DETROIT — Mayor Mike Duggan announced today a major step forward in providing greater security for riders of the DDOT bus system with the installation of security cameras on the first of 250 DDOT buses that will be outfitted by late summer.
The first phase of the installation, which began late last week, will equip 48 coaches with eight internal and external cameras by the end of March. DDOT already has two prototype buses equipped with security cameras. Detroit joins a number of transportation systems using the technology, including SMART, Memphis, Raleigh, Little Rock, Colorado Springs and Tallahassee.
“Every DDOT rider who relies on our bus system to get to work, school or a job interview should have the expectation of a safe trip, as should every DDOT driver,” Duggan said. “Installing these cameras will serve as a significant deterrent to bad behavior and allow us to identify individuals who are causing trouble.”
As they are outfitted with the cameras, buses will be deployed immediately to routes where they are most needed, Duggan said. Once the full project is complete in September, enough coaches will be equipped with cameras to cover every route DDOT route during peak hours.
The Mayor also thanked the Obama administration for helping to clear the way for the first 50 cameras to be ordered on a priority basis by adding them to an existing order for the SMART bus system.
“We would not be installing these cameras today if not for the hard work and support of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the direct involvement of the White House team that is embedded here in Detroit, particularly Don Graves and Gina Metrakas,” Duggan said.
The Detroit Department of Transportation, which services 107,000 customers, has contracted with SEON Design Inc. to install cameras on 48 buses at a cost of $250,000. Installation began on Friday and should be completed in March.
Each bus will have eight cameras that produce video and capture high-resolution images that may be used by law enforcement if necessary. The video is stored on a DVR and once the bus returns to the terminal, the video information is transmitted wirelessly to data storage devices.
DDOT is using grant funding from the Federal Transit Administration for the camera installation. The Department has published a request for proposal to install cameras on the remainder of the 250 buses. That work is expected to begin early this summer and to cost approximately $2.75 million.
Duggan also said efforts are underway to establish a fulltime police presence on DDOT buses and along its routes.
“Once we have our cameras installed and our security personnel in place later this year, DDOT will be on its way to being one of the safest public transportation systems in the nation,” Director Dan Dirks said.