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51 enforcement. Summonses would be mailed to the regis- to assist in determining problems at grade crossings. The tered owners of offending vehicles based on photos of the existence of video also helped to establish culpability in Bos- violations. ton in April 2010, when a sports utility vehicle was hit by an MBTA trolley while making a U-turn across the tracks. METRO anticipates that this system will assist in acci- In this instance, the accident received widespread publicity dent prevention and investigation. In addition to assisting because the vehicle was driven by a member of the Boston in enforcement activities, reviewing where and when vio- College national championship hockey team. The driver lations occur will permit the agency, likely in conjunction was charged by police in part based on video of the incident with the city, to install additional traffic enforcement devices ("Boston College Players' Crash..." 2010). These examples, as well as signage that could assist in accident prevention combined with its own experiences, illustrate why METRO efforts. The transit agency is responding in part to local sees video analytics as a way to reinforce its accident miti- concerns about the high number of accidents between LRVs gation strategies. These examples also show how transit and other vehicles since rail service was initiated. Although systems, particularly street-running light rail systems, are the accident rate has fallen considerably in recent years, it returning to and updating the earlier uses of surveillance pri- was initially far higher than the national average for similar marily to control traffic and risk rather than seeing it primar- street-running rail systems. By 2007 there were fewer than ily as a crime prevention tool, the use that has become more 20 accidents, down from a high of 60 in 2004. prevalent in recent years. A number of safety improvements, including new sig- METRO's interest in working with the city administra- nage, better signal layout, public education, and media atten- tion on the mobile camera project and on its own left-turn tion to the problem, contributed to reducing the number of analytics project that will aid in traffic enforcement also incidents involving road vehicles and LRVs. The use of ana- reinforce the importance of recognizing the collaborative lytic video adds another layer of protection to riders in both possibilities that are open to transit agencies. Such oppor- the railcars and other vehicles as well as to pedestrians, who tunities, particularly light rail systems that literally share may also be injured if accidents occur (Figure 6). the streets with vehicles and pedestrians, open possibilities for identifying mutual concerns over traffic congestion and management and for participating with local government in determining appropriate operational responses. Such collaborations have important future implications. For METRO, with extensive expansion plans that include an additional 30 miles of track, partnering with Houston may help it to convince smaller communities along the alignment to participate in similar upgrades and to provide the transit system with a way to minimize public complaints and finan- cial claims stemming from traffic-related matters. Given the opportunity, other transit agencies may recognize areas in FIGURE 6 The photo represents Houston METRO's plan for installation of video analytics to detect illegal left turns by which they, too, can benefit from working more closely with road vehicles into the LRV's right of way. Photo courtesy of the localities through which they travel. METRO Police. Lessons Learned CASE STUDY 4: PORT AUTHORITY OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA Although METRO is not the only transit agency that is turn- ing to analytics as a risk mitigation strategy, it is an example Description of the Transit System of how working partnerships with local government can bring these innovations closer to fruition. Street-running The Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAAC) is a mul- rail systems are faced with traffic and pedestrian concerns timodal transit provider of bus, light rail, and paratransit in that do not exist for commuter or heavy rail systems. These a 730-square-mile area that includes the city of Pittsburgh, issues, while presenting unique accident-prevention prob- all of Allegheny County, and limited portions of Arm- lems, also present greater opportunity to partner with local strong, Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland government, which must also respond to complaints from counties. In addition to its transit system, known locally as the public over street-level accidents and traffic congestion. the T and comprising a 25.2 mile subway and light rail sys- tem, it operates an extensive network of more than 1,000 Responding to the same concerns, Valley Metro in Phoe- buses, including three major bus rapid transit busways, the nix (see Case Study 5) has used its external vehicle cameras first of which opened in 1977 and the most recent in 2000.
