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44 CHAPTER FIVE CASE STUDIES INTRODUCTION Five case studies were developed to explore various aspects of how systems integrate or expand existing electronic video surveillance into their operations. The case studies provide descriptions of actual decisions that agencies are faced with in planning for installation of video on their rail systems, and attempt to fill a paucity of data on such matters by describing how specific agencies have addressed these and related issues. The case studies are also intended as catalysts for additional research and for discussions among transit agencies to learn from each other. Quantitative research provides a broad over- view of industry practices but single-site reportage can more fully address particular aspects of a problem. Formal discus- sions can highlight recurring problems and successes, and informal discussions among agency managers can provide a forum where missteps are more likely to be shared with the goal of saving others from making similar miscalculations. Case studies are intended to combine these elements by shar- ing experiences of specific agencies to assist others in better articulating the needs of their own transit systems. The transit agencies represented are varied enough that almost all systems can take something from them that can be transferred to other venues. The agencies provide geographic, size, and system type balance. They were selected with the goal of providing ideas that everyone can useâsome to a greater degree than oth- ersâbut containing best practices or things to avoid that have a certain universality. The aim is to share information and help to educate transit agencies considering enhancing their video surveillance systems by helping them make informed decisions based on learning from what others have learned. To facilitate making the maximum use of the case studies, each one begins with an overview of the transit agency and its policing/security configuration in order to place the ways in which video surveil- lance is used and monitored into the larger context of the agen- ciesâ overall security goals and protection strategies. CASE STUDY 1: ALTAMONT COMMUTER EXPRESS, SAN JOAQUIN REGIONAL RAIL COMMISSION, CALIFORNIA Description of the Transit System The Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) began providing commuter rail service between San Joaquin, Alameda, and Santa Clara counties in California in 1998, with service provided between the cities of Stockton and San Jose. The system, which is managed by the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission, comprises 86 route miles and includes 10 stations serviced by 6 locomotives and 24 Bombardier bi-level rail cars, each category of which averaged about 9 years of service in 2009. Railcars include 110-volt AC out- lets, restrooms in every car, and a bicycle car. There are bicycle lockers at every station except Fremont. Plans to introduce onboard Internet service were suspended in mid- 2009 as a result of economic constraints. The annual rider- ship is 797,224; annual operating costs are $16.2 million, and annual capital costs are $69 million. According to the Bay Rail Alliance, ACE would like to add service but is con- strained by the amount of freight traffic because the rails on which ACE operates are owned by the UPRR. Security Organization and Personnel ACE has no dedicated law enforcement agency and does not directly employ any police officers from the local police departments whose jurisdictions it travels through. Two sta- tions fall within the same policing jurisdiction; the others each fall within a different agencyâs territory. In addition, Amtrak police and UPRR police also have jurisdiction, requiring ACE to coordinate its law enforcement efforts with nine separate police departments. This is in reality a minimum number, as the rail system overlaps two of the UPRR police districts and also falls within two separate TSA districts (Oakland and San Jose). While these somewhat complicated arrangements could present problems with either over- or under-enforcement, ACE has built personal relationships with each department. Transit managers believe that the system and its passengers receive adequate police coverage. Officers from the local departments ride the trains and are encouraged to patrol parking areas and to make use of station facilities as a way to increase uniformed police presence. In addition, local and railroad police use a recently constructed security kiosk at ACE headquarters as a substation to augment coverage pro- vided by ACEâs facility watchman. Wi-Fi is available for first responders to use at the kiosk. In addition, ACE provides a small conference table, chairs, water, and coffee to encour- age law enforcement officers to use the kiosk, enhancing the agencyâs partnerships and providing high visibility at
45 ACE headquarters. Information not publicly available was provided for the case study by Steven Walker, Safety and Security Coordinator. Original Video Surveillance System ACE initially installed surveillance equipment in 1999 in a number of stations, station platforms, shelters, and parking facilities. ACE is one of the few agencies surveyed that uses onboard cameras in both passenger and operator/cab areas. At the time of the survey, between 80% and 90% of its heavy rail vehicles had onboard surveillance but only three stations (30%) were covered by video cameras. ACE was able to expand its use of video surveillance in late 2005, when it awarded a contract to A4S Security to install its ShiftWatchÂ® Transportation Video Surveillance system on its trains. The contract called for a minimum of four cameras on each railcar to be set up so that passengers would be recorded as they entered and exited the trains. This earlier installation of cameras was funded through an $800,000 DHS grant that was part of a $7.1 million allo- cation for public transit in the Bay Area and San Joaquin County. The cameras were tied into a wireless Internet con- nection to make the images accessible to police. Additional enhancements included a GPS-type tracking system to per- mit ACE officials to monitor the location of each train and a radio system that would allow transit agencies to commu- nicate directly without having to filter their conversations through local law enforcement agencies (Sherbert 2005). Although ACE had received several small grants since 2007, there is a lag time between when the grant is awarded and when the money becomes available. Also, the grant âsunsets,â meaning that it must be used within a certain amount of time after it is received. The grant may be used only for purchase and for the maintenance warrantee. For a relatively small agency such as ACE, with no police force and only a small number of other specialists, an important factor in deciding whether to upgrade the surveillance net- work is the recurring cost of running it. In addition to the difficulties that many transit agencies face in being able to anticipate receiving funds from DHS, ACE is faced with additional question marks. It is the small- est rail agency in the DHSâs Bay Area Regional Transit Secu- rity Working Group Tier I area. Other bus, rail, and bus/rail systems in this area include two much larger transit systems, BART and San Franciscoâs Municipal Railway; the Golden Gate Bridge; Valley Transportation Authority; and Alameda County Transit. The request for funds by all these agencies consistently exceeds the funds allocated to the region. The allocation of funds within a region depends on a number of issues but because ACE has lower ridership than the larger systems and is not perceived to the same degree as the others as a potential terrorism target, it rarely finds itself at the top of the funding priorities. In 2009, a total of $28 million was set aside for the entire region. Current and Future Upgrades In 2009 ACE received about $500,000 to install a video surveillance system at six of its station platform areas and parking lots as well as in its Robert J. Cabral Station head- quarters. About half the funds came from an FTA grant, the rest was from California state funds derived from the pas- sage of Proposition 1B. This case study describes the steps involved in preparing a request for proposal (RFP) to design the system, selecting a vendor, and working with the other rail agencies with which ACE shares jurisdiction at its sta- tions and along its ROW. It is an example of the timeframes and issues involved in managing even a fairly small grant involving installation or enhancement of a video surveil- lance system. The Rail Commission was notified in February 2009 that its request for funds had been approved. In late July, an RFP to design the system was released; 21 firms responded to the online solicitation, 9 eventually submitted proposals. An August 2009 pre-bid walk-though of the Cabral, Lathrop- Manteca, Tracy, Vasco, Livermore, and Pleasanton stations was arranged. Ultimately, four of the nine teams were invited to the interview process. On October 2, 2009, the ACE Board approved the hiring of TRC Solutions, Inc., of Irvine, Cali- fornia, to design the system. An RFP for the installation is anticipated to be released during the third quarter of 2010 and ACE anticipates that the equipment will be operational by the first quarter of 2011. Although the system is not yet operable, planning for it began even before receipt of the grant. One of the first decisions made by ACE was which of its stations to include in its grant proposal. Because ACE works with such a large number of municipalities and has small safety and secu- rity staffs, a number of local cities, including Stockton, Ripon, and Los Banos, were contacted to help research what would work best in each area. Decisions included, for instance, whether to purchase a wireless or a hard- wired system. Recurring budget allocations and the qual- ity of the video images played a role in what technology ACE decided on. The system was designed to be scalable to work with fiber-optics in the future, which means that the current system will provide all identified needs at an affordable price. However, ACE believes that when fiber- optics become available, its system will function at a sig- nificantly lower cost. Finally, of the six stations selected, three will receive surveillance enhancements and three will be receiving video surveillance technology for the first time. ACEâs original decision was based on stations where ACE had sole service, but Walker worked closely with Amtrak, with which ACE shares Fremont Centerville and Santa Clara Great America stations.
