February 21, 2016 -
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) will be adding surveillance cameras on its light-rail trains this summer and piloting facial recognition software on cameras throughout its system, according to a report by Dallas News.
According to DART spokesman Morgan Lyons, all of the agency’s buses and train stations already have cameras.
The camera and biometric software solution will be used for a range of purposes including monitoring train capacity, watching for medical emergencies and informing law enforcement when a wanted person is on a DART vehicle.
However, DART police chief James Spiller said the software won’t be checking against existing law enforcement databases or drivers licence records. It will only be cross checking pictures that DART uploads into its own database such as when a law enforcement agency sends out alerts about specific missing or wanted people.
The solution can also be used to inform DART when fare evaders who have previously been banned try to ride the system.
The agency will spend $4.8 million to set up cameras in 48 of its 163 train cars this year with all trains covered by 2018.
Police Chief Spiller hasn’t decided yet which buses, trains or stations will act as the facial recognition test cases.