Twin Cities bus system to get security upgradeby Dan Olson, Minnesota Public Radio
Two recent killings on Twin Cities buses are prompting Metro Transit to beef up security.
St. Paul, Minn. — Metro Transit manager Brian Lamb says the system will spend $2.4 million to upgrade cameras on buses, and add more police who ride the routes.
"This year, as a matter of fact, we are adding eight full-time officers, a few of which we've already sworn in and are on our buses as we speak. And a few more we are hiring to fill out this planned expansion of our on-board presence," Lamb says.
All Metro transit vehicles and a few bus stops already have cameras. The new ones will be of higher quality and continuous recording capability, to make it easier to identify lawbreakers.
"If you commit a crime on a transit bus, you are going to be caught," says Lamb. "And we believe this new enhancement of our camera systems will even further that message."
Lamb says Metro Transit is working with St. Paul and Minneapolis police to add more cameras at bus stops.
Lamb says there will also be increased use of community volunteers to ensure safety on the transit system.
Lamb says the $2.4 million cost of the increased security comes from Metro Transit funds.
He says the recent killings have not affected ridership, and that transit ridership is running ahead of agency projections. He adds that crime on the transit system actually decreased 7.5 percent last year, and that trend continues this year.