Sacramento Regional Transit started using a “Voice of God” approach to security this summer via loudspeakers in light rail stations. The unusual approach is possibly unique among transit agencies.
Security officers at an operations center monitor live video feeds to identify and talk to people who loiter, smoke, drink alcohol, fight or otherwise break the rules.
Most people stop what they are doing. “I’m pleasantly surprised,” said SacRT security chief Lisa Hinz, who is a Sacramento Police Department lieutenant. “We’re immediately able to stop bad behavior.”
Hinz said the agency’s policy is to address the person respectfully. A typical approach: “Sir in the red shirt, please be advised that smoking is not allowed in light rail stations.”
The agency advises persons who do not repond to the loudspeaker communication that they are sending officers to the station. Officers can issue citations to violators of SacRT ordinances.
Video cameras with the ability to pan, tilt and zoom are in all 52 stations. The agency uses loudspeakers in about 30 stations and plans to have them in all 52 stations by this fall, Hinz explained.
(sacbee.com, photo from abc10.com)
NY Looks at Congestion Pricing
New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared recently that the “time has come” for charging drivers to enter Midtown and lower Manhattan. He suggests using revenues to help fund subway improvements.
Former mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed congestion pricing for New York a decade ago. He proposed that vehicles pay a daily fee of $8 ($21 for trucks) when they entered a “congestion zone” between 6 am and 6 pm. His proposal was never implemented.
(crainsnewyork.com, photo from www.facebook.com/crainsnewyork)
China To Again Run Fastest Trains
Starting next month, China will once again operate the world’s fastest train service. (The country reduced the speed of its trains in 2011 after a fatal crash.)
New generation bullet trains called “Fuxing” (Chinese for rejuvenation) will travel at the record-breaking speed of 350 km/hour (217 miles/hour). An improved emergency monitoring system will automatically slow or stop the trains as needed.
(fortune.com, bbc.com, businessinsider.com, photo from Associated Press on abcnews.go.com)
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