Eyes Wide Open in the Bus
Rosario Argentina has undertaken a citizen-focused security project to implement surveillance cameras on public buses.Hikvision mobile network devices were chosen to improve bus passenger safety.
Instances of crimes and violence (especially on city buses or at bus stations) motivated the Argentine city of Rosario to improve safety and security measures on the Urban Transportation System – or TUP as it is known locally.
Increasing the police presence to include an officer on each bus was both cost-prohibitive as well as uncomfortable for some TUP passengers. The final project proposal was based on best practices from other similar municipalities and involved an increased reliance on security cameras in each TUP bus.
The public tender was opened at the end of 2015, with eight companies presenting proposals. Ultimately, Crayon Web was awarded the contract to implement obvious but unobtrusive cameras throughout the TUP bus system.
How does it work?
The project began with the provision of having fifty buses outfitted with three security cameras. One camera sits over the driver’s seat and focuses on recording passengers entering and exiting the bus. The second camera perches near the driver’s seat and faces the rear of the bus. The third camera gets mounted above the last row of seats, aiming toward the front of the bus. All of the cameras are capable of recording audio as well as video. The cameras are connected to an NVR equipped to record 45 days of footage and save for review.
The camera footage is accessed and viewed remotely from one of seven terminals. Two of these terminals are in the 911 emergency dispatch center; two additional terminals are at the mobility monitoring center; and each of the three public transit companies – Semtur, La Mixta, and Rosario Bus – operate one terminal each. Security camera footage is immediately reviewed by an operator at one of the seven terminals and first responders are dispatched when necessary.
The cameras employed for this project are some of the best Hikvision units on the market. At the time of this writing, 300 Mobile IPC DS-2CD6510D cameras, 150 Mobile IPC DS-2CD6520D-10 cameras, and 150 NVR DSM 7508 HNI/GW/WI network video recorders have been installed.
“One of the reasons for us choosing Hikvision for this project is the wide array of high quality video surveillance hardware. Their business development team and customer service department are quick to respond to questions about products and offered helpful guidance in the selection and installation of the cameras and the network video recorders. For us it is important to have a partner we can trust; a partner whose products are without equal, but whose people stand behind the products and the client,” says Valeria Ríos, spokesperson for Crayon Web.
Hikvision’s local distributor, Security One, played a crucial role in this TUP project. Security One provided the technical and training personnel to assist in presenting the proof of concept demonstration to Rosario municipal government, as well as configuring and installing the 3G and 4G networks on each of the buses. The Security One team even arranged for Crayon Web staff to travel to the Hikvision manufacturing facility in China to integrate their software with the custom built video surveillance system.
“We paid close attention to what the Rosario TUP project needed. We put ourselves in their shoes and treated this project as if we were going to be riding those buses each and every day. In the end, the Hikvision system adds important safety and security tools to the TUP. I think the passengers will be pleased with the results,” adds Christian Uriel Solano, President of Security One Argentina.
Support for the municipality’s security
The first phase of the project involved installing 150 cameras and 50 NVR units throughout a test fleet of 50 buses. A 10 MG asymmetric and dedicated network was installed in the mobility monitoring center. The total cost for the first phase was approximately US$1.5 million.
Phase two is scheduled to include 300 additional buses. This will require 900 cameras and 300 network video recorders.
This project works in conjunction with fixed location surveillance cameras which have been in limited used throughout Rosario for several years. As both systems integrate and expand, Rosario becomes the example for every Latin American city facing the challenge to curb urban crime.
The monitoring terminals rely on the available 3G networks. This large scale network allows for high quality audio & visual streaming from the buses to the seven monitoring stations. Crayon Web manages all onsite technical support including preventative maintenance for individual cameras, monitoring terminals, and any new components. The Hikvision/Security One/Crayon Web alliance enabled Rosario to adopt the North American “Eyes of the City” concept which will allow city officials to monitor traffic situations, environmental concerns, and assist in law enforcement duties – all with the aim of improving the quality of life for the community.
The cameras installed in each of the buses operating during night time hours (from 10 PM to 6 AM) leave a record of the images captured by the security equipment. The management of this recorded data must follow the provisions of the provincial law No.13.164 which regulates the installation and use of recording systems capturing images and sounds from citizens in public or private places.
During testing of the TUP system, which included the activation of bus driver panic buttons and dispatching police, the public was able to see how Rosario is beginning to take the lead on public safety. Similar systems are already in use in Thailand, Istanbul, and Dubai. More than 1.5 million people in Rosario, Argentina consider this new system to be a positive step toward solving crime problems plaguing Latin American cities.