46 Lessons Learned Although in amount of money and time, this case study reports on what would be considered a small upgrade of a surveillance system, to ACE the upgrading required work- ing closely with a large number of partners and will cause a number of internal administrative changes. Under pres- ent policies, images were retained for 5 days; under the new system, which will provide a higher quality video image, the images will be retained for 10 days. After formulating new procedures, ACE has decided that the video images will be accessible only to the safety and security coordinator and to IT personnel. A new policy on chain of custody is also anticipated, more clearly delineating those who are consid- ered authorized personnel. These administrative changes reinforce that surveillance hardware purchases, regardless of the funding sources for upgrading or retrofitting are obtained, require that an agency give advance consideration to how the new network will affect its day-to-day operations and what personnel deci- sions, and policies and procedures will require creation or revision to complement the new system. CASE STUDY 2: METRO TRANSIT, MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA Description of the Transit System Metro Transit is a multimodal system that provides bus, light rail, and commuter rail service to the MinneapolisâSt. Paul (Twin Cities) metropolitan area. The Hiawatha Line intro- duced light rail service in 2004; it covers 12 route miles and 19 stations, including downtown Minneapolis, the Min- neapolis/St. Paul International Airport, and the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, the largest shopping mall in the United States. Fifteen stations are at-grade, three are elevated, and one is underground. The route includes a 1.6-mile tunnel under the airport. The 15 grade crossings are equipped with warning equipment but not with video surveillance. Trains run in two-car and three-car consists; vehicles are articulated, designed for 66 seated passengers and 187 passengers at full capacity, and are equipped with luggage racks and bicycle storage hangers. Vehicles are bidirectional and are powered by 750 VDC from overhead power lines. Traction power substations are operated automatically from the Hiawatha Rail Control Center. Regular service hours are from 3:40 a.m. to 2:25 a.m.; rush-hour headway is 7.5 min- utes. In addition to regular service, airport shuttle service is provided between the two airport terminals; headways are 10 minutes. Traveling the entire line one way takes approxi- mately 36 minutes. At the time of the case study in summer 2010, ACE was working on a new grant proposal that was effectively phase 2; specifically, a request to add surveillance at two more sta- tions. To date, ACE has received approval for an additional $300,000 from a FY 2010 Transit Grant Security Program grant that will be used to fund a continuation of the surveil- lance system and the Freemont Centerville and Santa Clara Great America stations. Although Amtrak owns the plat- forms at both stations, ACE will fund all of the Fremont Cen- terville platform and parking facility system costs but only the parking facility at the Santa Clara Great America Sta- tion, where Amtrak will assume the platform costs. Because this is a shared project in relation to both funding and use, ensuring equipment interoperability played a large role in the plans for both stations. As designed and offered out for bidding, ACE will be able to view Amtrakâs system and Amtrak will be able to view ACEâs system. First responders will be able to view everything at all stations. In addition to working closely with Amtrak and the local communities it serves, ACE also used outside expertise. The system was designed by a consultant who also wrote the RFP and continued to assist the agency after the contract was awarded to TRC, a California firm, based in large part, according to Walker, not only on the firmâs understanding of the technical requirements of the new project but also on its ability to work with the existing infrastructure and, most important, the issue of recurring budget concerns. Even with this high level of cooperation and understanding, including regular progress reports, the timeline for the work was lon- ger than originally established. TRC, though, was able to explain why some deadlines originally slipped and were able to stay within the budget. Despite working closely with its many local and rail- road partners, ACE had considered requesting funding for ROW cameras but was unable to develop a partnership with UPRR. Even without the inclusion of ROW surveillance, ACE anticipates that when the work is completed during the first quarter of 2011 it will have a fully functional security surveillance system in place. In addition to stations, the sys- tem will cover all employee areas, IT areas, lobby, customer service, bus lanes, and counting room areas. It represents upgrading in a number of areas. For instance, although the existing system recorded on a 24-hour basis, it was not viewed in real time and provided a record of events only. The new system will be monitored from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m., Mon- day to Friday, by a combined staff of operations center per- sonnel and agency security staff. Hours beyond those will be monitored by the ACE facility watchman and contract security officers in the ACE Operations Monitoring Center. Additionally, because ACE relies on a large number of local police departments, each will have viewing ability but none will have camera control authority, which will remain solely within the agency.
