CLEVELAND– It was a long-awaited vote, to create a safer riding environment for commuters, as well as mass transit operators.
Seven board members with the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority unanimously approved a $2.5 million plan to install cameras on 230 buses and to upgrade existing video systems on buses and on trains.
The move to install cameras coming just four months after a video went viral of a RTA bus driver delivering that infamous uppercut on an unruly passenger. Artis Hughes was fired and is still fighting to get his job back.
But Transit Union President William Nix, Sr. of ATU Local 268 questions if cameras will prevent future assaults. “The cameras is good. Don’t get me wrong, the cameras are good but will it help capture the individual? It might help us identify the individual, but it’s not going to help us capture them.”
Nix says surveillance cameras and protective shields, along with updated transmission radio systems, need to all work together to create a safer environment.
“When the RTA terminated brother Hughes, they sent a strong message that if the bus driver puts their hands on you, you’re terminated,” said Nix.