Everyone deserves a safe ride home. Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) buses have been the scene, sadly, of a series of violent incidents in the last few months.
To help address this, 48 coaches (that’s the fancy word for buses) will have eight external and internal cameras by the end of next month, with 250 coaches being outfitted by the end of the summer.
Not only will the cameras be there, they will be constantly recording with the high-resolution video stored on a DVR for future use. When the bus gets back to the terminal at the end of the day the videos are wirelessly transmitted to larger storage devices.
The project is made possible by an expedited funds release process thanks to the Obama administration and adding this first batch of gear to an existing order for the SMART (Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation) system. That shaved four months of wait time off the process.
“We would not be installing these cameras today if not for the hard work and support of the US Department of Transportation, and the direct involvement of the White House team that is embedded here in Detroit, particularly Don Graves and Gina Metrakas,” Mayor Mike Duggan said.
But it’s not just about cameras. It’s also about a full time police presence to help protect the 107,000 riders.
“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,” DDOT Director Dan Dirks said.
The cost of putting this first round of cameras in is $250,000 with the total project cost to be funded by Federal Transit Administration of approximately $2.75 million for 250 coaches. The grant proposal for the remainder of the coaches is still in progress, but work is expected to begin on the second phase in early summer.
“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,” Mayor Duggan said. “Installing these cameras will serve as a significant deterrent to bad behavior and allow us to identify individuals who are causing trouble.”