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57 CHAPTER SIX CONCLUSIONS This synthesis presented a current snapshot of the use of nation or in transition. The most common special fea- electronic video surveillance technology by passenger rail tures were 24-hour recording, existence of a secondary agencies. It placed that usage in a historical context and power source, and low-light resolution. Recent media discussed new technology involving video analytics and attention to video analytics is not yet reflected widely sensors and emerging issues such as video surveillance pro- in transit agencies' technology. tection of the right-of-way (ROW). It presented numerous Almost half the agencies assign personnel to monitor findings, including the following: video cameras on a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week basis. The most common staffing configuration is a combina- The overwhelming majority of passenger rail transit tion of police/security and rail operations personnel. agencies rely on electronic video surveillance some- Agencies that do not monitor their cameras regularly where on their property. or at all indicated that personnel costs were the major Despite the focus on electronic video surveillance determining factor. systems in the context of terrorism since September A majority of agencies archive video images, although 11, 2001, most passenger rail transit agencies have the retention periods differed substantially from a few employed surveillance on their systems since the days to a year or more. Similarly, access to images is 1990s, and some as early as the 1970s. controlled by the agencies. The most common limita- The largest single set of locations where electronic tion is "designated individuals only," which most often video surveillance cameras were used was stations, includes police/security personnel, rail operations station platforms, and shelters. Unsurprisingly, sys- supervisors, and risk management personnel. tems that came into existence in the past 10 years are The two most common applications of video surveil- more likely to make greater use of video surveillance lance were crime/vandalism prevention and acci- than older systems. dent investigation; the least common application was More than half the respondents (28 agencies) employed employee monitoring. video surveillance cameras in their patron parking Few agencies had surveyed patrons on whether the areas. use of video surveillance added to their perceptions of The same number of agencies (28, though not all security. Fewer still had measured employee percep- the same agencies) employed surveillance cameras tions or had consulted employee groups in the decision onboard vehicles; fewer than half of these (11) indi- to install surveillance systems. cated its use in operator/cab areas. Agencies provided their percentage of funding for sur- More than half the respondents relied on video surveil- veillance systems from various sources; they were not lance in storage yards, administrative areas, or other asked to provide actual dollar amounts of the funds nonpublic areas. received. The largest current funding source for sur- Of the uses presented, right-of-way (ROW) surveil- veillance systems is DHS; the next largest funding lance was used least frequently and was most likely to source was the FTA grant program. be installed near stations. Light rail systems were more likely to employ onboard Several major conclusions can be drawn from these video surveillance than heavy or commuter rail sys- findings: tems; many respondents indicated that at least 75% of their vehicles had cameras. This difference can be Reliable funding sources are necessary to assist attributed to the age of these systems. Newer systems agencies in making more effective use of available were more likely to have had video surveillance cam- grants to upgrade security systems. The process for eras installed by the railcar manufacturer and were obtaining funding for initial purchases or upgrading more likely to indicate that all new vehicles will have existing video surveillance systems is complex and video systems pre-installed. time-consuming. Many agencies rely primarily on More than half the video surveillance systems are DHS for all or most of their funds. The funding pro- digital rather than analog, but most are either a combi- cess involves a number of agency offices--most often

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58 police/security, safety, risk management, information Although many conclusions are possible based on the technology, finance, and grant application personnel-- analysis of the questionnaire data, the literature review, and which results in a large amount of employee collabo- other research sources, a number of important areas that ration. However, because funds must be applied for require additional study have been developed. This section on a yearly basis, it is difficult to anticipate the suc- briefly expands on the areas for future study enumerated in cess of and even more difficult to plan for multiyear the summary. projects. Presently, DHS is seen as the largest single source of funding for security training and equipment Measuring the value of surveillance systems in enhanc- purchases, and as a result it has a large influence on ing patrons' perceptions of security in transit stations, decisions made by transit agencies regardless of size, platforms, or shelters and onboard railcars. The major location, or mode. application of video surveillance systems is for crime/ Agencies are seeking forums to share ideas and best vandalism prevention, but few agencies have surveyed practices. Despite large expenditures for design and patrons on whether the systems add to their feelings purchase of surveillance equipment, transit agencies of security. Studies could gauge patron awareness of are highly dependent on vendor claims and on proce- the use of surveillance, whether it adds to their feel- dures