BART to outfit all train cars with cameras in wake of homicide

- For 10 days now, after a man was shot and killed by a fellow passenger on board a BART train in West Oakland, the transit agency has insisted that its security camera system works well, even though some cameras are decoys.

But today, BART officials say they've changed their mind, and that they will outfit each train car with cameras.

But the timetable for all this -- and where the money will come from -- remains unclear.

Last week, BART acknowledged that not all of its cameras work all the time and that not all of them are real, that some of them are dummies, meant to deter low-level crimes like vandalism.

BART defended its camera system after police say this man shot and killed Carlos Funez-Romero, 19, of Antioch on board a train at the West Oakland station on January 9. Police say the men had some kind of interaction on board a Tri Delta Transit bus that carried over when they board a BART train at the Pittsburg/Bay Point Station. 

Today, though, BART admitted they their existing system of real and fake cameras won't cut it, and that they won't wait for new trains to be brought into the system before installing cameras that work.

"We are no longer waiting for the fleet of the future to make sure every train car has a camera," said BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost. "We've heard loud and clear, from the riders and the public, the Bay Area, that they want a camera that's working in every single train car. We do have cameras that work in our cars right now, but some of them are decoys. And that's coming to an end."

BART says they're still working on all the details, including whether they'll keep a combination of old and new cameras, how all the new cameras will be funded, and whether BART police will be able to monitor the cameras in real-time on trains that don't have wi-fi and go through tunnels.

The agency is replacing its fleet of trains in the years to come, and the so-called fleet of the future will have new, high-tech cameras built in. But BART isn't waiting until then. They'll start phasing in and installing cameras on its older trains, most likely within the year.

 

 

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