47 In late 2009, Metro Transit opened its Northstar line, a 40-mile, six-station commuter rail line that operates with 5 locomotives and 18 refurbished passenger cars traveling on BNSF tracks from downtown Minneapolis to Big Lake, Minnesota. Through a perpetual easement agreement with BNSF, Northstar operates 12 trains on weekdays and 6 on weekends and holidays, with provisions for numerous special events trains annually. Northstar connects to the Hiawatha LRT through a four-block extension of the light rail line to reach the downtown Minneapolis commuter rail station. With the exception of the downtown station, all Northstar stations have park-and-ride facilities. Metro Transit contracts with BNSF for operations and train control. Policing is the responsibility of the Metro Tran- sit Police Department in conjunction with local departments along the alignment. There is video surveillance at the com- muter rail platforms and in the parking lots. There are also cameras onboard the railcars recording the passenger areas as well as forward-looking cameras in each locomotive and cab car. None of these cameras are monitored in real time nor are there plans to monitor them in the immediate future. Planning is also under way for the Central Corridor, a sec- ond light rail line that will provide service between downtown Minneapolis and downtown St Paul, traveling primarily in a median of University Avenue, and providing service to the University of Minnesota. The FTA announced approval of funding of this extension in April 2011. The 11-mile Central Corridor will share five stations and 1.2 miles of track with the existing Hiawatha line. New construction will include 15 stations and about 10 miles of track. Plans for electronic video surveillance include covering station areas where TVMs are located, portions of platforms, and all skyways and tunnels. Cameras will be installed in all LRVs, but not in parking lots. As with the existing system, it is not anticipated that cameras will be monitored in real time. Security Organization and Personnel Metro Transitâs police department is in transition. Currently, it is an unusual combination of a fully accredited in-agency police department and part-time officers from other agen- cies. The police department was formed in 1993 after receiv- ing legislative approval. For almost a decade, it employed only supervisors who oversaw about 175 local police officers who worked part-time for the transit system while working full-time for their home departments. In 2002 the agency decided to convert to a traditional, full-time transit police department made up of officers employed solely by Metro Transit. The department now employs about 70 full-time Metro Transit officers and about 50 part-time officers from other departments who continue to work a number of tours of duty on the rail line. Chief David H. Indrehus, whose official title is Director of Secu- rity and Police Services, reports directly to the general man- ager. Information not publicly available was provided for the case study by A.J. Olson, Deputy Chief of Police. Hiawathaâs Original Video Surveillance System Despite opening for revenue service with a well-designed video surveillance system, Metro Transit has been upgrad- ing its system almost since its inception. The initial system was based on almost 130 cameras that were installed at the 17 original stations and two parking lots. The at-grade and elevated stations have canopies and windscreens and over- head radiant heaters. Each station is furnished with emer- gency call boxes, maps, information kiosks, public art, and benches. Fare collection is a self-service, barrier-free proof of payment system that is checked periodically by Metro Transit police officers. Each station, with the exception of large facilities (i.e., Mall of America, Lindbergh Airport Terminal, and Lake Street Station) was designed with four cameras per station. Cameras also monitored the portals into the tunnels on S. Hiawatha and Minnehaha and at the airport. With the exception of one pan-tilt-zoom camera (Figure 5) at Fort Snelling, all others were fixed-position cameras. FIGURE 5 Fixed cameras (top) are being replaced with pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras (bottom). PTZ cameras provide greater surveillance coverage because they can pan (move left and right), tilt (move up and down), and zoom in or out. Photos courtesy of Metro Transit Police.
48 Each LRV was equipped with four onboard cameras for digital recording but without audio capability. Other emer- gency and communication systems include a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA) to monitor train location, track, systems, and alarms, and a radio system that is compatible with regional emergency services radio networks. Radio service is available on the LRVs; at the Rail Control Center; and through rail supervisors, maintenance personnel, and police personnel. All camera feeds were initially routed to the Rail Con- trol Center, located at the Rail Operations and Maintenance building through fiber-optic cables for recording on eight VHS tape decks with 16 cameras recorded on each tape with the use of a multiplexer. This was found to be unsatisfactory because it resulted in extremely slow frame rates on each camera (more that 1 or 2 seconds between frames), which resulted in the loss of a great deal of video evidence as the multiplexer scrolled through its assigned cameras. In addi- tion, the four onboard cameras were recorded only on the vehicle; they lacked remote viewing capability. This created inefficient retrieval of video because the hard drive had to be removed from the vehicle and manually downloaded for viewing. The cameras also lacked the resolution to identify individuals well enough to be considered forensic tools; spe- cifically, identifications were not clear enough to be used to positively identify a suspectâs image. Attempts to solve these problems led to system upgrades in 2005â2006. At that time, camera lenses were upgraded to âauto-irisâ lenses, which improved video quality in all light- ing conditions by automatically adjusting to available light rather than having to predetermine a setting that compro- mised between ideal day and night settings. A year later, in 2006â2007, two of the four fixed cameras at each platform were replaced with pan-tilt-zoom cameras. In 2007, DHS TSGP funding led to a major upgrade to a digital, server-based system. This allowed for continuous recording of all cameras with adjustable frame rates; images per second were increased to ten IPS to eliminate loss of video, which also improved image quality significantly and made the review and retrieval of video less time-consuming. About 3 years ago, Metro Transit became one of the first transit agencies to incorporate video analytics into its sur- veillance network, installing it at tunnel portals to supple- ment its intrusion detection system. The video analytics were purchased with DHS TSGP funding as part of the project to implement the digital, server-based video recording system. The analytics are designed to ârecognizeâ rail vehicles and allow them to pass without notice. However, if something else accesses the portal, including pedestrians, animals, or a vehicle of another configuration, or even garbage blown by the wind, the video monitor above the rail control supervi- sorâs console will immediately switch to the affected camera view accompanied by an alarm. The supervisor has the abil- ity to immediately play back the video to see what activated the alarm. This system is employed in addition to another intrusion detection system that is also designed to recognize a non-LRV intrusion. Current and Future Upgrades Metro Transit is continuing to upgrade and retrofit. In 2007â 2008, again with DHS TSGP funding, a larger hard drive and forward-facing cameras were added to the system on the LRVs. In a project still under way, beginning in 2008, the extension of LRV station platforms to accommodate three- car consists required that at least one camera be added to each platform. Since 2009, and ongoing depending on avail- able funding, Metro Transit plans to replace two fixed cam- eras at each location with megapixel cameras. Other upgrades are also under way; virtually all involve DHS funding. These include installing a wireless mesh net- work along the alignment to allow for real-time monitoring of LRV cameras; providing the capability for wireless down- loading of LRV video at the Operations and Maintenance building, which will eliminate the need to physically remove hard drives from the LRVs to download video, and upgrad- ing software to a digital recording system to make it a true network digital recording system. The last improvement is being funded as part of the Central Corridor light rail tran- sit expansion because it will make expanding the recording capacity easier and less expensive in the future. Lessons Learned As a new light rail system, Metro Transit was able to incor- porate virtually all recommended CPTED features into its stations, station platforms, and shelters and parking facili- ties. In addition, onboard surveillance was an integral part of the overall safety and security program. Despite this, certain inadequacies were recognized almost immediately. Problems are often magnified when never technology raises expectations, for instance in the quality of video images and the belief that all images can be used for positive identifica- tion. Even with a steady funding stream, something agencies cannot rely on, the speed at which new features of surveil- lance systems become available makes it virtually impos- sible for transit agencies to keep pace with changes. Metro Transit has been successful in obtaining funds. Its DHS grants have totaled in excess of $1 million. How- ever, competing for funds requires time and expertise. The application process requires not only understanding fund- ing requirements and deadlines but also having available individuals with the technical knowledge to know what to request. Additionally, although vendors are now aware of the needs of transit agenciesâparticularly video systems that can operate under varying lighting conditions and provide sharp images that can be easily downloaded and
