Axis Cameras Help Protect Latin America’s Busiest Subway Station

Mexipuerto Ciudad Azteca ensures the safety of more than 48 million passengers a year with networked, H.264 cameras

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Mexipuerto Ciudad Azteca subway station, designed to ease the traffic problem in Mexico City and outlying areas, transports more than 150,000 passengers a day. At rush hour, as many as 1,000 travelers per minute board the trains. Mexipuerto’s security committee wanted to install a surveillance system that could help the transportation hub ensure the safety of its users. The technology needed to integrate with the station’s TCP/IP network to provide optimum performance during service hours without sacrificing image quality.

Securing the Station
Working with Mexican surveillance system integrator MICROM SA de CV, Mexipuerto Ciudad Azteca deployed more than 100 Axis Communications network cameras in the busiest areas of the station. The network cameras transmit video and audio information via advanced H.264 compression protocol, which minimizes storage requirements and bandwidth consumption while maintaining crisp image quality. Security staff also leverages video analytics to maintain safety both inside and outside the station.

Within the first six months of operation, the network video cameras have alerted security personal about suspicious individuals loitering and atypical situations that might potentially endanger travelers. The analytics have helped transportation managers track traffic patterns both inside and outside the station to improve the efficiency of public buses and train schedules.

Improving Traffic Control with IP Video
Mexipuerto is an extremely busy junction point for multiple transportation systems, including the Metroline B, intercity and interstate buses and taxi service. The network cameras installed by MICROM SA de CV helps security proactively maintain public order. Monitoring entrances, exits and typically congested areas such as hallways, parking lots and walkways gives security personnel insight into pedestrian traffic.

The cameras can track passengers from subway exits to bus stops and react quickly to emergencies. With video analytics, people counting at entrances and exits can help substation managers to determine security staffing levels, especially during peak travel times.

“The greatest challenge for us in this subway station is to help Mexipuerto properly schedule public transport so that they can minimize a passenger’s commute time,” said Maritza Torres Ruiz, design engineer with MICROM SA de CV. “With a high-quality video surveillance system and video analytics we can better monitor and control the flow of people and help the station guarantee better service for commuters,”

In addition to public transportation services, Mexipuerto Ciudad Azteca has a two-story shopping center with about 100 retail stores. There are also plans to build a Hospital Star Medica and a supermarket on the third level of the subway station. In the future, Mexipuerto hopes to expand its surveillance system to cover these areas as well.

Different Cameras for Different Locations
Given the number of challenges presented by the bustling hub, MICROM recommended a variety of Axis network cameras to adequately monitor the subway station. AXIS 212-V PTZ network cameras provide a 140-degree viewing angle and a 3X instant zoom. Bi-directional audio also allows security personnel to establish a direct link between the camera and the monitoring station. Plus the tamper-resistant casing prevents vandals from damaging or moving the cameras.

AXIS 221 fixed network cameras support automatic day/night functionality making them ideal for Mexipuerto’s parking lots where lighting conditions vary greatly in a 24-hour period. The cameras’ progressive scan image sensors ensure that objects in motion are captured without blurriness.

Mexipuerto has also deployed AXIS 232D+ PTZ Network Cameras to provide 360-degree coverage in select areas of the subway station. This allows Mexipuerto to work more efficiently with its existing staff by leveraging the 18x optical zoom and 12x digital zoom with automatic focus and configuring up to 50 preset positions for automatic guard tours.

For places needing even greater security levels, Mexipuerto uses Axis 233D PTZ Network Cameras with 35x zoom and 12x digital zoom. This allows security personnel to focus on small objects at long distances, such as reading a vehicle plates at distances of more than 100 meters. These network cameras can pan and tilt from 0.05 to 450 degrees in less than second, making it possible to monitor a person walking from 400 meters away.

Mexipuerto is also using the high-resolution AXIS P3343-V and AXIS P3343-VE fixed dome network cameras equipped with automatic day/night functionality and remote focus capabilities to obtain the best clarity in areas with a wide range of poorly-lit and well-illuminated areas. They support H.264 video compression, which enables Mexipuerto to optimize the use of the available bandwidth and archive video more efficiently.

Choosing the right network camera for the task at hand, MICROM has helped Mexipuerto Ciudad Azteca create a completely secure environment both inside and outside the facility. The high image quality makes it very easy for security personnel to identify people, spot odd behavior and respond quickly to prevent a situation from escalating.

Long-Term Benefits
Not only is the network camera system flexible and user friendly, it is easily scalable to accommodate expansion plans that Mexipuerto may have in the foreseeable future. Network cameras can be added to the system individually or in groups.

“Axis cameras are designed for scalability, making them the ideal equipment to handle our projected growth,” said Dra. Florencia Serranía, Mexipuerto Cuidad Azteca. “It’s an important cost-benefit that allows us to keep pace with future requirements of Mexipuerto Ciudad Azteca and remain in the vanguard subway station security.”

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