The HSR will ask Hamilton city council for funding to put video cameras on its 200-plus buses in the new year.
Surveillance footage captured by a Toronto Transit Commission bus played a key role this past weekend in figuring out how a 14-year-old girl was struck and killed by the same bus she just got off in Scarborough.
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HSR Operational Superintendant Keith Andrews said he’s "pro cameras" for a number of reasons, including the ability to prove or refute claims of injury filed against the HSR.
It would also allow for quick identification of vehicles involved in collisions or other incidents. Both of these aspects could potentially move costs away from the city, Andrews said.
As a bonus, he said, cameras might also cut down on vandalism on HSR buses and could provide riders with a feeling of security.
Andrews said adding cameras has been a "budgetary concern" in the past, though he couldn’t say how much it would cost to outfit the HSR fleet with cameras.
He said a proposal will bemade to fund cameras in the HSR’s latest budget pitch to council, a document that hasn’t been made public yet.
All TTC buses are equipped with video cameras, though not all major public transit operations in Ontario have them. OC Transpo, in Ottawa, for example, doesn’t have cameras.
Grand River Transit, which services the Kitchener-Waterloo region, has a similar number of buses to Hamilton and equipped its fleet with cameras in 2012 for around $2 million.
HSR has around 220 buses, while GRT has about 270.