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11 of ticket vending machines (TVMs) and, particularly in the lection system and secondarily to deter and apprehend fare London Underground (LU), to assist station personnel in evaders. Only the Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH) monitoring areas of dangerous crowding on platforms and rail line connecting New York and New Jersey (operated escalators. by the PANY&NJ) was at the time using surveillance solely as part of its crime prevention strategies (Policing Urban As with so many innovations in law enforcement, the ini- Mass Transit Systems 1979, p. 38). In addition, Philadelphia tial uses of surveillance cameras are difficult to pinpoint. experimented with surveillance in 1978 in conjunction with Some observers trace their use to covert surveillance by patrols in the transit system by plainclothes officers assigned individual agents or private investigators taking photos of to cut down on the growing graffiti problem (Hackney 1978). suspects engaged in various incriminating behaviors. With- out going so far as to link the use of surveillance in the tran- The situation changed considerably over two decades. sit environment to such covert activities, its use was reported Guidelines for the Effective Use of Uniformed Transit Police as early as the 1970s. and Security Personnel, a 1997 TCRP report by Interactive Elements Inc. on transit policing and security deployment Policing Urban Mass Transit Systems, one of the first tactics, found that a dozen rail agencies employed video sur- federal reports that dealt specifically with policing mass veillance in stations, parking lots, bus terminals, rail stations, transit, observed in 1979 that several properties had or were elevators, and onboard vehicles:BART, the Greater Cleve- planning to install video surveillance equipment to moni- land Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA), the Los Angeles tor station activities. Seen in the broader context of using County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA), technology to assist police, the move was compared to silent Maryland's Transit Administration (MTA-MD), Miami's alarms and two-way radios as adjuncts to or replacements Metro-Dade Transit (MetroRail), the Metropolitan Atlanta for patrol operations. Just as today, the "constant surveil- Regional Transportation Authority (MARTA), the Long lance capabilities" were seen as having "the potential to deter Island Rail Road (LIRR), New York City Transit (NYCT), offenders, aid police in detecting crimes and apprehending NJT, Denver's Regional Transportation District (RTD), the criminals, and provide patrons with a sense of security." But Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA), and the researchers also noted that even where installed, sur- the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area Transit Authority veillance systems were not "well integrated into police day- (WMATA). The technology was used primarily to docu- to-day operations," in large part because the cameras were ment incidents in progress, to facilitate officer response by monitored by transit operations personnel (1979, p. 15). having staff responsible for monitoring the video dispatch officers to these incidents, and to assist in post-event investi- The findings of this synthesis confirm that many surveil- gation and prosecution of offenders by providing a record of lance systems continue to be monitored by transit opera- criminal activity and a positive identification of the person(s) tions personnel but this was not perceived as a problem responsible for the act (pp. 156157). This synthesis found by respondents. Of the 40 agencies that responded to the that transit agencies still use video surveillance primarily for question concerning who monitors their video systems, the these purposes. largest number (22) reported the task was performed by a combination of police/security and rail operations person- nel, 8 by rail operations personnel, and 10 by police/security VIDEO SURVEILLANCE AND RISK MANAGEMENT personnel. None of the agencies saw this as hampering law enforcement activities; the combined roles of police/secu- Although video surveillance technology is today most fre- rity and rail operations personnel seemed to be a successful quently discussed in the context of terrorism, a review of the application of system integration that maximized the ben- history of the uses of surveillance systems in transit agencies efits of video surveillance monitoring. It permitted observa- points to its primary use as a risk management tool against tion of and response to operating hazards at the same time as fare evasion and as a defense against fraudulent claims, par- preventing vandalism or criminal activity, all of which may ticularly for individuals alleging injury during accidents. affect rail operations. Its use as a tool in crime prevention and detection, to allay patron fears that transit systems were unsafe, was secondary. The 1979 report documented that law enforcement was rarely the primary goal of the surveillance systems. For Two recent TCRP studies pointed to the continuing instance, San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) importance of risk management issues in the installation was described as having installed its video cameras primar- of video surveillance systems. The current synthesis rein- ily to monitor elevators for the disabled community and only forced the continuation of this role. Although use of video incidentally for security. Port Authority Transit (PATCO) surveillance anywhere on a transit agency's property assists used its video in conjunction with a public address system in risk mitigation, its use in nonpublic areas such as yards and a direct-line emergency telephone system primarily to and employee areas are traditional uses that continue to be assist patrons having problems with the automatic fare col- among the most common. Of the 43 responding agencies, 26