that may require selection of the lowest bidder. ings of security, and whether it influences their deci- Agencies would benefit from a forum to share tran- sions on whether to ride masstransit. Related to this sit-specific requirements and experiences to balance are questions of whether patrons should always be against unsubstantiated claims. This role could be informed that such systems are in use, how they would filled by the U.S.DOT or by one or more transit-specific be informed of this, specific wording that meets any professional associations. existing local or state legislative mandates and legal Policies on image access and retention are inconsis- requirements, and the best methods for creating such tent. Transit agencies follow a variety of procedures in awareness (i.e., public address announcements, sig- these areas. Some are guided by state laws pertaining to nage, seat notices, and/or local media coverage). An records maintenance and access but there is little overall indirect benefit of such studies might be to establish guidance in establishing access and retention policies. a cost/benefit methodology for determining either the The forum described previously could provide guidance intrinsic or psychological value of whether install- and uniformity in these areas. Transit police/security ing surveillance systems directly or indirectly affects managers might also consult with local police in their patronage, particularly ridership. jurisdictions for additional information because having Measuring employee responses to surveillance systems. similar policies may be useful if local prosecutors or This synthesis found that few transit agencies have civic groups question their existing procedures. included employee representatives in decisions involv- ROW surveillance is an emerging issue. Relatively ing surveillance applications or in their perceptions of few agencies provide any surveillance of their ROWs; whether such systems are to their benefit or exist pri- those that do provide it primarily immediately adjacent marily to oversee and report on their activities. Further to stations. Though the reasons for this appear to be study could help to determine how employees perceive primarily cost-related, there are also issues pertaining surveillance systems in their work locations and, if their to ownership of the ROW and adjacent areas; how and perceptions are that surveillance enhances their safety by whom surveillance equipment would be installed, and security, whether they might be encouraged to monitored, and archived; and a number of other unan- become involved as advocates for surveillance system swered questions. expenditures. By contrast, if employees are found to per- Publicizing successful applications of video surveil- ceive surveillance systems negatively (e.g., existing pri- lance may result in diversifying funding sources for marily to enhance disciplinary proceedings), joint labor/ system installation and upgrading. Because crime/ management committees might be formed to create a vandalism prevention remains the single largest use of more positive image of the value of video surveillance video surveillance by transit systems, agencies might as a workplace safety and security feature. work more closely with local media when malefactors Policy development in the area of image access and are observed and caught in the act of committing a retention, and on legal issues surrounding pub- crime or when video images play a role in post-event lic access to images. One of the largest variations in investigation of a crime. Publicity given to these types replies to survey questions was in the areas of image of events may assist agencies in obtaining local fund- access and retention. Retention ranged for virtu- ing for installation and upgrading of video systems, ally none at all unless something exceptional was resulting in less reliance on the competitive grant observed to more than a year, including up to 3 years structure developed by DHS. However, media attention in one agency. Similarly, although most agencies indi- may result in criticism by groups opposed to the expan- cated that only "designated individuals" could access sion of surveillance systems in public spaces. images, the list of such individuals was broad. Of the

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59 41 agencies that answered the specific question on pub- retail establishments. Weather conditions, varying lic access policies, 17 indicated they had none. Many hours of operation, absence of climate control, lighting civil liberties groups have filed or indicate that they levels, and the like add to the technical complexities are planning to file lawsuits on the proliferation of sur- of selecting and maintaining a surveillance system. A veillance systems in public areas. A review of existing series of studies focused more specifically on systems' laws, court decisions and pending litigation, and any needs and vendors' claims could minimize expendi- existing model policies in these areas would provide tures and maximize value. Because of the large num- much-needed guidance to transit agencies and could ber of transit agency offices involved in surveillance preclude costly and time-consuming litigation. technology decisions, there is a need to look beyond Establishing forums to share best practices and assess the decision itself by also considering how the agency equipment performance. This synthesis found what will define concepts of value and performance, what appear to be insufficient opportunities to share best expertise exists within the agency to validate vendor practices. Two-pronged research is suggested. An ini- claims, and what ancillary benefits are sought (e.g., tial study might consider what departments or officers will the surveillance system be part of an automatic within an agency are internal stakeholders in the pur- train control system, is it viewed primarily as a secu- chase or expansion