49 tems that maintained its own police department. It is also the only transit agency whose police officers are responsible for enforcement of laws and regulations pertaining to the highway systemâs high occupancy vehicle lanes. All traf- fic control and enforcement efforts are monitored at the METRO command center located at police headquarters in downtown Houston and at the regional transportation and emergency management center known as TransStar. The police department originated as a small group of security guards; soon officers were commissioned as Texas peace officers with full police powers. The department, under the leadership of Chief Thomas C. Lambert, whose formal title is Vice President and Chief of Police, contains 185 police officers and 88 non-sworn civilian employees, about one-quarter of whom are system safety profession- als. The department has been accredited by the Commis- sion on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies since 2001, and it is one of only five transit police departments with this accreditation. It was also recently rated in the top 5% of mass transit agencies in an assessment conducted by TSA. The majority of the departmentâs employees are located at the Buffalo Bayou facility in Houstonâs Cen- tral Business District. Police communications and dis- patch personnel work at TranStar, located near the Katy Frwy/610 interchange. METRO police officers work within the 1,285 square- mile METRO service area. They are responsible for METRO facilities, and vehicles and equipment. They respond to calls for police service and investigate crimes that involve METRO or occur on METROâs facilities, which include, in addition to the light rail line and LRVs, 26 parking lots, 20 transit centers, the 1900 Main administrative headquarters, the Rail Operations Center near Reliant Stadium, nine bus operating facilities located throughout the service area, the more than 13,000 bus stops and shelters, and all buses. Teams of officers are assigned full time to ride buses and LRVs in uniform and in plainclothes to enhance passenger safety by observing and arresting persons who commit crimes such as operator assaults, robberies, thefts, or narcotics violations on the transit system. Watch Command Officers at TranStar monitor the sur- veillance cameras installed at park-and-ride lots and tran- sit centers. Bus cameras are not monitored in real time. For those cameras that are monitored in real time, when suspected criminal activity is observed the officers dis- patch roving officers to the scenes of the incidents. The video that is collected from aboard camera-equipped buses is reviewed after an offense to aid in prosecution. Another METRO police division designed to keep traffic moving is the Motorist Assistance Program. Civilian employees drive marked pick-up trucks with extra gas, jumper cables, and other equipment to help motorists using the high occupancy vehicle lanes along the expressways. accessedânewer technology will create a need for ever- advanced systems. Although it is a pioneer in the use of analytics, Metro Transit experiences have shown that there is a constant need to review an existing network. The need to retrofit is more often associated with far older transit agencies, but Metro Transitâs experiences with the need to constantly upgrade its surveillance capabilities reinforces that the need to stay current is as important an issue for new systems as for far older rail lines. CASE STUDY 3: METROPOLITAN TRANSIT AUTHORITY OF HARRIS COUNTY, HOUSTON, TEXAS Description of the Transit System The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County in Houston, Texas, known as METRO, began operations on January 1, 1979, as a regional transit authority to provide bus service to metropolitan Houston and surrounding areas. In November 2003, voters approved Metro Solutions, a plan for multimodal transportation improvements that included development of 30 miles of light rail transit. At present, METRORailâs Red Line is a 7.5-mile light rail system that runs between the University of Houston-Downtown to south of Reliant Park along three major streets. Eighteen LRVs travel at grade, sharing streets with other vehicles. Powered by an overhead catenary system, the LRVs provide service to 16 stations, most located near major city facilities, including the museum district, the Houston Zoo, and the Texas Medi- cal Center. Trains operate from 4:30 a.m. to 12:45 a.m. Monday through Thursday; 4:30 a.m. to 2:15 a.m. Friday; 5:30 a.m. to 2:15 a.m. Saturday, and 5:30 a.m. to 12:45 a.m. Sunday. METRORail also serves the Bush Intercontinental Airport by means of a bus every 30 minutes. In addition to the rail and local bus service, METRO also has a commuter bus system that provides high-passenger capacity service to suburban patrons by bringing them into downtown Houston through one of the five METRO high-occupancy vehicle lanes. METRORail parking is provided at the southern-most end of the light rail line. It is managed through a public-pri- vate partnership; METRO supplies the infrastructure, which includes video monitoring, and the private firm manages the fee collection. Parking for the commuter service is available at a total of 27 parking facilities (known locally as park-and- rides) located at various points along the line. Security Organization and Personnel The METRO Police Department was formed in 1982; at that time, METRO was one of only a handful of bus-only sys-
50 Other police operations include K-9 teams trained in narcotic or explosives detection, a first-responder Special Operations Response Team, motorcycle officers, and explosives ordinance disposal technicians, as well as several officers assigned full time to the Houston Crime Stoppers office, the Houston Police Departmentâs Auto Theft Division, and the Houston FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. Information not publicly available was provided for the case study by Sgt. Felix Vara. Existing Surveillance Technology METROâs use of video surveillance developed in piecemeal fashion. First introduced at a number of employee facilities in 1982, it was extended to LRVs in 2004, park-and-ride lots in 2007, and buses in 2008. This pattern differs from many other multimodal systems, where surveillance technology has been introduced on buses and only later expanded to railcars. The existing network relies on almost 650 cameras, almost 400 of which cover parking facilities, 130 monitor employee facilities, and 34 are installed on METRORail. Park-and-ride video was supported by an FTA grant. The majority of other cameras were funded from local sources, although DHS funding contributed to cameras on buses. Onboard cameras covering both passenger and opera- tor/cab areas are installed on all LRVs. In addition, fixed cameras located at rail stations are focused on the paid fare zones. Not all cameras are monitored at all times; park-and- ride lots, headquarters, and employee facilities cameras are monitored only during hours of operation. These cameras have provided video of sufficient quality to aid in the pros- ecutions of numerous burglaries and of motor vehicle theft suspects. In addition to cameras at METRO facilities and on LRVs, about one-third of the bus fleet has onboard cameras. The video obtained from onboard the buses has also assisted in a number of prosecutions, most often of suspects accused of having assaulted patrons or bus operators. METRO has also found these cameras particularly effective in monitoring a number of safety and risk management-related problems. Current and Future Upgrades METRO is currently considering a number of expansions of its video surveillance system that include upgrading equipment but also using surveillance to enhance both its law enforcement and accident prevention efforts. In keep- ing