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Cleveland's RTA OK's spending $2.5 million on security cameras
It's part of a security upgrade that the transit agency says predated a viral video
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


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M.L. Schultze
 
In The Region:

The board of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority voted today to spend more than $2.5 millions to upgrade and expand security cameras on the system’s more than 300 buses and trains. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on attempts to make the 200-thousand people riding the system feel safer.

SCHULTZE: RTA safety upgrades

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The RTA board OK’d spending half a million dollars to upgrade cameras on nearly 100 buses and trains so they can record what’s going on. And it approved another $2 million to add cameras and recorders to another 230 buses. Spokeswoman Mary Shaffer says beyond that, any buses that will be replaced this year or next also will include the upgraded security cameras.

She says it’s all part of a security effort that includes more police officers aboard trains and buses and more training for drivers. She insist, however, that even commuters who ride the bus 10 times a week, 50 weeks a year are unlikely to see trouble.

“It’s one time in every 260 years that an average commuter would ever see any problem son line. RTA is safe, it is secure. Adding camera and adding recording devices just adds to that safety and security.”

About $1.1 million of the money for the security upgrades is coming from an insurance settlement from a lightning strike a few years ago. The rest is coming from a specific safety and security fund.

Shaffer says many of the plans for the upgrades predated a cell-phone video of a driver punching an irate and abusive female passenger. Both were charged with crimes and he’s suing to get his job back.   

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