Wednesday, June 09, 2004


More security issues for SEPTA according to KYW NewsRadio:

Just because the trash cans at most SEPTA stations haven't been changed doesn't mean there have been no changes following the Homeland Security directive last month calling for an upgrade in security at commuter rail stations throughout the country.

The Homeland Security directive was issued last month with a sense of urgency. Still, says Jim Jordan -- the head of safety for SEPTA -- federal authorities have not confined the transit agency to a timetable because they understand compliance is an ongoing process:

"What they have said to us is, the key to these directives is for us all to work together cooperatively. While they have the legal right to impose sanctions, they do not anticipate doing that."

In fact, Jordan says, the federal Department of Homeland Security is working on a report for SEPTA, expected later this month or early next month, which will detail the changes it recommends.

It's unlikely, he says, those changes will include bomb-resistant trash cans, which redirect the force of an explosion upward rather than outward. The low ceilings in many SEPTA facilities, Jordan says, could actually make those trash cans a poor choice.

One alternative being discussed is traditional wire trash containers with clear plastic liners, allowing the contents to be easily observed by security personnel.
KYW 1060 AM

Whatever. Somehow, Jordan will find a way to screw this up, just as SEPTA botched the handling of the incident last month at Powelton Yard...

Meanwhile, in the Lehigh Valley, the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA) announced plans to install video surveillance cameras on some or all of its buses in the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton area, according to the Easton Express-Times:

LANTA Executive Director Armand Greco on Tuesday afternoon told board members the project has been moving ahead at a good pace. In addition to preparing to advertise for the bids, executives are also planning a trip this month to see how another transit authority operates its security system, he said.

Once completed, LANTA will join the South Eastern Transportation Authority (sic) and several others in the northeast region of the country that have added surveillance cameras on their buses. The trip later this month will be to see the system used by the Delaware Authority for Regional Transit [DART First State - ed.], which is Wilmington, Del.'s, mass transit provider.

Greco said installing the cameras will be the simplest part of the project. The reason for the trip is to get a better understanding of operating and maintaining the system, he said.

The authority began considering installing the cameras more than a year ago as a deterrent to any passengers considering doing anything unsafe or illegal and a tool for providing a record of crashes or other incidents involving buses. The project's cost has been estimated between $700,000 and $800,000.

Denis Meyers, the authority's assistant executive director, said there are three vendors that specialize in the camera systems the authority is looking to install.
Easton Express-Times

For the record, SEPTA was supposed to have installed cameras on all 155 Neoplan articulated buses, but that project - just like every other security project at SEPTA - apparently was never completed. It appears that none of the cameras have been installed. A few apparently were installed, but appear to have been removed. For a smaller system like LANTA, it shouldn't be as difficult for them to follow through on such a project.

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