Summit to keep eye on bus riders |

Summit to keep eye on bus riders

Duffy Hayes
Summit County correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

SUMMIT COUNTY ” Concerned about an increase in violent crimes and vandalism along local Summit Stage bus routes, county transit officials pitched a plan Tuesday to county commissioners that would equip all Summit Stage buses with new video surveillance systems.

Commissioners were receptive to the idea, and are moving forward to make the funding for the project happen in short order.

Summit Stage director John Jones, along with Summit Stage safety and compliance coordinator Stephen Stirling, presented the idea to commissioners, and estimated the total cost of the system to be $358,000. That would outfit 32 Stage vehicles with digital, multicamera systems, and also equip the Frisco and Silverthorne transfer centers with digital recording equipment.

There is no allotment in the Stage’s 2007 budget for the program, so county commissioners agreed to move forward on a budget amendment that will allow Jones and his team to get the project going.

“This is a wonderful idea, and it’s clear that we need it,” said Commissioner Bob French.

Aside from acting as a deterrent to crime (Jones reported that the number of crimes along Stage routes have seen a dramatic jump since 2005), the cameras will also provide needed hard evidence to prosecute potential crimes, as well as protect the county in possible lawsuits.

Video surveillance systems are becoming standard in public transit systems across the country. Systems in Denver, Steamboat Springs, Eagle County and the Roaring Fork Valley all currently utilize video surveillance systems in their fleets. In the Roaring Fork Valley, some Roaring Fork Transportation Authority buses are equipped with cameras.

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