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The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) yesterday announced that testing is underway on two key security technologies aimed at reducing fare evasion.Metro's video analytics software is one of those technologies. It monitors activity through existing video surveillance cameras, highlights behavior that is out of the norm, and alerts security personnel, agency officials said in a press release. "If the software detects something out of the ordinary, such as a person jumping over the turnstile or using the ADA access gate without tapping, the system highlights it with a red box and sends video alerts to security personnel at that station who can conduct fare checks," said Metro Chief Executive Officer Phillip Washington.Metro also is upgrading its handheld mobile phone validators (MPV) with law enforcement-specific, GPS-enabled software. An MPV is a Samsung smartphone with the ability to detect if a TAP card has been used to pay transit fare. The new upgrades show where the MPV is being used, Metro officials said."As wireless Internet is rolled out on the subway system, the MPV upgrades will help our deputies get to where they are needed as never before," said Ronene Anda, chief of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Transportation Policing DivisionIn September 2015, the agency announced plans to implement three additional security technologies: SkyWatch Tower, Security Kiosk and LexRay. Metro introduced these technologies in October last year."We are in a time when we must guarantee the safety of places where large groups of people congregate, and a transit station is one of those places," said Metro Executive Officer of System Safety and Law Enforcement Alex Wiggins. "The system is inherently safer when we monitor access to our platforms, buses and trains."Earlier this month, Progressive Railroading held its second annual Secure Rail conference, which featured presentations from Wiggins, Anda and other security leaders. Follow this link to view a slideshow of conference highlights.
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