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MBTA Buses Get Live Video Technology

By Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Joe Shortsleeve Joe Shortsleeve
Joe Shortsleeve is chief correspondent for WBZ-TV News weekdays a...
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BOSTON (CBS) — Homeland Security in Washington DC has awarded the MBTA about $7 million to outfit buses with the latest in live video technology.

Sophisticated new 360-degree lenses embedded in the ceilings and walls of the buses will now capture everything. And on some buses, there will even be flat screens for passengers to see what is going on.

“I think it’s great, anything that makes the public feel safer,” one woman told WBZ-TV.

Another said “the images are pretty clear. I did not think they were going to be that clear..”

There is no audio but there are also cameras on the exterior of the buses.

The system cost $6.9 million, all paid for by Homeland Security. Right now, about 10 buses are outfitted but by the summer, more than 225 will have these sophisticated cameras.

Eighty transit police cruisers will also soon have touch screens, so officers can look live right into a bus that they may be following.

“It is pretty amazing. You pull up the camera system, then you already have a description of the suspect. He could be looking at the cameras as you are following the bus,” MBTA Transit Police Officer Luke Sayers said.

Transit Police from their downtown dispatch headquarters will also be able to monitor hundreds of buses in real-time, simply by clicking a mouse.

“The riders of the MBTA have been asking for cameras for a long time and we think that this will give them confidence that we are doing everything possible to protect them,” said Deputy Superintendent of the MBTA Transit Police Joe O’Connor.

Soon this technology will cover 70-percent of MBTA bus routes.

The MBTA says they are the first in nation with this technology.

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