Seeking to keep a constant electronic eye on subway perverts, the MTA is moving to put surveillance cameras in hundreds of new train cars it expects to purchase in coming years.
In a letter to Public Advocate Letitia James that was made public Wednesday, the MTA for the first time committed to making the security upgrade, which has been championed by no less than NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority also will create a new feature on its website to make it easier for victims and witnesses of sex crimes in the subway system to make a report. And the authority also intends to ramp up a public education campaign that aims to increase awareness of the threat posed by sexual predators in the subway, James announced.
Earlier this year, Bratton told the Daily News he would like to see cameras aboard subway cars because they are a useful crimefighting tool — providing valuable videotape evidence for detectives, and serving as a deterrent to those who would commit sex crimes. At the time, the MTA balked at making a commitment, saying only that it was studying the feasibility of camera use on trains.
The MTA will install cameras on 904 R211-class subway cars that it expects to order as part of its 2015-2019 capital plan.
The authority already has contracted with a manufacturer for 300 R179-class subway cars, and the first of those test cars should be delivered in December. The rest of the R179s are set to arrive between July 2015 and January 2017, according to the MTA.
The MTA is looking to install cameras on the R179s, but has not yet made a commitment to do so, officials said.