VICTORIA, B.C. – Over 600 B.C. Transit buses across the province now have closed-circuit television cameras in an effort to improve passenger safety.
B.C. Transit says 373 medium-duty and heavy-duty buses have had cameras installed as part of a project supported by the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund. Over 230 new buses have been delivered, with the technology already installed. The remainder of the fleet will have cameras installed in new buses as they are replaced over the coming years.
François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, says the installation of cameras will provide safety to all bus users.
“Having CCTV cameras on board will help reassure passengers that taking public transportation is a safe option no matter where you live.”
In B.C., the PTIF represents a partnership between Canada, the Province and local governments to support investments in municipal transit systems. The CCTV installation is part of a series of technology enhancements on B.C. Transit buses worth approximately $11 million.
Other improvements will include Automated Passenger Counters, to provide a more accurate picture of ridership and allow planners to maximize resources; and NextRide real-time transit information, to help riders plan their trips efficiently.
According to B.C. Transit, since the pilot program started in 2015, BC Transit has used CCTV footage to support investigations almost 3,500 times. This includes over 360 police investigations.
Each bus has four to eight cameras recording events in the interior. As well, a high-definition camera in the driver’s compartment records events in front of the bus and two more cameras will watch the outside of the bus. Cameras are not monitored live, but video files are encrypted and stored on hard drives for up to seven days, required for investigation purposes.
Information is collected in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.