New York Transit Authority Turns Focus on Cameras


The New York subways will get an extensive network of surveillance cameras like the ones used in London in an effort to keep an eye on suspicious behavior and thwart terror attacks, officials with the city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) told the New York Post.

The MTA received bids on July 25 from companies interested in handling the first major security project to be installed underground since 9/11 – a job that could cost upwards of $250 million.

The MTA – which had been stung by criticism because it wasn’t spending nearly $600 million in security funds fast enough – told the Post it received three bids from security firms to install an “integrated electronic security system” in the subway’s most sensitive areas.

The project would rely on technology like intelligent CCTV that would recognize suspicious activity on subways. The system also would include sensors and controls, which would limit access to sensitive sections of tunnels and bridges.

MTA spokesman Tom Kelly said he expects the contract to be awarded by September.

While London’s transit system has about 6,000 surveillance cameras, the MTA has only 17 serving its 468 trains stations. The MTA said it’s committed to spending $358 million by the end of the year to begin infrastructure security upgrades.

In a related story, leaders of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees are calling for increased funding for mass transit security.

Senators Susan Collins (R-Md.) and Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) say the government needs to allocate additional funds for transportation security programs.

“The recent attacks in London again demonstrate that transit systems are attractive targets, and it is crucial that steps be taken to mitigate the potential of another terrorist attack from occurring in the United States,” said the senators in a joint letter.

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