Starting in the spring, the MTA will be installing surveillance cameras on 400 buses with routes in Manhattan. MTA spokesman Charles Seaton tells us that the cameras will have a view of the entire length of the bus, which means we'll have decent B-roll if NYC ever gets an Epic Beard Man fight. According to agency documents obtained by the Post, if the program is successful, the number of camera-equipped buses could grow to 1,150.
At first, Big Brother will only ride buses in Manhattan, but by 2014 the MTA expects the program to expand to the most dangerous routes in the system. The Post hears that the $10 million contract to install the cameras will likely be awarded to a Florida company, UTC Fire and Security. (The MTA couldn't find a local contractor?) And the equipment is estimated to cost about $18,000 per bus. A year ago, it was reported that the cameras were being tested on the Brooklyn route where a driver was fatally stabbed, and the MTA tells us 75 buses assigned to Flatbush have cameras. (For reference on what we can expect, here's surveillance video of a stabbing on a municipal bus in Florida.)