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12 reported use of video surveillance in storage and other yards reported that during its implementation of onboard surveil- and 20 in employee/administrative areas. lance in the mid-1990s as part of a larger program aimed at targeting fraud, claims dropped more than 30%. Although In a 2000 TRCP synthesis, Identifying and Reducing the report did not specify whether the cameras were used Fraudulent Third Party Tort Claims Against Public Transit only on buses, only on railcars, or on some combination of Agencies: A Synthesis of Transit Practices, M. Patricia Maier the two, it noted that based on the entire program, SEPTA provided a number of examples of how transit agencies were estimated its claims-related savings at more than $2 mil- using surveillance video images to take action against fraudu- lion annually (Maier and Malone 2001, pp. 1920). Also lent claims (2000, pp. 2931). Fraudulent claims can mean involving SEPTA, Maier and Malone (2001, p. 25) reported many things, including, commonly, verification of insurance on a 1995 case in which a plaintiff who sued for injuries claims resulting from accidents or injuries (real or alleged) allegedly sustained during a sudden stop added a claim of from patrons, employees, or trespassers. Because the issue of emotional distress after learning that SEPTA had relied on fraudulent claims by employees is more controversial than the video surveillance to monitor the plaintiff's actions. The other categories and because such surveillance is more likely court sustained SEPTA's defense that the surveillance was to be covert rather than overt, the existing literature tends to not intrusive and violated no rights claimed by the plaintiff. focus on discussions of external rather than on internal fraud. In addition to saving lives, there has been considerable External fraudulent claims may occur through a variety discussion along these lines as to the benefit of video surveil- of events. For instance, people who were at an incident may lance at rail crossings to help to mitigate liability after cross- claim to be injured when they were not, and people who ing accidents, particularly in conjunction with tests to ensure were not at an incident may also claim to have been injured. that flashing lights and gates were operable. A recent acci- In some cases, these so-called "ghost riders" have been dent involving an Amtrak train and a car carrying five young observed on video actually rushing to enter a disabled vehi- people (the 19-year-old driver and four others between the cle, more often a bus than a railcar, so that they may claim ages of 14 and 21, all of whom were killed in the accident) an injury resulting from the accident. SEPTA conducted a illustrates this. Within 24 hours of the crash, police released study in 1988 that showed that between two and three times a copy of a video image that showed the vehicle skirting the as many people were filing lawsuits as had been injured in railroad gate despite the gates and flashing lights operating. accidents, including those who were not even onboard the The train, Amtrak 353, going from Detroit to Chicago and vehicles. Maier (2000) described a SEPTA subway accident carrying about 150 people, was traveling within speed limits in 1990 that killed four people and attracted claims from when it broadsided the vehicle on tracks owned by Norfolk almost 300 people who alleged to have been injured, a figure Southern (Runk 2009). that was far in excess of the number of passengers onboard at the time. Grants available from the FHWA's Highway-Rail Cross- ing Program are intended, in part, to address these safety- Because video surveillance onboard vehicles has been related issues, but responses to the synthesis questionnaire until recently more likely to be installed on buses than rail- showed that none of the responding agencies had received cars, similar bus-related findings are quite common. Again funds from this source. The wording of the funding question from SEPTA, Maier cited an instance when lawsuits were made it impossible to determine whether funds had been received following a bus/car accident even though the bus applied for and not approved or whether this is an untapped had carried no passengers at the time of the incident. Simi- resource for passenger rail agencies. larly, a sting operation that created a staged accident in New Jersey resulted in video of 17 bystanders scrambling onto a The importance of surveillance as a risk and fare compli- bus that had been hit by a car; all later claimed to have been ance tool persists. In 2005, a report prepared for Sound Tran- injured. Bus companies in urban areas of the state reported sit (Seattle, Washington) in conjunction with its Regional that buses involved in accidents were often surrounded by Transit Long-Range Plan recommended video surveillance "runners" working for doctors and lawyers who would get for monitoring TVMs and general fare collection protection on the bus to distribute leaflets with the names and phone and did not mention it in any other capacity (Sound Transit numbers of their employers, encouraging passengers to Long-Range Plan Update 2005, p. 20). Video cameras are claim neck or back injuries so that they could file claims often placed in locations where it is possible to monitor fare against the carriers. collection points. As surveillance technology has become more common, it may also prove its value to transit in detect- Another TCRP study, Electronic Surveillance Technol- ing vendor fraud. This occurred recently when a school sys- ogy on Transit Vehicles, reported that almost half of respond- tem discovered, based on its video system covering areas ing agencies used surveillance recordings to disprove claims outside its main buildings, that a company being paid for made against their systems. Once again, SEPTA provided snow removal billed for more trucks than were sent to the a number of examples. The Philadelphia-based agency site (Stelter March 2, 2010).