Privacy SOS

MBTA to install more cameras on city buses

The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, which operates all public bus and train transit in the metropolitan Boston region, has announced that it plans to install more cameras on its fleet of buses. The MBTA has been busy installing brand new surveillance cameras in train stations for the past decade.

From State House News:

As part of its ongoing safety measures, the MBTA is equipping 200 buses with cameras, according to spokesman Joe Pesaturo. Pesaturo also clarified that when MBTA General Manager Bev Scott responded “absolutely not” to the idea of putting police officers on buses, she was referring to the idea of placing police officers on all the buses to prevent driver assaults. Currently 370 of the roughly 1,000 buses have cameras.

No matter that numerous studies have shown that cameras don’t reduce crime. No matter that the MBTA is drowning in debt and jacking up fares while cutting service. The MBTA doesn’t seem to let facts or budgetary concerns get in the way of its plans to blanket our buses, trains and platforms with surveillance equipment. The better to monitor our commutes with.

Ridership is up to historic levels on the T, fares are skyrocketing, services for the elderly and disabled are getting cut, and the MBTA is spending scarce funds installing surveillance cameras.

But take heart: at least the cameras will have a good view of the MBTA's leaky ceilings and crashes resulting from "antiquated" train systems.

© 2021 ACLU of Massachusetts.