March Networks Mobile DVRs Optimize Bus Surveillance in Maryland

March Networks, a provider of intelligent IP video solutions, announced that the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is deploying the company's mobile video surveillance systems on its 669-vehicle, fixed-route bus fleet to improve incident investigations and coordinate with police and Homeland Security operations. MTA selected the solution based on its remote wireless downloading and monitoring capabilities, as well as its proven reliability and high performance in challenging mobile environments. The administration plans to have its entire bus fleet upgraded with the March Networks solution by March 2011.

While MTA staff must manually retrieve video from buses equipped with legacy recorders, video from March Networks mobile DVRs installed on approximately 130 new and retrofitted buses is downloaded automatically via a wireless network as vehicles enter one of four depots. In the future, the MTA plans to enable real-time video monitoring while buses are in service, taking advantage of the solution's support for remote video access over GSM/CDMA/EVDO and WiMax mesh networks. The administration will work to provide law enforcement and Homeland Security agencies with access to the live video captured by cameras mounted both inside and outside of the buses to provide real-time, roaming surveillance in the case of an emergency or a security incident.

"The March Networks solution supports our plan to become one of the first transportation authorities in the U.S. to deploy a live, metro-wide surveillance capability using a wireless mesh network. It has already improved our ability to retrieve and store video and remotely monitor system health to ensure optimal performance," said Tammi Bolden, Manager of Systems and Equipment, MTA. "March Networks' reputation for reliability, as well as its global footprint and vision, convinced us that this is the right company to partner with as part of our ongoing efforts to provide a secure environment for the public and our staff."

The MTA's fixed-route bus fleet serves 250,000 passengers daily in the city of Baltimore. Before choosing the March Networks solution from a field of more than a half-dozen competitive options, the administration visited transportation authorities in West Palm Beach and Miami, Florida, to learn about their successful March Networks deployments.

In tests conducted by the MTA, the MDVRs consistently downloaded 700 MB of video — the equivalent of one hour of video from 10 cameras on each bus — in less than five minutes. The systems enable operators to record video at 30 fps and stream the same video wirelessly from each camera at lower frame rates for live viewing. Furthermore, the MDVRs easily store video for up to 30 days, enabling the MTA to satisfy a state mandate it was unable to achieve with its legacy system.

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