To increase the safety and security of Skyway train passengers, the Jacksonville (Fla.) Transportation Authority (JTA) is installing a new video surveillance system in its trains and stations that wirelessly connects in real time to a centralized command center.

The Skyway train operation is an automated monorail located in downtown Jacksonville that consists of eight stations and 10 trains that each have two cars.

According to Kenneth Williams, manager of Skyway operations, the previous surveillance system in the trains had one camera in each car, but passengers could sit behind it and avoid being recorded. The system was also recorded by VCR technology, and the tapes usually had lines blurring the recordings that made it difficult to identify people.

Now two cameras are being deployed in each train car -- one on each end -- so all passengers are viewable. Each station is equipped with four to eight cameras to provide full coverage of the area. The recordings are saved to a digital video recorder (DVR); each train and station has its own DVR.

So far the system is up and running in the train stations, and will be fully deployed in the trains by the end of the month, Williams said.

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Elaine Rundle  |  Staff Writer