ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The new security technology from Metro Transit played a major role in catching a suspect who is charged with attempting to rape and sexually assault two of their riders.

The Metro Transit security team is scrolling, watching, and analyzing 900 camera feeds in front of them.

In the last three months, Metro’s “Real Time Camera System” has bolstered safety and security for riders on MetroLink, MetroBus, and Call-A-Ride.

“These are basically the eyes on the system,” said Kevin Scott, general manager of security for Bi-State Development. “By taking it and building it out in its own component in a real-life center, we’re using that closed-circuit television in a proactive instead of a reactive format.”

The new technology is already showing results. Last week, the cameras were used to identify a Cahokia Heights, Illinois, man who attempted to rape two women at MetroLink stations in downtown St. Louis.

After the first incident where Metro Transit employees ran him off, they used the picture caught on camera when he returned the next day at a different stop and tried again. They recognized him and alerted the police. The employees monitored the suspect on the train until it stopped at a platform where officers were waiting and arrested him.

“It’s sad that we got to take public transportation and got to fear and watch our surroundings,” said Phyllis Cochrell, a Metro Link rider.

“I had a convention in St. Louis today; I probably would have taken the MetroLink,” said Steve Senci, who travels to St. Louis for work. “But probably wouldn’t have felt too safe, and concerns about my safety, it kind of discourages me from going downtown.”

The real-time cameras are the first phase of a $54 million safety improvement plan. Upgrades to the system, additional cameras, and new fencing at stops will come later in the year to ensure safety for all.

“We can’t say that we can prevent everything, but we’re going to make it much safer,” Scott said.