with advances in camera design, METRO has decided that all new purchases will be of pan-tilt-zoom cameras. The agency hopes to eventually phase out all fixed-position cam- eras except in locations where these older-design cameras are more feasible. METRO is also exploring expanding its use of video technology in place of or in conjunction with existing perimeter defense such as gates. This change is based on the agencyâs belief that video will provide less porous protection while also providing investigatory support, something that static perimeter protection mechanisms lack. METRO is also exploring other ways to expand its inves- tigative capabilities through better use of video technology. For instance, the police are working closely with risk man- agement personnel to enhance protection of park-and-ride lots. In addition to providing greater protection to patrons, transit administrators believe that this will help the agency reduce monetary claims based on injury or loss or damage to private vehicles. One expansion under review is possible because the software used to support the images provided by the cameras in park-and-ride lots is also capable of license plate recognition. With this application, METRO police offi- cers would be able to identify the owner of a vehicle or to determine if the vehicle had been used in criminal activity elsewhere, prompting a higher level of vigilance. In addition, METRO is considering expanding its use of video cameras at bus transit points, and partnering with the City of Houston on a homeland security video initia- tive that would add cameras at additional points along the transit system. This system would rely on wireless cameras, which would minimize the expense of wired connectivity and would capitalize on METROâs existing fiber-optic cable infrastructure. In addition to the savings this would repre- sent for the city, these newer-model cameras are portable and could be moved to various transit system locations. Portabil- ity would assist criminal investigators because they would be able to analyze crime data and concentrate video surveil- lance on areas where incidents are occurring, the so-called hot spots of transit criminal activity. METRO sees this as particularly useful for focusing its surveillance efforts on bus stops and shelters. Because these are generally located on city streets, preventing incidents from occurring benefits both the city and METRO. The mobile cameras may also be employed at LRV stops and, as the system expands into less dense areas of the city, at locations that might be less likely to be regularly patrolled by city or METRO police officers. Using Analytics to Prevent Traffic Accidents METRO is studying the use of an innovative analytics sys- tem to monitor nontransit vehicles making left turns into the LRVsâ alignment. The new system has the ability to monitor vehicle movement on a 24-hour, 7-day basis and to report where these actions are occurring, minimizing manpower needs and providing information for directed enforcement. The system is deceptively simple. A test video shows a number of cars making turns that require crossing over the LRV tracks. Vehicles turning properly are displayed in green (the âgoâ indicator of having the right-of-way) and those turning improperly are displayed in red (the âstopâ indicator of being expected to yield to other traffic). Plans include an enforcement effort that will include officers dis- patched to issue summonses to offending drivers. METRO is also exploring the possibility of having summonses issued automatically, similar to red-light and illegal-turn camera
51 to assist in determining problems at grade crossings. The existence of video also helped to establish culpability in Bos- ton in April 2010, when a sports utility vehicle was hit by an MBTA trolley while making a U-turn across the tracks. In this instance, the accident received widespread publicity because the vehicle was driven by a member of the Boston College national championship hockey team. The driver was charged by police in part based on video of the incident (âBoston College Playersâ Crashâ¦â 2010). These examples, combined with its own experiences, illustrate why METRO sees video analytics as a way to reinforce its accident miti- gation strategies. These examples also show how transit systems, particularly street-running light rail systems, are returning to and updating the earlier uses of surveillance pri- marily to control traffic and risk rather than seeing it primar- ily as a crime prevention tool, the use that has become more prevalent in recent years. METROâs interest in working with the city administra- tion on the mobile camera project and on its own left-turn analytics project that will aid in traffic enforcement also reinforce the importance of recognizing the collaborative possibilities that are open to transit agencies. Such oppor- tunities, particularly light rail systems that literally share 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 which they, too, can benefit from working more closely with the localities through which they travel. CASE STUDY 4: PORT AUTHORITY OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA Description of the Transit System The Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAAC) is a mul- timodal transit provider of bus, light rail, and paratransit in a 730-square-mile area that includes the city of Pittsburgh, all of Allegheny County, and limited portions of Arm- strong, Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland counties. In addition to its transit system, known locally as the T and comprising a 25.2 mile subway and light rail sys- tem, it operates an extensive network of more than 1,000 buses, including three major bus rapid transit busways, the first of which opened in 1977 and the most recent in 2000. enforcement. Summonses would be mailed to the regis- tered owners of offending vehicles based on photos of the violations. METRO anticipates that this system will assist in acci- dent prevention and investigation. In addition to assisting in enforcement activities, reviewing where and when vio- lations occur will permit the agency, likely in conjunction with the city, to install additional traffic enforcement devices as well as signage that could assist in accident prevention efforts. The transit agency is responding in part to local concerns about the high number of accidents between LRVs and other vehicles since rail service was initiated. Although the accident rate has fallen considerably in recent years, it was initially far higher than the national average for similar street-running rail systems. By 2007 there were fewer than 20 accidents, down from a high of 60 in 2004. A number of safety improvements, including new sig- nage, better signal layout, public education, and media atten- tion to the problem, contributed to reducing the number of incidents involving road vehicles and LRVs. The use of ana- lytic video adds another layer of protection to riders in both the railcars and other vehicles as well as to pedestrians, who may also be injured if accidents occur (Figure 6). FIGURE 6 The photo represents Houston METROâs plan for installation of video analytics to detect illegal left turns by road vehicles into the LRVâs right of way. Photo courtesy of METRO Police. Lessons Learned Although METRO is not the only transit agency that is turn- ing to analytics as a risk mitigation strategy, it is an example of how working partnerships with local government can bring these innovations closer to fruition. Street-running rail systems are faced with traffic and pedestrian concerns that do not exist for commuter or heavy rail systems. These issues, while presenting unique accident-prevention prob- lems, also present greater opportunity to partner with local government, which must also respond to complaints from the public over street-level accidents and traffic congestion. Responding to the same concerns, Valley Metro in Phoe- nix (see Case Study 5) has used its external vehicle cameras
