Moving Forward: A Public Transportation Conversation
A PUBLIC TRANSPORATION CONVERSATION
The variability and uncertainty of Ramrakhiyani’s commute isn’t surprising. The leading causes for public transit delays and breakdowns are equally unsurprising — system age and vandalism.
- Vandalism accounts for 40% ii.
- Minor accidents and derailments account for 2% of direct delaysiii
- Another 35% is the system-wide effect of aggregate delays iv.
Trains parked in unsecured yards overnight are often physically damaged, to the point that fewer trains are available to travel the same routes or entire routes are temporarily out of commission. Additionally, repeated vandalism and repair can age existing infrastructure rapidly by reducing component integrity, such as struts on train doors that then don’t close, contributing significantly to long, sometimes unsafe commutes. v
Steam Age Technology, Meet the loT
Transportation departments are turning to better security in train-yards to alleviate these issues in lieu of replacing entire trains, at exorbitant costs, every few years, or being held liable when would-be-vandals get hurt tampering. vi. While traditionally, manned patrols and fixed surveillance cameras have been used to discourage would-be vandals with mixed success, a self-powered, analytics-driven technology promising rapidly deployable surveillance where it’s needed can now combat these issues quickly; a busy public transit corridor is leading the charge in adopting this technology.
California Transit Use Case
|A West Coast transit system was contending with vandalism, petty crime and intermittent violence at a terminal train yard. In general, not only does this risk the well-being of employees and commuters, but trains are regularly out of commission and service disruptions sky-rocket year-on-year, with over 20% more trains arriving late in 2018 alone.||The transit authority recently invested in V5 Systems Portable Security Units (V5 PSUs), turnkey and portable surveillance that can be deployed to outdoor locations without easy access to fixed power or communications. These self-powered, units, at under 25 pounds each, could be rapidly re-deployed in under 30 minutes to different hotspots, giving the transit system virtual eyes and ears that could alert transit police in seconds via mobile and web browser notifications.||Since the units were deployed, there has been no major graffiti or vandalism incident; the new tech-driven security is deterring property destruction. The transit system can re-invest money that might have gone to manned patrols, cleanup and refurbishment, and trenching/permitting costs to acquire newer trains in a bid to make commuters’ experience safer and more seamless.|
Transportation: A Paradigm About to Shift
This new security isn’t limited to just train yards. The same technology is being adapted for the nearly two million long-distance truckers and bus drivers in the country, and the company behind it, V5 Systems, is intent on revolutionizing public transit systems across the country whether they be rail-, road-, or water- based. This push even extends to fundamental freight transportation, such as Oil & Gas/chemicals pipelines, shipping and mining. vii
iii. https://www.hinckleytimes.n et/news/local-news/van dalism-delays-trains-14162701
vi. https://jou rnals.plos. org/ploson e/article?id=10.1371/journ al.pone .0007292