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52 As with Minnesota's Metro Transit, it is currently expand- Security Organization and Personnel ing its LRT system. The Port Authority Police and Security Services Department Pittsburgh's streetcar service began in 1902 but was even- was formed in 1968; it is responsible for all PAAC patrol tually abandoned by Pittsburgh Railways, which replaced it and investigative functions. Recognized as police within the with bus routes. PAAC was created by the state in 1956, ini- state of Pennsylvania, officers are commissioned in the name tially focused on port facilities. By the end of the decade it of the governor and are authorized to take all police action was authorized to acquire privately owned transit compa- on and adjacent to PAAC property as well as throughout the nies, including bus lines and two funiculars (incline-plain Commonwealth of Pennsylvania when on PAAC business. railways), both of which were constructed in the 1870s. The The leadership of the department has been stable; the current Monongahela Incline, a 630-ft, two-car funicular, is oper- chief, Stephen McCauley, is only the fourth person to lead it. ated by PAAC; the two cars of the 800-foot Dusquesne He had been the assistant chief under his predecessor, Wil- Incline are owned by PAAC but operated by the nonprofit liam McArdle. McArdle, a retired FBI agent who grew up Society for the Preservation of Duquesne Heights Incline. In and worked in Pittsburgh, joined PAAC as its chief in 1994 addition to providing local transit service, the funiculars are and retired in 2006. area tourist attractions. The department grew from fewer than 20 officers who also Construction of the T began in the 1980s. In July 1985, contracted with the county sheriff's office to its current size. the downtown subway opened for revenue service; other sec- It remains one of the smaller dedicated transit police depart- tions opened in 1987 and in 2004. The system operates more ments, composed of about 40 sworn officers augmented by than 80 LRVs; the vehicles require three floor-level doors approximately 12 security guards. In addition to responsibil- per side because of the mix of high- and low-platform sta- ity for patrol in uniform and plainclothes and investigations tions. There are 24 high-level platform stations, four down- of past crimes, a number of officers are trained in a variety town subway stations, and 37 street-level stops. Stations are of police specializations, including accident reconstruction. equipped with bicycle racks (although bikes are permitted Since 2004, the department has included a canine unit of on LRVs only on weekends), electronic message boards, a specially trained dogs working with their police officer han- public address system, telephones and benches, and surveil- dlers on both routine patrol and for explosive detection. Offi- lance system coverage. The T travels through downtown cers have been trained to staff an Emergency Services Unit, Pittsburgh as a subway with three underground stations and about one-third of all officers have received specialized (Steel Plaza at Grant Street, Wood Street, and Gateway) and training in handling chemical detection and hostage situa- an aboveground station at First Avenue. The downtown loop tions, and responding to active shooter situations on buses is free and features classical music and whimsical artwork. and railcars. Information not publicly available was provided The remainder of the system is not free. The T travels across for the case study by Chief McCauley. the river to Station Square on the South Side. After going above the Monongahela River, the transit vehicles run above Existing Surveillance Technology ground along three different light rail lines that travel into Pittsburgh's south suburbs. Major stations also serve as bus- All underground stations are currently equipped with video transfer points into downtown Pittsburgh. cameras on all levels that are monitored by the PAAC police. At the time of the case study, in mid-2010, PAAC was antici- Construction is currently ongoing for the North Shore pating that the existing cameras would be upgraded by Connector, a light rail extension that will extend the tran- the end of the year to video over Internet protocol service. sit system by about 1 mile. Although the distance covered Beginning in 19851986, black-and-white fixed-position by the extension is fairly short, constructing and protect- cameras were installed in all subway stations, and various ing is complex because it will travel underground from the upgrades and expansions have been undertaken as funds Gateway Station, under the Allegheny River in twin-bored became available. Red telephones labeled "Emergency-- tunnels, to the north shore, providing service to newly devel- Port Authority Police" are located in all stations. Other oped residential and business areas; to PNC Park and Heinz safety and security features include glass panels in eleva- Field, two major professional sports venues, and to a newly tor doors for two-way visibility. LRVs are equipped with constructed casino. Construction of the connector necessi- two-way radios with direct communication with the Opera- tated closing the original Gateway T Station to make room tions Control Center, a buzzer system to alert patrons that for a new Gateway Center Station. The new line is expected doors are closing, and a number of features to aid emergency to open for revenue service in March 2012. As with Hous- evacuations. Fewer than half of all stations, station plat- ton's METRO, PAAC anticipates additional light rail expan- forms, and shelters are currently monitored by surveillance sion, including service to Pittsburgh International Airport, cameras. Cameras are also employed to protect storage and which also operates under its auspices. other yards. All cameras are monitored on a 24-hour, 7-day-
