Metro to Test Surveillance Monitors on X2 Buses

New technology on MetroBuses will make its debut on H Street and Benning Road in Northeast and Northwest D.C.

Metro announced Tuesday it will install video surveillance monitors on 22 buses on the X2 line as part of a safety pilot program that could be expanded citywide.

Officials said they hope would-be criminals will reconsider committing crimes against drivers or other passengers when they see themselves on video.

"It's a deterrent because if people see they're on camera at the time and they are being recorded, hopefully that's enough that they would think twice about doing some criminal activity," Metro Transit Police Chief Kevin Gaddis said.

The monitors will let passengers see what security cameras are recording in real time. One 8.4-inch screen will be installed above the bus driver, so riders can see themselves as they board. A 19-inch screen will be mounted above the driver, facing the interior of the bus and showing the displays of four cameras in the bus.

Four X2 bus operators have been assaulted in 2015, making it the most dangerous route for drivers in the District, Metro said. The line that runs along Benning Road and H Street is among the busiest bus lines in the city, with average weekday ridership of more than 12,000, Metro said.

The cameras used in the $81,000 program will be installed next month. Metro officials will then determine if the monitors will be permanent and used on board more buses.


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X2 bus driver Keisha Ellis said she enjoys driving a bus and talking with people every day, but that she worries about her safety.

"Sometimes I am concerned, but I pray a lot, so God is with me," she said.

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