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MBTA to install 400 new security cameras across 6 Red Line stations

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  December 5, 2012 03:11 PM
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The MBTA plans to install about 400 new security cameras across six Red Line stations next year, officials said.

The cameras are planned for Andrew, Charles/MGH, Harvard, JFK/UMass, Kendall/MIT, and Porter stations, T spokesman Joe Pesaturo said.

The public transit agency began accepting bid proposals for the work last week, according to documents from the T.

The installations are part of a previously-announced plan to double the number of security cameras across the entire MBTA system – including in stations, trains, buses and other T facilities – by adding thousands of cameras using federal grant money.

The first of the Red Line stations to get the new cameras will be JFK/UMass, where 52 new cameras are set to be installed by late spring or early summer, Pesaturo said. Cameras in the other Red Line stations are expected to be installed by next fall or winter.

The T also recently installed and activated 15 cameras at the new Talbot Avenue Station on the Fairmount commuter rail line and another 15 are being installed at Morton Street Station, he said.

“The Red Line and Fairmount Line projects are part of the MBTA's ongoing efforts to standardize security throughout the transit system to ensure that law enforcement personnel and first responders have situational awareness in the event of an emergency or security incident,” the spokesman said.

Cameras have been installed at every subway station across the T system for about the past five years. A growing number of buses and trains also have cameras, often used for both public safety and transit operations.

Grants from the federal Department of Homeland Security paid for many of the cameras, which have no operational cost associated with them, T officials have said. Over the past decade, that federal agency created in response to 9/11 has provided grants to other subway systems across the country to install security cameras.

Some, including the ACLU of Massachusetts, have expressed concern over the added surveillance as a potential invasion of privacy.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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