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Sarnia Transit installing surveillance cameras on all buses routes

Published on

Pam Wright

City buses will join the growing list of places Sarnians can expect to be watched by surveillance cameras.

City council voted recently to green light the $167,000 initiative, noting it’s something Sarnia Transit drivers have requested. Half the funding comes from senior government.

David Jackson, the city’s manager of development and transportation, said placing surveillance cameras on buses brings Sarnia Transit in line with other municipalities, including industry giants like the Toronto Transit Commission.

The buses are safe to ride and the cameras are not a response to increased problems, he said.

“We’re putting the cameras in more as a deterrent. As a modern workplace we do have a duty to protect the public and our workers.”

Riders will be under surveillance on all city buses, with eight cameras installed on larger 40-foot buses and six cameras on smaller vehicles.

Sarnia has a fleet of 30 buses and six Care-A-Van paratransit vehicles for passengers with handicaps and other special needs.

The project is in a partnership with Metrolinx involving nine transit agencies. The group purchase reduced costs, and Metrolinx can supply parts and support as needed.

Equipping buses with security cameras is the latest in a series of moves by City Hall, which has placed Canatara Park, Centennial Park and the downtown library under public surveillance over the past two years.

Sarnia Transit is undergoing a burst of growth after years of stagnant ridership, thanks to an influx of international students attending Lambton College.

Last year it posted an all-time high of 1,282,587 passengers with college students accounting for 27% of the total.

The city also enjoyed an infusion of cash for new buses and transit depot upgrades. A combination of provincial, federal and municipal funds generated $3.75 million for 12 new buses, new bus pads and shelters, the surveillance cameras and new Care-A-Van scheduling software. As a result, about half the fleet is new.

The city’s 50 full-time and and part-time drivers cover 14 routes.





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