52 As with Minnesotaâs Metro Transit, it is currently expand- ing its LRT system. Pittsburghâs streetcar service began in 1902 but was even- tually abandoned by Pittsburgh Railways, which replaced it with bus routes. PAAC was created by the state in 1956, ini- tially focused on port facilities. By the end of the decade it was authorized to acquire privately owned transit compa- nies, including bus lines and two funiculars (incline-plain railways), both of which were constructed in the 1870s. The Monongahela Incline, a 630-ft, two-car funicular, is oper- ated by PAAC; the two cars of the 800-foot Dusquesne Incline are owned by PAAC but operated by the nonprofit Society for the Preservation of Duquesne Heights Incline. In addition to providing local transit service, the funiculars are area tourist attractions. Construction of the T began in the 1980s. In July 1985, the downtown subway opened for revenue service; other sec- tions opened in 1987 and in 2004. The system operates more than 80 LRVs; the vehicles require three floor-level doors per side because of the mix of high- and low-platform sta- tions. There are 24 high-level platform stations, four down- town subway stations, and 37 street-level stops. Stations are equipped with bicycle racks (although bikes are permitted on LRVs only on weekends), electronic message boards, a public address system, telephones and benches, and surveil- lance system coverage. The T travels through downtown Pittsburgh as a subway with three underground stations (Steel Plaza at Grant Street, Wood Street, and Gateway) and an aboveground station at First Avenue. The downtown loop is free and features classical music and whimsical artwork. The remainder of the system is not free. The T travels across the river to Station Square on the South Side. After going above the Monongahela River, the transit vehicles run above ground along three different light rail lines that travel into Pittsburghâs south suburbs. Major stations also serve as bus- transfer points into downtown Pittsburgh. Construction is currently ongoing for the North Shore Connector, a light rail extension that will extend the tran- sit system by about 1 mile. Although the distance covered by the extension is fairly short, constructing and protect- ing is complex because it will travel underground from the Gateway Station, under the Allegheny River in twin-bored tunnels, to the north shore, providing service to newly devel- oped residential and business areas; to PNC Park and Heinz Field, two major professional sports venues, and to a newly constructed casino. Construction of the connector necessi- tated closing the original Gateway T Station to make room for a new Gateway Center Station. The new line is expected to open for revenue service in March 2012. As with Hous- tonâs METRO, PAAC anticipates additional light rail expan- sion, including service to Pittsburgh International Airport, which also operates under its auspices. Security Organization and Personnel The Port Authority Police and Security Services Department was formed in 1968; it is responsible for all PAAC patrol and investigative functions. Recognized as police within the state of Pennsylvania, officers are commissioned in the name of the governor and are authorized to take all police action on and adjacent to PAAC property as well as throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania when on PAAC business. The leadership of the department has been stable; the current chief, Stephen McCauley, is only the fourth person to lead it. He had been the assistant chief under his predecessor, Wil- liam McArdle. McArdle, a retired FBI agent who grew up and worked in Pittsburgh, joined PAAC as its chief in 1994 and retired in 2006. The department grew from fewer than 20 officers who also contracted with the county sheriffâs office to its current size. It remains one of the smaller dedicated transit police depart- ments, composed of about 40 sworn officers augmented by approximately 12 security guards. In addition to responsibil- ity for patrol in uniform and plainclothes and investigations of past crimes, a number of officers are trained in a variety of police specializations, including accident reconstruction. Since 2004, the department has included a canine unit of specially trained dogs working with their police officer han- dlers on both routine patrol and for explosive detection. Offi- cers have been trained to staff an Emergency Services Unit, and about one-third of all officers have received specialized training in handling chemical detection and hostage situa- tions, and responding to active shooter situations on buses and railcars. Information not publicly available was provided for the case study by Chief McCauley. Existing Surveillance Technology All underground stations are currently equipped with video cameras on all levels that are monitored by the PAAC police. At the time of the case study, in mid-2010, PAAC was antici- pating that the existing cameras would be upgraded by the end of the year to video over Internet protocol service. Beginning in 1985â1986, black-and-white fixed-position cameras were installed in all subway stations, and various upgrades and expansions have been undertaken as funds became available. Red telephones labeled âEmergencyâ Port Authority Policeâ are located in all stations. Other safety and security features include glass panels in eleva- tor doors for two-way visibility. LRVs are equipped with two-way radios with direct communication with the Opera- tions Control Center, a buzzer system to alert patrons that doors are closing, and a number of features to aid emergency evacuations. Fewer than half of all stations, station plat- forms, and shelters are currently monitored by surveillance cameras. Cameras are also employed to protect storage and other yards. All cameras are monitored on a 24-hour, 7-day-
53 a-week basis by a combined staff of police dispatchers and rail operations staff. A DHS grant of about $160,000 was used to mount chemi- cal/radiation-detection sensors in a number of downtown sta- tions in 2006 and 2007. Similar to fire or smoke detectors, the sensors monitor for various chemical agents or gases and send an alert to the Operations Control Center and the countyâs emergency operations center. Because of its growing reliance on computers, sensors, and surveillance cameras, since 2006 the police department has added computer and video foren- sic specialists to its staff. McCauley noted that because grant funds are generally available only to purchase equipment, agencies must add the salary and related costs of hiring and training specialists to the costs of system upgrades. As for all the case study agencies, financial issues such as these are important to PAAC. DHS categorizes PAAC as a Tier II agency. Although it is the only Tier II agency in the designated Pittsburgh Area, there are a number of larger Tier I agencies located in the Philadelphia area Urban Areas Security Initiative, including NJT, SEPTA, the Penn- sylvania Department of Transportation, the Delaware Tran- sit Corporation, and the Delaware River Port Authority. Although PAAC does not compete against these Tier I agen- cies directly, DHS funds are not unlimited. To achieve maxi- mum funding, grant development and writing efforts involve a number of PAAC offices. The police department works closely with the system safety department and receives grant writing assistance from specialists within the agency. The process is complex and time consuming; funds are generally not received within the 1-year grant cycle, which means that if the agency hopes to obtain future funding, it must plan a series of upgrades that can enhance the entire network but can be done somewhat independently of one another. PAAC has been successful in its grant applications. McCauley esti- mates that 80% of its surveillance system funds have come from DHS and the other 20% from agency funding. The funds have been used to upgrade monitoring and dispatch- ing and increase the size of the facility from which video is monitored, in part in anticipation of future expansion of both the transit system and the surveillance network. In 2007, PAAC received close to $1 million from DHS to add fencing at a number of facilities; deploy additional digital surveillance cameras, primarily at four busway sta- tions; and provide training to staff on terrorism prevention. The funds were the third-largest grant nationally to simi- lar-sized transit agencies and completed the second phase of PAACâs earlier security upgrade by adding the chemical/ radiation recognition equipment. Including the 2007 grant, up to that time PAAC had received about $4.3 million from DHS, which, according to Steve Bland, the authorityâs chief executive officer, was a significant amount for a city of Pitts- burghâs size (Grata 2007). Current and Future Upgrades The current ongoing project involves upgrading and extend- ing surveillance technology to depots, garages, and storage areas. Part of this plan involves bringing all the new and existing technology together into one smoothly function- ing system. Although DHS funding is for antiterrorism installations and upgrading, PAACâs internal grants review committee considers projects that are not all video-surveil- lance-based. For instance, members of the review committee from operating departments may be interested in obtaining funds for high-speed doors for railcars, security fencing, or upgrading the agencyâs communication network (which formed the basis of the FY 2010 grant request). In addition, the agencyâs operating plans include surveillance in patrol and operator/cab areas for all new vehicles and surveillance cameras in all new station design plans, a plan that has been implemented for all North Shore Connector stations. PAAC has received between $8 and $9.5 million in grant funding over the past decade. Although the transit system has never been placed on a terrorist alert, as with other tran- sit systems, PAAC has used the funds to enhance day-to-day security and crime