July 01--Security cameras will be coming to the San Rafael Transit Center later this year as part of a $500,000 project approved by the Golden Gate Bridge district, which operates the facility.
The district's Board of Directors approved the plan last Friday. The bridge district oversees the transit center and operates bus service in and out of the facility.
The center has long been a source of crime that has caught the attention of law enforcement.
"There have been some criminal activities at this location," said Ewa Bauer, bridge district engineer, who is helping oversee the project. "In consultation with law enforcement agencies it was determined the best way to prevent crime was to install security cameras."
In 2012, responding to a spike in violent crime near the transit center, San Rafael police looked at the area and concluded that much of the problem involved people arriving at the transit center and drifting west. Police later arrested 79 people as an attempt to purge criminals from that area of downtown San Rafael.
Earlier this year, a 25-year-old Marin man was convicted of shooting a man at the Transit Center on Dec. 14, 2012. LaDrakeous Sonny Dean, 25, was found guilty of attempted murder for the attack on Khiry Jefferson. Jefferson was standing at a bus platform on the west side of the terminal when the gunman approached from Tamalpais Avenue and fired, police said.
The center is the main transit hub for Marin, providing a transfer point for passengers from within Marin County to out of county service. It serves several bus services, including Golden Gate Transit, Marin Transit, Marin Airporter, Airport Express, Sonoma County Transit and the Greyhound Bus Lines. About 10,000 riders pass through the Transit Center daily, although many don't embark or disembark at that point.
Aside from the security cameras, the district will install monitors displaying real time information on transit schedules and services. The installation of electrical and data conduits, electrical wiring, data cabling, electrical pull boxes, equipment boxes and steel support frames for both the security cameras and the monitors will be part of the work.
The district will purchase the security cameras and monitors, which will be installed by a contractor, Tennyson Electric Inc. of Livermore. Roughly 75 percent of Golden Gate's fleet are outfitted with some type of security camera system. Grant funding received this year, along with the purchase of new vehicles with new cameras, will see 175 of the agency's 180 buses with the technology by 2016, officials said.
Copyright 2014 - The Marin Independent Journal, Novato, Calif.