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Metro buses get multi-camera video surveillance systems

Metro is planning a major overhaul of its bus surveillance systems that can be monitored in real time.
Metro is planning a major overhaul of its bus surveillance systems. While buses already have cameras, the new system will add cameras that can be monitored in real time. County officials say it's being done to keep drivers and passengers safe.

Video monitors will give riders and the bus driver the ability to see what's going on around them.

"We have every confidence that this is going to increase safety and discourage those who might be inclined to do otherwise," said L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

The system, according to Metro's board, will decrease the number of assaults on drivers and passengers.

Between 2010 and 2013, Metro says there were 191 assaults on drivers. Bus operators and Metro agree the new system of video monitors is the best tool to keep drivers and passengers safer.

Each bus will have 11 cameras mounted on it.

Currently all Metro buses have video cameras, but this new system will be able to monitor any problem as it's happening.

"It's actually a video-recording system. We do have the ability to download remotely," said Metro manager of vehicle technology John Drayton. "So we can pull up to a bus and get videos off it real-time if that's needed."

Metro has ordered 275 new buses for $500,000 each. The price tag for the video monitoring system is $3,000 per bus.

The first new buses are will hit the road in October.

Metro is still figuring out how it will pay for installing the system on the buses already in service.

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