A City Wide Approach to Security
San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency unifies security in new command center
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) was in need
of a solution to maximize the use of their CCTV cameras deployed in
the transit system, including the buses, trains and subways.
SFMTA needed a platform that could connect to these various video
systems for security and was also flexible enough to be directly integrated
into their custom train monitoring application, Integrated Human Machine Interface
(IHMI), which was developed by their technology partner B&C Transit. There
are more than 1,000 cameras deployed throughout the SFMTA network from a range
of manufacturers, including Dedicated Micros, Axis, Exacq and BRS labs.
SFMTA serves the buses, subways and trains system across the city of San
Francisco as well as the Caltrain system. They ensure the safety and operations of
the transit system in the city of San Francisco as well as oversee Muni, bike and
pedestrian programs, taxis, parking and traffic control operations in the city.
The SFMTA system includes more than 1,050 buses, cable cars, streetcars and
trains. The agency is also responsible for the municipal railway, which averages
more than 750,000 riders a day.
As part of a new initiative, San Francisco Traffic and Transit Security were brought
together for the first time under one Transportation Security organization. A new
command center called the Transportation Management Center (TMC) was built in the heart of San Francisco to centralize
the response of this team.
In this new collaborative command
center, SFMTA selected Immix CC as
the software platform to deliver the
flexibility required to service the various
needs of these teams. Immix provided
a single interface for the different
security teams in traffic and transit to
access the six different cameras and
video systems. As Immix is 100-percent
web-based, this allowed multiple different
users and teams to access video
footage for security monitoring whether
they were in the new TMC or located
elsewhere in the city’s network.
An additional challenge SFMTA
faced is that is has team members solely
responsible for monitoring and managing
the security of the trains and subways.
This required SFMTA to have access
to key information about the status
of trains and platforms across the network,
in addition to accessing the security
systems. This challenge was solved
when B&C Transit developed the IHMI
application to monitor these vehicles by
embedding the Immix application into
this interface. This ensured that cameras
and security systems would become
a seamless part of monitoring the activity
on the train and subway network. To
accomplish this, B&C Transit leveraged
Immix’s open web services API to embed
Immix functionality directly into
the IHMI train control application.
SFMTA now has a single platform
for monitoring that is flexible enough to
serve the needs of the different groups
and users within the organization. Its
new capabilities include:
- Ability to monitor cameras from the
city’s six different CCTV systems in
one interface. They are able to enforce
system-wide security protocols
to provide different monitoring interfaces
tailored to the needs of different
groups within in the organization.
- Improved operator awareness and
transit safety around the city.
- Ability to upgrade and deploy new
equipment without the concern of
compatibility or the need to retrain
- Greatly reduced amount of support
required to provide access to video
for city users.
- Automated device health monitoring,
which notifies the SFMTA video
team of any faulty devices. This
ensures immediate action can be
taken to resolve issues in the field.
- Tracking every action taken by an
operator is in a time/date stamped
multimedia audit trail. This provides
a critical tool for post-event
analysis and investigations.
“SureView has the best video management
products and services to merge
multi-vendor, multi-generation products
into one easy to use platform,” said
Frank Lau, Central Control and Communications
Program Manager for San
Francisco Municipal Transportation
Agency. “They offer the best solution
for public transit agencies. Their staff
is very responsive and knowledge and
provide outstanding customer service.
I highly recommend SureView to any
a Security Command
This article originally appeared in the March 2015 issue of Security Today.