A public agency, Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE) is responsible for overseeing public transport services throughout Greater Manchester in North West England. It also owns Greater Manchester bus stations, funds essential bus and train services, and owns the successful Metrolink tram network.
Passenger safety and security are major priorities, and GMPTE funds video surveillance systems for each station in multiple boroughs. Visible cameras can help to deter crime, and bus shelter vandalism in Greater Manchester dropped by almost 20 percent the year after GMPTE first installed video surveillance cameras.
Previously, each transport terminal establishment project selected its own video surveillance solution. “We now have at least 30 different CCTV [closed-circuit television] islands, each managed and maintained separately,” says Rohan Mendis, telecommunications strategy manager, GMPTE. Security personnel and local police could only view video from a single console at the station, attached directly to the digital video recorder.
When GMPTE began planning upgrades to the Altrincham Interchange and Park & Ride Facility at the Navigation Road Metrolink Stop, the Information System Directorate influenced the projects to deploy a centralized video surveillance system that could later potentially be extended to the other transport terminals, as well. “Using our multiservice IP network for surveillance video in addition to data and voice would reduce costs and give us enhanced capabilities,” says Mendis. GMPTE decided to implement an IP-based system, for the following reasons:
Lower network costs: Stations would be able to connect cameras to their existing Multi Service IP network instead of a separate video network.
Anywhere access to video: Authorized personnel, including police and local borough councils, would be able to view video over the network from any location with a web browser. This capability would facilitate collaboration with other public safety and stakeholder organizations.
Integration with other physical security systems: In the future, GMPTE would be able to integrate an IP-based video surveillance solution with its passenger help points, building access controls, digital signage, and other IP-based physical security solutions.
Choice of support vendors: A solution built on open standards would give GMPTE the flexibility to choose from many support organizations.