Two security cameras will be installed in every subway car in New York City, under a new initiative announced by Gov. Kathy Hochul and the MTA on Tuesday. The $5.5 million project, paid in part by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, includes the installation of nearly 13,000 cameras on 6,355 train cars by 2025. The enhanced security measure is an expansion of a pilot program that launched this summer following a mass shooting on the subway in Brooklyn in April. There are surveillance cameras in the more than 470 subway stations across the city, but none in cars before the program.
Five months ago, police say 62-year-old Frank James detonated a smoke device and began shooting on an N train during morning rush hour, injuring more than two dozen people. As ABC News reported, a faulty fan caused a glitch that prevented security cameras at the Sunset Park station from working properly.
According to the governor, 200 security cameras have already been installed throughout 100 train cars as part of a pilot program that rolled out in response to the shooting. Once the largest installation program begins, 200 train cars per month will receive cameras until the entire NYC subway fleet is readily equipped.
“You think Big Brother is watching you on the subway? You’re absolutely right,” Hochul said during a news conference on Tuesday. “That is our intent, to get the message out that we’re going to be having surveillance of activity on the subway trains. And that’s going to give people great ease of mind.”
When the new R211 subway cars are rolled out in early 2023, they will already be equipped with cameras.
The transit cameras won’t be monitored 27/4 and cannot transmit footage in real-time. The main purpose will be to deter crime, to provide evidence to help officers solve crimes, and draw commuters back to the system.
“Those who commit crimes in the transit system will be identified and brought to justice,” Janno Lieber, MTA Chair and CEO, said. “Riders should know we’ve got their back for their entire journey and this significant upgrade – made possible by new dollars from Governor Hochul – is a great step towards reinforcing New Yorkers’ confidence in mass transit safety.”