New Metro buses feature upgraded surveillance cameras

ST. LOUIS – More than two dozen new Metro buses have hit the streets of the St. Louis area featuring new surveillance cameras.

Riders can see everything the cameras are catching on TV monitors near the front of the new buses.

“I love it because you can see what everyone’s doing on the bus. That’s protection, keep people from jumping on folks, stealing, robbing,” said rider Vernetah Sanders.

The 27 brand new buses are a far cry from the 15-year-old ones they’re replacing, from the bright yellow safety handles and warning signs on the inside to the updated safety lighting on the outside.

The buses feature all-wheel disc brakes, as well.

Riders say the new buses just “feel” different, especially with different camera views repeatedly popping up on the monitors that all can see.

“Everything you’re doing on a Metro bus is being recorded. Your fellow passengers are seeing what you’re doing,” said Metro spokeswoman, Patti Beck.

“It’s a way to remind you that you are being watched. Your safety is important and hopefully will be a deterrent to any bad behaviors or behaviors that negatively affect your fellow passengers.”

“Think twice before they act,” said rider Cedric Martin.

The new buses are just a fraction of the close to 330 covering Missouri and Illinois routes during peak hours every day, with about 68,000 daily riders just in Missouri. The buses cost $452,000 each.

Metro is widely recognized for its maintenance and cost-saving procedures, keeping buses on the road an average of three years and 300,000 miles beyond the national standard.

“In fact, we get calls from around the world from different transit agencies, who want to copy, emulate, model their transit agencies after ours,” Beck said.

Riders called for cameras and monitors like those on the buses for Metrolink trains. Metro staff is looking into it.