New York's MTA Announces Plan for $212 Million Security System

1,000 surveillance cameras and 3,000 motion sensors to be part of commuter facilities upgrade


NEW YORK (AP) - Over the next three years, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will add 1,000 surveillance cameras and 3,000 motion sensors to its sprawling network of subways and commuter rail facilities as part of a $212 million security upgrade announced Tuesday with Lockheed Martin Corp.

The agreement marks the MTA's largest financial commitment to its counterterrorism program. Although the agency approved a $591 million security plan in 2002, it had spent only a fraction of that.

MTA Executive Director Katherine Lapp rejected suggestions that the announcement was tied to last month's terrorist attacks in the London Underground that killed 52 people, saying planning for the security upgrades has been going on for more than a year. An MTA spokesman said the system already has about 1,000 security cameras.

''These types of systems are very sophisticated and they have to be able to understand how they will be deployed in an open environment such as ours,'' Lapp said of the contractors. ''We wanted to make sure that we did it right, that we got to a place where we are today.''

She said three companies were ''pre-qualified'' to submit bids earlier this year and Lockheed Martin was selected as the prime contractor last week. Besides subway stations, security upgrades also will be made to bridges and tunnels operated by the MTA, as well as the Metro-North and Long Island Railroad commuter lines.

However, none of the devices will be deployed on train cars, or buses.

Lockheed Martin will also employ subcontractors for the project, including ARINC Inc., Slattery Skanska USA Civil Inc., SYSTRA Engineering, Intergraph Corp. and Cubic Corp.; as well as Lenel Systems International Inc.

Lapp said that while the system will utilize existing technology, like closed-circuit cameras, motion sensors and other devices to monitor activities at MTA sites, sophisticated computer software will be used to integrate the information and link it to new MTA police department mobile command centers.

The sensors and cameras will feature software that sets off alarms at the command centers when, for example, it detects that someone has left an unattended package on a subway platform.

Judy Marks, executive vice president for Lockheed Martin Transportation and Security Solutions, said installation of cameras would begin immediately; the company has a three-year contract to complete the project, with maintenance options through September 2013.

''The most cutting edge part of this is the intergration of all the parts to make a whole,'' Marks told reporters at a midtown Manhattan press conference. ''This is the largest security implementation to date with the integration of all of these tools and technologies. So whether it's the motion sensors, the intrusion sensors, the CCTV cameras, the smart video ... all of the elements exist.''

Lockheed Martin shares closed flat at $63.05 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange, still near the high end of their 52-week range of $52.19 to $65.46.

(c) 2005 Associated Press