MTA gets moving on broken security cameras

The MTA is playing catch-up with its subway security cameras.

The agency’s board is set to consider $2.8 million in contracts slated to get hundreds of busted devices in the underground transit system running, according to MTA documents.

The four no-bid contracts would help activate 1,100 cameras that were part of a $212 million contract with Lockheed Martin in 2005 to improve subway security. Those “intelligent” cameras never went live because of disputes with Lockheed, and the MTA terminated the company’s contract last year.

“With the elimination of the booth agents, it’s more critical than ever to have something in place,” said William Henderson, executive director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA.

Currently, out of the 4,313 cameras installed in the subway system, 2,043 don’t work, according to agency figures.

The new contracts will get the Lockheed cameras running “as soon as possible,” though there is no set timetable, MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said Sunday. The agency is using funds never shelled out to Lockheed to cover the cost, Ortiz said. The MTA also has pledged to get 900 broken closed-circuit cameras at station turnstiles running by June.

Separately, NYC Transit is looking to spend $167,000 on cameras that could help crack down on cars parked in bus lanes, according to agency documents.

For a six-month pilot, the agency wants to put test devices on the front of four buses, including two on the M101 route, to catch rule breakers. No summonses would be issued, as legislation allowing for bus lane enforcement has been hung up in the state for years because of privacy issues.

City buses travel at the slowest rates in the country, and getting the bus lane enforcement is “critical” to speeding up commutes, Henderson said.


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