Bombardier Signs Transit Security deal with March Networks

Jennifer Brown
September 29, 2006
Written by
{mosimage}Bombardier Transportation announced Sept. 15 that it has signed a joint design and development agreement with Ottawa-based March Networks for the launch of an on-board mobile security system for the passenger rail market. The system will use March Networks' video applications used for surveillance and monitoring.
March Networks' contribution is part of the Bombardier SEKURFLO product line of transit security systems. The SEKURFLO solution, helps to secure the safe, operational flow of passenger traffic.

Andre Navarri, President of Bombardier Transportation said, "Bombardier's SEKURFLO solution offers worldwide public transportation a highly reliable system that incorporates intelligent analytics and features that are designed to meet the most demanding transit performance requirements." He added, "Our partnership with March Networks represents a viable collaboration of research and development with one of the security industry's leading technology companies."

Peter Strom, President and CEO of March Networks said, "The transportation sector represents a significant growth opportunity for March Networks. By partnering with a world class organization like Bombardier, we are continuing to secure our position as the leader in mobile video solutions."

The City of Toronto also recently recommended the purchase of 234 new subway cars from Bombardier. And, at the end of August, March Networks was selected to provide surveillance cameras for the Toronto Transit Commission's  (TTC) buses and streetcars at a cost of  $16.8 million. That price includes $13.9 million for 1,750 full-motion, on-board camera systems, digital recording equipment and necessary software tools, and $3.9 million for installation and project related costs.

March Networks also won the contract for 150 camera systems on Toronto Wheel Trans vehicles valued at $1.5 milion.

The deal comes after several high-profile assaults on TTC buses and streetcars where cameras might have detered the assault or assisted in identifying the suspects. In 2004, a young girl was shot during an altercation on a bus and in 2005, a bus operator was shot while in the driver's seat during an incident that took place off the bus.

According to City of Toronto documents, the contract was awarded to March Networks following considerable deliberation by TTC staff and operators. An Operator Assault Task Force was formed in 2002 to review past assault prevention recommendations and develop new recommendations.

The decision was then made to "Consider a test trial installation of cameras on revenue vehicles to act as a deterrent to operator assault and assist in the identification and apprehension of assault suspects," according to a city report that also states that:

"After review of safety cameras used at other transit properties, TTC staff concluded that an intelligent colour picture and video system with high-quality visual clarity would be the only acceptable systems to both the TTC and the Toronto Police Service. These systems ranged in cost from $5,000 and $10,000 per vehicle."

The TTC had also tested two camera systems that were used in Toronto taxis. But at the end of the test pilot, TTC and Toronto Police concluded that the quality of the black and white pictures and downloading activities were "inadquate for use on buses and streetcars."

It is estimated that 100 systems will be installed by the end of the year, with the balance by the end of 2007.

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