MTA awarded $2 million grant to install cameras in its entire fleet

Sept. 21, 2022
The funding is provided through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Preparedness Grants Urban Area Security Initiative.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) New York City Transit (NYC Transit) has been awarded a $2 million federal grant to install cameras across the entire subway fleet. NYC Transit will use the grant to purchase 5,400 cameras that will be installed on 2,700 subway cars, two per car. Additionally, the program will fund approximately 3,800 cameras expanding coverage in approximately 130 subway stations.

The funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Preparedness Grants through the Urban Area Security Initiative. According to New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office, which released news of the grants, the funding will enhance security coverage and increase passenger confidence in transit safety.

"My number one priority as governor is keeping New Yorkers safe," Gov. Hochul said. "I am proud that we will be installing cameras on all subway cars - expanding our security capabilities, deterring crime and providing our law enforcement with support. As we continue welcoming riders back to the transit system, we will continue doing everything in our power to keep riders safe."

In September 2021, MTA said cameras had been installed at 100 percent of its 472 subway stations and MTA will use the $2 million in addition to the $3.5 million included in its Subway Action Plan to outfit each subway car with cameras. MTA has an existing camera pilot program encompassing 200 cameras in 100 subway cars.

MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, "As I've said many times before, those who commit crimes in the transit system will be identified and brought to justice. Riders should know we've got their back for their entire journey and this significant upgrade - made possible by new dollars from Gov. Hochul - is a great step towards reinforcing New Yorkers' confidence in mass transit safety."

MTA says an additional 200 train cars per month will have cameras installed when the project begins until the full fleet is equipped with cameras, which is anticipated to be sometime in 2025. In addition, when new R211 subway cars are delivered starting in early 2023, they will already be camera-equipped.

"It's been proven time and time again that cameras in the transit system help fight crime throughout the whole city, not just on the subway. Expanding the camera network will serve to deter those who are intent on committing a crime from entering the transit system," added NYC Transit President Richard Davey.

All Metro-North trains are equipped with cameras and more than 90 percent of Long Island Rail Road trains are equipped with security cameras.

"Cameras are an extremely effective tool in solving investigations and in deterring crime. Public and employee security and safety are priorities at the MTA and we consistently work towards implementing and improving measures that support these priorities. This grant is an important step forward supporting our safety and security efforts," said MTA Chief Safety and Security Officer Patrick Warren.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.