The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has announced that security cameras have been installed at all 472 subway stations across New York City, meaning thousands of cameras have now been deployed systemwide.
The MTA says the initiative to expand security camera coverage was accelerated last year by Interim President of New York City Transit Sarah Feinberg, who identified a new class of cameras that could be deployed more quickly and at much lower cost than traditional cameras. As a result, 200 stations of the 472 in the system have gained security camera coverage within the past year.
Feinberg accelerated the pre-existing camera installation program to ensure that all subway stations have cameras by the end of summer 2021.
“We have delivered on Sarah’s commitment to accelerate the camera roll-out as we look to restore confidence in the system,” says Craig Cipriano, Acting President of MTA New York City Transit. “We recognize safety and security are top concerns for our customers, as they return to our system, and this is a significant tool in our effort to enhance rider safety.”
“We at the MTA, together with the NYPD, are driven to deliver a safer and more high-level quality of life experience in the subway system, and these cameras are a big part of that,” says MTA Chief Safety Officer Patrick Warren. “If you are a criminal who preys on those who use our system, you will have your image captured and be put on the express track to justice. The image will be delivered to the police, and the police will use it to find you. The NYPD has been aggressively investigating every crime in the subway, which is why crime is way down this year.”
According to the MTA, security cameras used in the subway system come in two forms: Those that broadcast in real time to the subway’s security center, and those that record locally and provide material that can be retrieved quickly and used in the investigation of crimes. Similar to the NYPD’s post-9/11 Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, some of the live cameras give New York City Transit the ability to spot suspicious packages and other activities that require response.
The latest statistics provided by the NYPD show a decline in major felonies of 20.6% in 2021 through August 31 and a 28.6% increase in arrests over the same time period.
The MTA says it will continue to expand the placement of cameras throughout the subway system, with a goal of optimizing coverage of stations.