Sept. 20, 2022 By Christian Murray
Gov. Kathy Hochul was in Corona Tuesday to announce that security cameras will be installed in all subway cars.
The governor said that the MTA will place two cameras on each of its more than 6,400 subway cars. The announcement follows the installation of 10,000 cameras across all 472 subway stations.
Hochul said the cameras will be added at a rate of 200 train cars per month, with the aim to have the entire fleet camera equipped sometime in 2025. The MTA has already installed cameras in 100 cars as part of a pilot program it started earlier this summer.
The governor said that the cameras would help the NYPD solve transit crimes, while also acting as a deterrent to would-be criminals. The MTA has received $5.5 million of state and federal funds to pay for the cameras.
“My number one priority as Governor is keeping New Yorkers safe,” Hochul said at a news conference this morning, which was held at the MTA’s Corona Maintenance Facility. “I am proud that we will be installing cameras on all subway cars – expanding our security capabilities, deterring crime, and providing our law enforcement with support. As we continue welcoming riders back to the transit system, we will continue doing everything in our power to keep riders safe.”
The announcement comes at a time when transit crime has been on the rise. According to the latest NYPD data, transit crimes are up 46 percent through Sept. 18, compared to the same period a year ago.
“Riders should know we’ve got their back for their entire journey and this significant upgrade – made possible by new dollars from Governor Hochul – is a great step towards reinforcing New Yorkers’ confidence in mass transit safety,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber.
Also needed is a return to a time decades ago when a transit police officer was assigned to ride each train and others patrolled stations. Are security cameras being installed on the 535 subway cars (from the previous $32 billion 2015- 2019) and 1900 subway cars (from the current $51 billion 2020 – 2024 Capital Plan) under contracts previously awarded to subway car builders currently being built or will they have to be installed after delivery? Will the MTA make public a detailed schedule for advertising and award of contracts to vendors for purchase of cameras? When will the MTA release a detailed project schedule? This would identify the quantities and location for installation week by week, month by month and year by year? Is any of this work being performed by NYC Transit employees versus outside contractors? Making public this information is one way commuters and taxpayers can monitor the progress to see if the MTA will meet the promised completion date of 2025 for installation of cameras on all subway cars along with 130 subway stations. .
(Larry Penner — transportation advocate, historian and writer who previously worked for the Federal Transit Administration Region 2 NY Office. This included the development, review, approval and oversight for billions in capital projects and programs for the MTA, NYC Transit, Metro North Rail Road, MTA Bus along with 30 other transit agencies in NY & NJ)