On the top of our list of things we like to know but then wish we didn't know: The London Underground as announced that they rejected the subway surveillance system that the MTA will be putting into our subways. Hmm, that makes our new hi-tech deal seem, well, not that special. The NY Post says that the London Underground felt that things like the "intelligent video cameras" which are supposed to notice unattended bags don't work as well as "standard cameras and human observation." Well, Gothamist supposes that having cameras and humans to observe would be the first thing the MTA would need - the MTA's employees and resources seem to be spread way too thin. The article does address what was our first question: "And while the [London Underground's] extra manpower and cameras couldn't prevent July's terrorist attacks, they did help identify suspects within hours." What's interesting are the stats: There are 6,000 closed-circuit cameras on both train cars and in the stations on the Underground, and almost all of London's 8,000 buses are wired, whereas our buses are far from wired and all subway stations will get cameraas by 2008 (though 1,000 cameras are being installed shortly at key locations).
The Underground did concede that the MTA's use of the $212 million in equipment will be different, and Lockheed Martin, the contractor/sucker who will be supplying the MTA with the new equipment, says, "[I]n the case of the MTA, it is boosting its security system with technology that is more evolved, more state-of-the-art and what's best for its riders." Right: Better late than never.