According to the Boston Globe, the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) will be putting security cameras on the Green Line trolleys as part of a safety initiative. Funded with $500,000 from the Department of Homeland Security, a pilot program that allows the MBTA to test the cameras on the underground trolleys will begin soon. The goal is to increase security on Boston’s transit system by allowing Transit Police the opportunity to monitor the system in real time.
“Our hope is that the cameras will be able to be viewed in a police cruiser, so that an officer responding to a call will have real-time viewing of what is happening on the scene,” Chief Paul Macmillan said in a statement last week. Cameras are already installed on the city’s more than 300 buses and subway stations and according to MBTA spokesman Joe Pestaturo, police have used video from the cameras in nearly 500 investigations.
“Since we’ve installed the closed-circuit television system, we’ve had great success using it to solve crimes and identify offenders. We think this enhances awareness on what is happening on our transit system and on the train,” MacMillan told the Globe. He also stated that the ability to use the cameras to keep the public safe outweighs some groups concerns of privacy.
The installation of the cameras in the trolleys will be a two-phase operation. Phase one will begin later this year and it see that two trolleys are equipped with four cameras a piece. Phase two will do the same for three more trolleys.
Citizens told the Boston Globe they welcome the extra protection. “If people know there is a camera on the train, it will prevent them from doing something wrong,” one man said.