N.M. city approves bid to add video cameras to transit buses

Project expected to cost Carlsbad more than $17K


June 17--CARLSBAD -- Local transit riders might want to take heed. They can soon be on camera.

The Carlsbad City Council recently approved a bid to add video camera surveillance to the city's transit buses due to safety concerns, city officials say. The cost of the project would run to the tune of more than $17,000.

Most of the funding would come from the Federal Transit Administration's Federal Funding 5311, said Jo Ann Moore, manager for Carlsbad Transit. The federal agency plans to provide 80 percent of the project, leaving the city of Carlsbad with just 20 percent of the cost. The item was budgeted during the 2013-2014 fiscal year, City Administrator Steve McCutcheon said.

Two cameras will be installed in each of the of the transit buses, which would cost roughly $17,613, according to an agenda report. One camera will be in front of the van facing outside, while the other camera will be inside, facing the wheelchair lifts, Moore said. The project was originally budgeted around $26,000.

The city received six bids for the project, with Pro-Vision Systems, located out of Michigan, as the successful bidder. McCutcheon did not know a specific time frame of when the cameras would be installed.

Both Moore and McCutcheon said the installation is very common in other transit bus systems in New Mexico, including Hobbs and Roswell. Moore also added that the video installation could potentially become a requirement for the Department of Homeland Security, although she noted it was not a requirement now.

"We are a little ahead of the curve of getting it installed," McCutcheon said.

Jonathan Smith can be reached at 575-628-5516

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