prevention efforts on the transit system and in areas near stations with cameras. As in cities around the country, news media have become more attuned to the use of video surveillance in criminal apprehensions. In May 2010, PAAC police were reported to be viewing surveillance video from a city camera to investigate vandalism to vehicles in a park-and-ride lot where transit cameras had not been installed. Seven weeks later PAAC cameras on a downtown trolley were used to arrest one of Allegheny Countyâs most wanted fugitives who he was spotted on the transit system and was taken into custody when he detrained (âAllegheny County Fugitiveâ¦â 2010; Harding 2010). Pittsburgh is one of a number of cities, including Chi- cago, New York, and Baltimore, where municipal officials have begun to speak out about their desire to increase the use of video surveillance to protect against terrorism but also against routine crimes. As with Chicagoâs Mayor Daley and New Yorkâs Mayor Bloomberg, Pittsburghâs Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has made the installation of surveillance throughout the city a high priority of his administration. His efforts have received less national publicity, but apart from PAAC funding requests, the city, with the Community Col- lege of Allegheny and Carnegie Mellon University, has asked for about $14 million from the federal Broadband Technol- ogy Opportunities Program. In addition, since 2009 the city has used its own $2.4 million DHS grant to install cameras near waterways, ports, and rivers, and in high-crime areas. It has augmented the DHS funds with about $860,000 of local matching funds. The city owns only 22 surveillance cameras, but the mayor has publicized its access to about 300 cameras owned by PAAC, the Pennsylvania Department
54 of Transportation, and private businesses. Smaller commu- nities in the immediate area have also approved funds for surveillance cameras (Brandolph April 9, 2010; Brandolph April 22, 2010). Despite the existence of a 10-page policy that addresses privacy issues relating to the cameras, the mayorâs plans have drawn criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union and others who oppose the cameras on the basis of costs and civil liberties issues, or on research questioning their value in crime prevention (Wilkinson 2010). One critic noted that neither the Port of Pittsburgh Commission nor the local Coast Guard installation reported a single threat against Pittsburghâs waterways or port facilities (Levine 2008). Each municipality that has so far publicized a desire to rely on video surveillance to fight crime has been criti- cized by local civil liberties groups. Additionally, by focus- ing on surveillance technology as a crime-fighting tool, these municipal officials have led the media to inquire after almost all crimes about whether video exists from the crime scene. Each of the cities also includes within its borders well- established transit agencies that make use of video surveil- lance and that rely to differing degrees on DHS funding for system expansions. Lessons Learned These ongoing and fluid situations raise questions that are important to transit agencies. Not yet lessons learned, they are more appropriately items for long-range consideration. For instance, transit agencies, particularly those that com- pete for Tier II funds, may be competing for DHS funds not only with other transit agencies but also with the cities in which they are located. Although the DHS funds come from different grant programs, questions may arise as to whether funds to a municipality may influence awards to the cityâs transit system. This may lead to transit agencies giving greater consideration to partnering with their cities, as in Houston, by seeking funding for surveillance improvements as upgrades as part of municipal planning but may present problems for transit agencies that overlap a number of politi- cal jurisdictions. Apart from funding, it is difficult to predict the outcome of greater attention being paid to video surveillance as a crime prevention and apprehension tool. Although this increased focus on video surveillance may assist transit agencies in expanding their use of the technology and win them support from external stakeholders who are more concerned with crime than with terrorism, it may also cause the agencies to become embroiled in civil liberties debates surrounding the use of video surveillance. Expanded use of surveillance solely as a crime control tool also may undercut the ability of transit systems use of it to enhance their fraud control and risk mitigation efforts. CASE STUDY 5: VALLEY METRO RAIL, PHOENIX, ARIZONA Description of the Transit System Valley Metro Rail, known as METRO, is a 20-mile at-grade light rail system connecting the cities of Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa. Costing $1.43 billion to build, it began revenue service in December 2008, operating from 19th Avenue and Bethany Home Road in Phoenix, continuing through down- town Phoenix and downtown Tempe to Main Street and Sycamore in Mesa. Valley Metro has 28 stations; the major activity centers it serves are downtown Phoenix, the Sky Harbor Airport, Papago Park Center, Arizona State Univer- sity, downtown Tempe, and Mesa. Eight parking lots provide a total of 3,600 spaces. Most of the embedded track is in streets, separated from traffic lanes by a nominal 6-in curb. Direct fixation is used to attach rail on bridges, and tie and ballast is used in the Operations and Maintenance Center yard, located in Phoenix. Fifty electric-powered LRVs can be operated singly or as two- or three-car trains by means of an overhead contact wire (catenary) at 850-volts DC that receives power from the two electric companies at traction power substations, located approximately every mile along the alignment. Operating headway is 10 minutes during weekdays, increasing to 15 to between 20 and 30 minutes during off-peak and on week- ends. The system operates approximately 20 hours per day. The Operations Control Center, located in Phoenix, is adja- cent to the Bus Control Center. A proof-of-payment system is used to collect fares. Paid areas are indicated by signage and compliance is reinforced by periodic inspection conducted by contract security per- sonnel. Paid areas, sometimes called fare paid zones, are the areas, generally station platforms, where patrons are expected to have valid tickets and may be asked by transit personnel to show a ticket, a receipt, or some other proof that they have paid for travel. Although the agency estimates its evasion rate at less than 1%, it believes it will improve its capability to discourage nonpayment by upgrading its sys- tem of manually verifying the identity of riders with an elec- tronic system that will be tied to a database of past evaders. Security Organization and Personnel Valley Metro relies on an unusual two-pronged arrange- ment to secure its transit system. All three cities support the transit system by having their officers respond to calls for service, but only the Phoenix Police Department (PPD) has a transit bureau that routinely assigns sworn officers to tran- sit facilities within its jurisdiction. Phoenix also provides department-employed police assistants, primarily as fare inspectors, whereas Tempe and Mesa have chosen to rely on
55 the same contract security firm for those tasks. In addition to fare inspection duties, the contract security firm, responsible to the transit agency rather than the individual cities, also patrols stations, platforms, and park-and-ride lots. Patrols include riding the trains, responding to calls by means of dispatched patrol cars, and patrolling stations on personal transportation devices (Segway). Approximately two-thirds of the system is within the city of Phoenix and the PPD is responsible for security only within its citywide jurisdiction. Similarly, the security contractor is responsible for secu- rity for only the remaining third of the system, specifically within the cities of Tempe and Mesa. (This comprises only about 1 mile and one station, which is at the east end of the line in Mesa.) PPD also provides municipal security guards to staff the Operations and Maintenance Center. Informa- tion not publicly available was provided for the case study by Larry Engleman, until recently the director of the Office of Safety, Security and Quality Assurance, who has remained with Valley Metro as its safety and security consultant. Original Video Surveillance System Valley Metro began planning its security system, includ- ing video surveillance, almost as soon as it began planning the overall transit system. Beginning with the formation of its Fire Life Safety and Security Committee in 2001, Val- ley Metro encouraged area police and fire officialsâespe- cially those from Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesaâto get and stay involved. The committee was active, with more than 50 meetings during the years of planning, and benefited from stability in its membership and the CPTED