New York reinforces security in subways

New York authorities are going to introduce new security system for New York's subways and commuter railroads as well as bridges and tunnels. The system will be able to counter the threat of terrorist attacks.

More than 1,000 cameras and 3,000 sensors will be installed at platforms, stations and terminals, on bridges and in tunnels, but not in train carriages or buses themselves.

The cameras are said to be able to capture images from 100m (300ft) and to zoom, pivot and rotate.

The city has awarded a $212m (Ј118m) contract to defence firm Lockheed to run the security programme for the bus and the underground train network, BBC informs.

The upgrade will also include enabling mobile phone signals on the subway. The authorities said concerns that this could help the detonation of bombs were outweighed by potential advantages.

These include the ability of passengers to make emergency phone calls from 277 of the 468 underground stations.

The MTA carries an average of 7.7 million weekday riders, the most in the United States. The Lockheed contract is the largest spending commitment so far by the agency to strengthen its defenses against terrorism, according to Bloomberg.

"We will be on the cutting edge of this technology in order to protect our system against terrorist attack," said Katherine N. Lapp, the authority's executive director. Lockheed's proposed system "doesn't exist anywhere else in the world, in any other transit agency," she said.

Lockheed's Transportation and Security Solutions unit is part of the Electronic Systems group, Lockheed's second-largest business last year with sales of $9.7 billion, or 27 percent of the company's total sales of $35.5 billion.

Photo by Washington Post.

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