Each bus also will have a monitor that will allow patrons to view their surroundings. MARTA, which is the nation’s ninth largest transit system, plans to have cameras on all buses by next June and to start installing them on rail cars next April.
The MARTA board of directors approved the $17 million system last year after drivers said they wanted enhanced security because of physical and verbal assaults by patrons. Transit officials say the data also will help MARTA police investigate crimes, resolve customers’ complaints and settle accident claims.
A $9 million federal grant from the Department of Homeland Security will help defray MARTA’s out-of-pocket expenses, the agency said Monday in a prepared statement.
Last year, the agency was also considering installing Plexiglas shields to protect drivers on its 531 buses, but so far has elected not to do so, said MARTA spokesman Lyle Harris.
“MARTA is dedicated to ensuring that all reasonable measures are taken to secure the safety of customers and employees,” said MARTA Police Chief Wanda Dunham.
“We are confident that this investment will provide an additional layer of protection and will act as a highly visible deterrent against operator assaults, crime and acts of terror,” she added.