Intercity Transit has nearly finished installing camera systems on all of its regular coaches – almost 70 in all. Most of these installations involve seven cameras, while some shorter coaches have only five. All of them record video and audio information in a digital form for storage on a removable hard drive on the bus. The system records video on the bus for approximately 7 to 10 working days.
According to news stories (and Verint’s own website) these camera systems also wirelessly transmit the imagery to anyone with the knowledge and tools to make a wireless connection to the bus’ WiFi system, located above the driver’s head:
“In the event of a security incident, Nextiva Transit will allow supervisor and police vehicles to view live video from within the bus, enabling more effective actionable intelligence and emergency response.” 1
“Verint Systems Inc., a leading provider of analytic software-based solutions for workforce-enterprise optimisation and security, announced an agreement with Motorola, Inc. (NYSE:MOT) to enable the use of Verint Nextiva™ Wireless devices on MOTOMESH broadband wireless networks. (…) By deploying Nextiva wireless video management solutions on a Motorola mesh network, private security, law enforcement and emergency response personnel have immediate, high speed access to security video and data delivering heightened situational awareness to enable a more effective response.” 2
With the ability of the system to monitored live by those with the access tools, these systems have likely become a prime target for detectives seeking to identify those responsible for the Evergreen Uprising (Feb 15, 2008). Recent late night extensions of the routes to Evergreen have resulted in more “face time” for those who travel via bus to TESC.
When I was logging camera installations in the post-uprising weeks I noticed only 3 of the 30 buses seen on the Evergreen routes were NOT ones with camera systems installed. Prior to the uprising, it was rare for the buses on the 41 / 48 routes to have cameras installed. It is not known at this time whether this intelligence “take” has proved useful to the Sheriff’s Department, but one can imagine others who would find its data quite useful.
I've already begun to exploit this data pool by requesting bus video and audio from IT Bus #808, which in November 2007 was used to move Olympia Police into the Port of Olympia. Their conversations were quite telling...