DC Transit Authority Upgrades Its Video Network to Increase Safety

Project: Digital video camera network

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The background

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) was created in 1967 by an interstate compact between the District of Columbia, the State of Maryland, and the Commonwealth of Virginia, to plan, develop, finance, and operate a balanced regional transportation system in the National Capital Region. WMATA's Metrorail and Metro bus serve a population of more than 5 million within a 1,500 square mile jurisdiction. As the second busiest rapid transit system in the United States, Metrorail includes five lines, 86 stations, and has more than 100 miles of track.

Increasing security with a video network

Black Box Network Services was one of three contractors awarded a $35 million electronic security and safety devices contract to install a complete network infrastructure at each Metrorail station to support a complex digital video camera network. Black Box was chosen because of the company's extensive experience and track record of success with similar projects.

Black Box began the project by performing detailed site surveys and producing CAD drawing for camera placement, conduit routes, network switch locations, and camera mounting details for approval. Installing the system with little disruption. With safety being a primary focus of the WMATA, Black Box developed a comprehensive plan for installing the necessary equipment with as little disruption as possible to both customers and employees.

The deployment included installing five megapixel cameras at each station and adjusting all cameras for the best field of view. Black Box also provided, installed, and tested CAT6 and fiber cable at each station and configured all the hardened switches.

Looking ahead

With an ongoing plan to provide advanced, technology-driven security for the Metrorail, WMATA continues to enlist the help of Black Box. WMATA recently awarded Black Box a new project that includes installing IP cameras in six new stations. This project also involves providing security features at the WMATA Security Operation Command Center (SOCC) and collaborating on the Silver Line project, which includes kiosk video work.