A New “Vision” for Combatting Transit Crime
Passio Vision + On-Bus Cameras = Enhanced Passenger Safety & Comfort—and Less Crime
A quick glance at the daily newspapers or the TV news tells a grim tale of sharply rising crime in recent years. Unfortunately, public transit has not escaped this ominous trend. This includes assaults and harassment of riders—even the occasional murder.
- A November 2021 Yahoo article, “Crime on L.A. trains, buses rises as riders return,” notes, “In 2021, through September, reports of violent crimes were up 25% from the same time last year… [A]aggravated assaults are exceeding pre-pandemic levels even though bus and rail ridership hasn’t fully recovered.”
- According to “Cities Focus on Rising Transit Crime,” a February 2022 article in The Crime Report, “[New York City] has experienced a startling spike in transit crimes, including six slashing incidents over the weekend, reports to the New York Times and NBC News. Crimes on the public transit system have increased by 65 percent this year.”
- A May 2022 piece on Phoenix’s 12 News website notes, “Data from the City of Phoenix shows crime in and around public transportation hit a five-year-high in 2021. The crime reports show aggravated assault and drug offenses drove the rise in overall crime on buses, bus stops, light rail, rail stations and platforms…”
Expensive In-Person Monitoring?
Another Yahoo article, “Crime is up on buses and trains,” from July 2022, announced a $122 million pilot program in LA, “…that will place roughly 300 uniformed workers on trains and buses with the goal of making riders feel safe.”
The piece echoed the dilemmas facing transit systems, noting:
“The transit agency, like many others across the country, has been grappling with sagging ridership and increased crime. Officials hope the program will create a sense of security, lure back longtime users and bring in new commuters.”
The Washington, D.C. Metro took a similar approach, noting in an April 2022 Washington Examiner article, “Transit riders in Washington, D.C., can expect an increased police presence on trains and buses as officials work to deter rising crime rates on public transportation.”
It all adds up to a reduced sense of safety and comfort on the part of riders—hardly an ideal state of affairs when public transit systems across the country are already experiencing a loss of ridership.
But public transit, overwhelmingly, is still quite safe. Yet, overly sensationalized media coverage of transit-based crime can create the perception of an out-of-control situation.
What can a transit system do to deter crime and renew rider confidence and boost ridership?
Cameras Deter Criminals
But, adding hundreds of additional employees at $122 million price tags just isn’t feasible for most transit systems. A far more practical and cost-effective solution is the installation of on-board cameras, a step many transit systems have implemented.
According to security firm Quantum Security Gates, “A criminal obviously doesn’t want to get caught committing a crime. For this reason, most criminals aim to commit crimes at locations and in situations where they feel like the chances of being caught in the act are very low.”
The mere presence of video cameras and monitoring systems on transit buses can be an effective crime deterrent. If a potential criminal knows that “cameras are rolling,” they’re just far more likely to seek less-problematic settings.
Turbo-Charge Your Cameras with Passio Vision
Integrating those cameras with a leading-edge, web-based transit-technology solution like Passio Vision offers real-time monitoring of passengers and drivers, while providing a whole new level of safety, data-generation and tangible benefits—for riders, drivers and agencies.
Safe Drivers Boost Ridership
The vast majority of transit system bus drivers operate their vehicles safely and responsibly, and have far more to fear from unruly or dangerous passengers than the other way around.
While episodes of truly dangerous bus-driver behavior are exceedingly rare, a far more common issue is garden-variety aggressive driving—speeding, sudden turns, sudden braking, etc.
While those behaviors may not be life-threatening, they can negatively impact passengers’ sense of safety and comfort. When they happen enough, that can lead to lower ridership. As such, when you have the technology to monitor and ensure driver safety, why not cover the base?
With Passio Vision Installed, You…
- Ensure all vehicles are monitored
- Monitor passengers on board
- Check that drivers are driving safely
- Record all accident-related video and data
- Protect your agency from false insurance claims
- Receive notifications of all incidents or driver-behavior issues
- Save all video/data automatically to the cloud
Let’s drill down a bit on the above…
10 Benefits of a Multi-Camera Passio Vision Solution
1) Reduce Accidents & Distracted Driving
Statistics show a 52%* drop in safety-related events when cameras are combined with driver coaching (i.e., reviewing “Driver Scorecards” with drivers to suggest ways to improve driving—ease into stops vs. hard braking; lighter foot on the gas to prevent “jack-rabbit” starts, etc.).
2) Exonerate Drivers Accused of Poor Driving
With up to eight different camera angles around the vehicles, you get the true and full story of any alleged poor-driving incident.
3) Save Money on Insurance & Accident-Related Costs
When a rider says they slipped and fell, the video ensures claims are valid (cameras can be placed on high-risk areas like wheelchair lifts). One leading insurance provider stated, “The camera program has reduced user-fleet liability claims by 40-50%.*”
4) Short-Cut Assault Investigations
Passio Vision captures assaults on video, giving crystal-clear, indisputable evidence of how an attack unfolded. This not only helps catch and prosecute attackers, but also slashes investigation costs—thanks to less labor required—while minimizing legal repercussions.
5) Enjoy Up to 80% Drop in Claims
Fleet operators see collision-cost reductions of up to 80%* in property/auto liability/worker compensation claims. And when claims are legitimate, Passio Vision can help expedite claim payouts and simplify the administrative burden.
6) Integrate with Panic-Button Functionality
When “panic buttons” located by drivers’ feet are silently activated, Passio Vision automatically captures video of real-time events happening on the bus—starting 15 seconds prior to tripping of the panic button.
7) Auto-Logging of Aggressive Driving
Monitored driver offenses include harsh braking, harsh right/left turns and quick accelerations. Offenses are logged automatically, opening the door to evaluation and improvement.
8) Provide Incentives for Good Driving
Our Driver Scorecards (linked from Passio Vision) reward/subtract points for good/poor driving. When merit pay is tied to driver scores, and drivers know their performance is being automatically monitored, they have a vested interest in driving well.
9) Deploy the Safety Scorecard
Passio Vision delivers a Safety Scorecard that displays a time range and the average safety score for the entire agency, along with distance/time driven and the percent score out of 100.
10) Collect Essential Data
Your Passio Vision will allow you to gather essential data on driver behavior and passenger interactions that can help your agency make better-informed decisions, while improving overall performance of your fleets.
What Are the Passio Vision Hardware Specs?
- Mount cameras virtually anywhere
- Quick 4G LTE upload of video/data to cloud
- Wide-angle lenses (140 degrees)
- Video and audio recording
- On-board video/data storage of 128GB to 1TB
- Automated on/off functions
- Compact device size
How Do You Access All the Monitoring Video and Data?
Passio Vision seamlessly integrates with Passio Navigator, the “main brain” for Passio’s entire suite of transit-technology solutions, to allow you to monitor your drivers and riders at any moment.
From the Passio Navigator console, you can:
- Stream all on-board cameras live and in real time inside Navigator
- View all vehicle locations on Passio Navigator Live Map
- Just click on a vehicle (in Live Map) to view additional information
- Click on the video/camera icon under a vehicle’s info “bubble” to stream live
- View automatic notifications of on-board incidents or poor driving
- See the overall safety score of your fleet & number of incidents
- Save all video/data to cloud, so there’s no need to extract hard drives
- Cloud-based storage facilitates easy historical review of past footage
- Limit access to Passio Vision to specific agency employees
- Rank your drivers and use scoring for driver incentives
Passio’s leading-edge, passenger-focused transit technologies like Passio Vision can play an important role in reducing both transit-related crime and aggressive driving, resulting in greater passenger safety and comfort along with higher ridership.