Mass Transit

Owners of newly-built Lackawanna Transit Center implement the Omnicast IP Video Surveillance System to enhance remote monitoring and tenant operations

The County of Lackawanna Transit System (COLTS) is the municipal authority for public transport in the city of Scranton, PA, and its surrounding areas. COLTS operates 29 public bus routes through Lackawanna County and parts of Luzerne County, and provides specialty transportation for disabled and senior passengers.

COLTS recently completed construction on the Lackawanna Transit Center, a $12.5 million intermodal facility in downtown Scranton. The new facility is now the central transport hub, where passengers are provided shelter and seating while they wait for COLTS buses as well as Martz Trailways buses, which provide longerdistance transport to destinations outside the county.

COLTS decision-makers knew that having a state-of-the-art security system in the new intermodal facility would help protect the influx of passengers who visit the center from various locations in the United States, and ensure passenger safety in and around the terminal.

Relying on the advice of architects and engineers, COLTS chose to work with Communication Systems Inc. (CSi), a local and highlyknowledgeable security integrator, who installed Security Center, the unified security platform from Genetec.

Sharing the Benefits

The Omnicast IP video surveillance system of Security Center currently manages more than 30 Bosch IP cameras in and around the property. The operational staff at COLTS actively monitors the cameras from a primary corporate site and bus terminal which is located outside of downtown Scranton.

According to Robert Fiume, executive director at COLTS, “We have a remote connection to the system which we can access from our desks to spot check and see what’s going on at the facility. The system has been very easy to use, and the video quality within Security Center is excellent.”

On site at the Lackawanna Transit Center, COLTS’ tenant, Martz Trailways has been provided access to the video surveillance system. With the help of CSi, they were able to partition the system and create specific access rights and privileges for Martz users. Customer service agents at Martz Trailways watch the video to make sure buses arrive on schedule, and then announce when and where buses are loading to passengers.

Federating Systems for Greater Collaboration

When monitoring the video surveillance system, COLTS is always looking out for suspect bags lying around, or any other safety concerns such as the speed at which buses come into the facility or areas that would require improvements for passenger safety.

In the event that Fiume or other COLTS managerial staff are away from the office when an incident is reported, they can quickly pull up real-time streamed video on their smart phones using the Security Center Mobile feature. “In case of an emergency or when operational issues are called in, having access to the video from our phones is very convenient. We can quickly see what’s happening and dispatch law enforcement or customer service agents to handle the situation,” said Fiume.

COLTS works closely with the Scranton Police Department, who also use Genetec solutions. According to Sam DeLeo, safety and security officer at COLTS, “When a teenager was reported missing, Scranton PD came to us looking for video. We were able to provide them with evidence that led to the runaway’s safe return.”

To enhance the collaboration with local police, COLTS is currently in the process of giving Scranton PD the ability to view video from their Omnicast system using the Federation feature of Security Center. With a federated system, police officers will be able to access video from certain cameras during emergencies or investigations.

“The ability to see what is happening at this major transportation hub in our city enables our officers and detectives the opportunity to be proactive in our community policing,” said Carl Graziano, chief of police at the Scranton Police Department. “We are able to save the taxpayers time and money, while providing a higher level of service.”

Expanding Security in Next Phase

The addition of the Omnicast video surveillance system to the new transit center is the first step for COLTS. With plans to expand the corporate site and main bus terminal, COLTS is exploring how the flexible and highly-scalable platform can affordably take over existing video surveillance and access control systems. The main objective is to assure that all sites and systems can be accessible from a single intuitive platform.

“Having the ability to see what’s going at the new Lackawanna Transit Center has been a huge benefit to our team, and we’re even more excited at the possibility of growing the system to our corporate office and main terminal,” Fiume said.

Infrastructure at a Glance

The security platform manages approximately 30 Bosch IP cameras. All video is stored locally on BCDVideo servers which are optimized for Security Center, offering an affordable and scalable archiving solution for COLTS.

This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of Security Today.

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