Riders and drivers of Lethbridge Transit will soon have an added level of safety and security with the addition of video surveillance cameras. As of January 16, all school buses, City transit buses and Access-A-Ride vehicles will have operating video surveillance cameras to help monitor accidents and incidents.
Transit video surveillance is considered to be industry standard and common in most urban centres. The City of Lethbridge has worked diligently to ensure the new system adheres to all Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and Regulations ("FOIPP"), as well as the City of Lethbridge surveillance policy.
All Transit vehicles will be equipped with cameras on both the inside and outside which will begin recording whenever the bus is started. Each day the information is recorded to the secure, on-board digital video recorder (DVR). When the bus returns to the Transit building, the recording is automatically transferred wirelessly to a secure server. This data is kept for one month and will only be reviewed by authorized City personnel in the case of an accident or incident. Any requests for release of this data will be handled in accordance with FOIPP. There will be no live monitoring of the cameras.
The City of Lethbridge was able to access provincial GreenTrip funding and the Federal Gas Tax Fund to cover the majority ($515,000) of the total $650,000 cost for the new system. The remaining $135,000 was funded through the City's school bus replacement fund.
This new safety feature is expected to reduce crime and vandalism. It will also help identify issues that can be proactively addressed to protect the safety and wellbeing of the public and Transit staff. To view frequently asked questions related to the new video surveillance system visit: www.lethbridge.ca/living-here/getting-around/Transit/Pages/VideoSurveillance.aspx
Conrad Westerson, Transit Manager