Cleveland RTA to Boost Onboard Security

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority will spend $2.5 million to purchase security cameras to place aboard its buses and trains as well as upgrade the existing cameras aboard those vehicles.

The move, which was approved on Feb. 19 by the agency’s governing board, came in response to an increase in assaults of RTA bus drivers in the past year. The most notable incident occurred last September when a driver punched a female passenger during an altercation over paying a fare.

RTA reported 25 assaults involving bus drivers through last November, the highest in five years.

General Manager Joe Calabrese told the board that RTA would replace six-year-old digital recorders on 96 buses and trains for $500,000 and spent $2 million to install cameras aboard 230 other buses. The new security systems have eight cameras, a digital recorder and several microphones.

Seventy older buses are slated to be taken out of service in the next few years and will not receive the cameras but their replacements will have them.

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