RTA will buy more cameras for buses and rapid lines - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

More security on RTA transportation

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

RTA has confirmed that they will buy cameras and recording equipment for buses and trains, due to several occurrences of assaults on bus drivers last year.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority board voted the morning of February 19, 2013 for a $2.5 million plan to install cameras on 230 buses and to upgrade existing video systems on 96 buses and trains. The work is projected to be completed in 15 months.

RTA's largest union along with city officials, are very serious about dealing with violence on public transportation. 

The report of 25 assaults involving RTA bus drivers through mid-November was the highest in five years.

Last September, one of RTA's most infamous fights went viral on Youtube, when a bus driver was confronted by an irate female passenger and he reacted with an uppercut.

William Nix, head of the Amalgamated Transit Union local, favored the vote but said more precautions can be taken for bus drivers such as installing shields to separate them from passengers.  RTA plans to test two kinds of shields.

The plan laid out by General Manager Joe Calabrese calls for replacing six-year-old digital recorders on 96 buses and trains for $500,000.

RTA said it will spend another $2 million for 230 other buses to receive systems that feature eight cameras, a digital recorder and several microphones.

Seventy older buses won't get the cameras because they'll be taken out of service in the next few years. Replacement buses will have cameras, Calabrese said.

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