expertise within the group. This advanced planning resulted in all facilities and vehicles being designed using CPTED prin- ciples. Stations were built to be open so as to minimize areas for criminals to hide, individual seating is provided to discourage lounging and loitering, and seats on LRVs face the doors where possible so patrons are aware of the move- ment of other patrons. Specifications to manufacturers call for vandal-resistant materials of smooth nonporous surfaces and cut-resistant fabrics. Plastic film covers all windows and other glass surfaces for easy replacement if marred by graf- fiti or scratchiti. Video surveillance cameras have been an integral part of safety and security since the introduction of revenue service. All eight parking lots (referred to locally as park-and-ride lots) are covered by surveillance cameras that are monitored locally and at the control center, which is itself monitored by surveillance cameras. Cameras also cover station platforms and focus on emergency call boxes, which can be helpful if they are engaged and those trying to reach the control center are for any reason incapacitated. This type of sur- veillance of call boxes is also useful in preventing improper use; for instance, someone might use the phone to initiate a false emergency call as a distraction for criminal behavior. Emergency call boxes are also equipped with local audi- ble and visual alarms to further discourage misuse. Other emergency and communication systems include a public address system and variable message boards at stations and a SCADA system that monitors train operations and sup- porting subsystems. Surveillance is also in place at the Operations and Main- tenance Center yard, where it is used to support perimeter fencing and access control at administrative areas. Security is tight at Valley Metroâs administrative offices in downtown Phoenix. Electronic locks and key cards provide access con- trol; employees need to display their ID cards at all times, and all visitors must be signed in and are issued visitor ID cards. All areas that are accessible to the public are under camera surveillance, primarily for use as post-event inves- tigatory tools. In addition, all LRVs are equipped with a larger number of cameras than in many other transit systems. Of the 16 cameras, all continuously recording, 10 cover the exterior and 6 cover the interior of the rail cars. If a passenger uses an onboard emergency intercom to contact the operator, the nearest camera is activated on the operatorâs console so that the operator can assess conditions. The external cam- eras play a large role in accident investigation, particularly LRV and passenger vehicle collisions. For example, video removed from an LRV in early 2009 had recorded crossing arm activity that assisted in determining the cause of a colli- sion between a truck and that LRV. The information was also used to check conditions at four similarly designed grade crossings (âStatus of Metro Investigationâ¦â 2009). Protecting the Tempe Town Lake Bridge A major element of the surveillance system, and a particular focus of Valley Metroâs safety and security program, is the 1,500-ft bridge over the Tempe Town Lake. The protection of the Tempe Town Lake Bridge relies on a unique combi- nation of intrusion detection and surveillance cameras in a high-traffic area. The system provides for protecting the bridge itself and also covers the approach to the bridge and a lead track into the rail yard. The Town Lake and its adjacent Beach Park are local focal points for major events. The beach, originally built in 1931, was renovated in 1999 as part of the construction of the lake, which is built on inflatable rubber barriers in the riverbed to confine water within its 2-mile-long boundar- ies. In addition to regular recreational facilities, the beach contains an amphitheater that accommodates about 5,000 people. The beach and the lake are the sites of many annual events, including two triathlons, music festivals, the fantasy of lights July 4th fireworks show, a New Yearâs Eve block party, and other activities that draw large crowds to the area. There are also attractions at either end of the bridge; at one end is a busy and popular nightclub and at the other side is the
56 Arizona State University campus. When the alignment for the transit project was approved, the need for a bridge over the lake became a major element of the project owing to the areaâs popularity and because of the large amount of traffic in the area. The need for modern and dependable protection of the LRVs and of pedestrians was immediately apparent. Since its opening, the bridge has become integrated into the activities associated with the lake. Its construction began in early 2005; a lighting ceremony celebrated the completion of its most important parts 1 year later, and since the official opening of the transit system, a LED light display under the bridge casts varying colors onto the lake after dark. The surveillance system was installed by NICE; cameras are high-resolution color analog that is converted to digital. All cameras and security systems feed into Valley Metroâs fiber-optic backbone, which eliminates outside connections and makes it virtually impossible to hack the system. All cameras record continuously; images from facility cameras at the control center are stored for 30 days and onboard LRV images are stored for 3 days. Management has attempted to determine the overall costs of the system by separating the camera system from the rest of its communications equip- ment, but has been advised by its communication engineer that it is impossible to section out costs in this way. The first line of security for the bridge is the responsibil- ity of the Passenger Assistance Agents at the control center, who monitor the surveillance cameras and intrusion alarms. They dispatch security officers for all intrusions, and the Tempe Police Department typically responds. The nature of police statistics, which are based on events that occur rather than those that are prevented, makes it impossible for Valley Metro to know the number of people who have been deterred from trespassing because of the publicity about the intru- sion detection warning system or the surveillance cameras. Since the opening of the transit system, though, the Tempe police have received notifications that resulted in 21 arrests and three warnings. Because DHS has identified the bridge as critical infrastructure, trespassing is considered a felony, the most serious category of crime. This is highly unusual; trespassing is generally not treated as felonious. In addi- tion, 25 reports of activity were deemed unfounded because although police were dispatched, no trespassers or other unusual activities were observed in the area. Current and Future Upgrades Because it was a new transit system at the time it developed its surveillance capabilities, Valley Metro was not eligible for DHS funding. It is the only agency that participated in the synthesis that reported that 100% of its funds for its surveillance system were derived from agency funds. Val- ley Metro is attempting to obtain outside funding through either DHS or the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to incorporate analytics into its existing surveillance network, but thus far has not been awarded funds under either program. Lessons Learned Engleman attributes much of the success surrounding the light rail systemâs entire surveillance network, but particu- larly the Town Lake Bridge system, to the cooperation and continuity that began with the Fire Life Safety and Security Committee and that has continued until the present time. What might seem to be a complex policing arrangement- involving three local jurisdictions and a private security firm is successful because the police departments work well together and because they became involved with tran- sit agency system design years before the start of revenue operations. Each city had time to consider its transit secu- rity arrangements and to decide, in consultation with Val- ley Metro, how to provide patrol coverage as well as how to respond to emergencies on the rail system. Valley Metro reinforces its own role in protecting its property by investing in electronically protecting the Town Lake Bridge, as well as all other facilities, and also by shar- ing its surveillance images with local police to help them solve incidents and investigate accidents. Valley Metro also helps keep the local police from becoming overburdened with transit-related calls by having its emergency call boxes linked to its Operations Control Center rather than directly to the police so that it can filter out calls that are not actual emergencies, such as patrons using the phone to find out when the next train is due to arrive. Although a state-of-the- art surveillance system benefits the transit system and local police, planning and continued cooperation are important elements of ensuring that maximum value is obtained from the surveillance network.