of surveillance systems and delve rity feature or in terms of fare collection or parking fee into how participants decide from whom to seek fund- collection control, or as part of a more general safety- ing. Among those that might be surveyed are police/ related risk mitigation system). Answers to these ques- security, safety and risk management, rail operations, tions are likely to influence the type of technology information technology, purchasing, and service and being considered and to help determine what consti- maintenance. With this information, further study tutes "value"--a term that has different meanings to could develop recommendations for an appropriate different rail agency officials. Some officials may think forum or forums for stakeholders to share information in financial terms and others may think in terms of less on best practices to assess the performance of particu- well-defined areas such as patron perception, terrorism lar equipment in the transit environment. or crime prevention, or mitigation against litigation. Leveraging internal stakeholder input. Each case study Studies specifically on the emerging issues in ROW agency reinforced that obtaining funding for surveil- surveillance. Although relatively few agencies provide lance installation and upgrading required an agency- ROW surveillance, system liability concerns--par- wide effort. Internal stakeholders include police/ ticularly in crossing-gate areas or accidents involving security, safety, risk managers, information technol- light rail vehicles and road vehicles, and the possibility ogy, and budgetary personnel, as well as those who of terrorist-inspired vandalism to tracks--make pro- regularly apply to external funding sources. Many of tecting ROWs an issue to be studied separately from these individuals meet regularly through existing secu- surveillance use in patron and employee areas. There rity and safety committees. Questionnaire responses are indications that ROW surveillance will become an indicated that employee organizations are infrequently issue of increasing focus by transit agencies and by the involved in surveillance utilization decision. Studies federal government, including decisions on install- focusing on the interrelationships of these groups ing video surveillance along key portions of systems' might bring about more nuanced decisions on how and ROWs. Studies into the costs and related issues involved where to deploy surveillance technology. in protecting ROWs could be undertaken now, before Leveraging external stakeholder input. External opinions are set based on assumptions rather than on stakeholders may influence a transit agency's decision reviews of the legal issues or existing case studies. to install or expand its use of video surveillance. No Studies focusing on the emerging issue of operator/cab research could be located on how community crime surveillance. The Metrolink directive and subsequent prevention groups, including women's safety advo- litigation indicate that video surveillance in operator/ cacy groups, might assist in obtaining funds or mak- cab areas will remain controversial for some time to ing decisions whether and where to install electronic come. Transit agencies should consider looking into the surveillance systems. Existing research confirms that costs of implementation and labor/management issues, women are more likely to indicate fear of victimization rather than awaiting federal rule-making in this area. and that public transit locations rank high on areas they Possibilities for partnering with other transit agencies find threatening. Transit agencies might consider part- or railroads. A number of transit agencies have over- nering with women's groups to publicize their crime- lapping jurisdictions with other transit agencies, shar- prevention efforts through events that could enhance ing either stations or ROWs. Studies could determine their participation in the local community and lead to whether agencies might share the costs and respon- ridership increases. sibilities of installation and maintenance of video Technical studies of surveillance technology. Transit surveillance systems, particularly where public tran- agency environments differ from office buildings or sit agencies share track with privately owned freight

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60 railroads. Research might assist in developing plans vehicles share roadway with other vehicles or where for surveillance systems along ROWs that currently grade crossings play a role in overall traffic planning depend solely on relatively uncoordinated patrols by and risk mitigation. Such research might help transit law enforcement or security personnel from a num- agencies obtain funds as part of municipal planning ber of different jurisdictions. Partnering among tran- rather than having to act separately from other govern- sit agencies or with private railroads may also expand ment entities. It might assist the agencies in participat- funding sources beyond the current dependence on ing more fully in larger traffic management studies and DHS and, to a lesser degree, FTA. related funding requests. As with partnering with pri- Possibilities for partnering with local government. A vate railroads, partnering with local government may number of transit agencies, including case study agen- expand the funding sources on which rail transit agen- cies, are located in cities that are vastly increasing their cies have come to depend. video surveillance networks. Studies of regional traf- fic management plans might assist the transit agencies These and similar studies would help transit agency man- whose jurisdiction may go beyond the boundaries of a agers make better use of their existing resources and find particular municipality to be considered in such plans imaginative solutions to more efficiently use video surveil- for surveillance systems, particularly where light rail lance technology.