ATLANTA -- MARTA launched a pilot program of buses equipped with surveillance cameras on Monday in Atlanta.
MARTA randomly chose seven busses and installed cameras on the interior and exterior to record video and audio. Each bus has 11 cameras, three on the outside and eight inside.
Customers can also see themselves, and the interior of the bus in real-time through a 17-inch full-color monitor placed behind the driver.
According to Lyle Harris of MARTA, the Vehicle Security Camera System (VSCS) will soon be used in trains and mobility vans, as well. It will take and save images, audio and vehicle data that will assist MARTA Police to investigate crimes, resolve customer complaints and settle accident claims.
"We are confident that this investment will provide an additional layer of protection and will act as a highly visible deterrent against operator assaults, crime and acts of terror," MARTA Police Chief Wanda Dunham said.
The $17 million camera system was approved by the MARTA Board of Directors last year. Recently, MARTA received a $9 million grant from the federal Department of Homeland Security, part of the "See Something, Say Something" public awareness campaign.
The pilot program will end in November, then MARTA will begin installing cameras on the rest of the bus fleet, to be completed by June 2013. MARTA rail cars will have cameras installed beginning April 2013, and mobility van cameras are set for July 2013. VSCS installation on MARTA's "rolling stock" is scheduled to be finished by July 2014.