in enhancing patrons' perceptions of security in transit stations, platforms, or shelters and onboard railcars.

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Measuring employee responses to surveillance systems. Developing policies on image access and retention, and on legal issues surrounding public access to images. Establishing forums to share best practices and assess equipment performance. Leveraging internal and external stakeholder input. Conducting technical studies of surveillance technology. Conducting studies specifically on emerging issues in ROW surveillance and operator/ cab surveillance. Considering possibilities for partnering with other transit agencies or railroads. Considering possibilities for partnering with local government. Each of these study areas could lead to additional areas that have yet to be thoroughly explored. These and similar studies would assist transit agency managers in making better use of their existing resources and would help them to find imaginative solutions for making more efficient use of video surveillance technology.