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53 a-week basis by a combined staff of police dispatchers and Current and Future Upgrades rail operations staff. The current ongoing project involves upgrading and extend- A DHS grant of about $160,000 was used to mount chemi- ing surveillance technology to depots, garages, and storage cal/radiation-detection sensors in a number of downtown sta- areas. Part of this plan involves bringing all the new and tions in 2006 and 2007. Similar to fire or smoke detectors, the existing technology together into one smoothly function- sensors monitor for various chemical agents or gases and send ing system. Although DHS funding is for antiterrorism an alert to the Operations Control Center and the county's installations and upgrading, PAAC's internal grants review emergency operations center. Because of its growing reliance committee considers projects that are not all video-surveil- on computers, sensors, and surveillance cameras, since 2006 lance-based. For instance, members of the review committee the police department has added computer and video foren- from operating departments may be interested in obtaining sic specialists to its staff. McCauley noted that because grant funds for high-speed doors for railcars, security fencing, funds are generally available only to purchase equipment, or upgrading the agency's communication network (which agencies must add the salary and related costs of hiring and formed the basis of the FY 2010 grant request). In addition, training specialists to the costs of system upgrades. the agency's operating plans include surveillance in patrol and operator/cab areas for all new vehicles and surveillance As for all the case study agencies, financial issues such cameras in all new station design plans, a plan that has been as these are important to PAAC. DHS categorizes PAAC implemented for all North Shore Connector stations. as a Tier II agency. Although it is the only Tier II agency in the designated Pittsburgh Area, there are a number of PAAC has received between $8 and $9.5 million in grant larger Tier I agencies located in the Philadelphia area Urban funding over the past decade. Although the transit system Areas Security Initiative, including NJT, SEPTA, the Penn- has never been placed on a terrorist alert, as with other tran- sylvania Department of Transportation, the Delaware Tran- sit systems, PAAC has used the funds to enhance day-to-day sit Corporation, and the Delaware River Port Authority. security and crime prevention efforts on the transit system Although PAAC does not compete against these Tier I agen- and in areas near stations with cameras. As in cities around cies directly, DHS funds are not unlimited. To achieve maxi- the country, news media have become more attuned to the mum funding, grant development and writing efforts involve use of video surveillance in criminal apprehensions. In May a number of PAAC offices. The police department works 2010, PAAC police were reported to be viewing surveillance closely with the system safety department and receives grant video from a city camera to investigate vandalism to vehicles writing assistance from specialists within the agency. The in a park-and-ride lot where transit cameras had not been process is complex and time consuming; funds are generally installed. Seven weeks later PAAC cameras on a downtown not received within the 1-year grant cycle, which means that trolley were used to arrest one of Allegheny County's most if the agency hopes to obtain future funding, it must plan a wanted fugitives who he was spotted on the transit system series of upgrades that can enhance the entire network but and was taken into custody when he detrained ("Allegheny can be done somewhat independently of one another. PAAC County Fugitive..." 2010; Harding 2010). has been successful in its grant applications. McCauley esti- mates that 80% of its surveillance system funds have come Pittsburgh is one of a number of cities, including Chi- from DHS and the other 20% from agency funding. The cago, New York, and Baltimore, where municipal officials funds have been used to upgrade monitoring and dispatch- have begun to speak out about their desire to increase the ing and increase the size of the facility from which video is use of video surveillance to protect against terrorism but monitored, in part in anticipation of future expansion of both also against routine crimes. As with Chicago's Mayor Daley the transit system and the surveillance network. and New York's Mayor Bloomberg, Pittsburgh's Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has made the installation of surveillance In 2007, PAAC received close to $1 million from DHS throughout the city a high priority of his administration. His to add fencing at a number of facilities; deploy additional efforts have received less national publicity, but apart from digital surveillance cameras, primarily at four busway sta- PAAC funding requests, the city, with the Community Col- tions; and provide training to staff on terrorism prevention. lege of Allegheny and Carnegie Mellon University, has asked The funds were the third-largest grant nationally to simi- for about $14 million from the federal Broadband Technol- lar-sized transit agencies and completed the second phase ogy Opportunities Program. In addition, since 2009 the city of PAAC's earlier security upgrade by adding the chemical/ has used its own $2.4 million DHS grant to install cameras radiation recognition equipment. Including the 2007 grant, near waterways, ports, and rivers, and in high-crime areas. up to that time PAAC had received about $4.3 million from It has augmented the DHS funds with about $860,000 of DHS, which, according to Steve Bland, the authority's chief local matching funds. The city owns only 22 surveillance executive officer, was a significant amount for a city of Pitts- cameras, but the mayor has publicized its access to about burgh's size (Grata 2007). 300 cameras owned by PAAC, the Pennsylvania Department