Road Network Operations
& Intelligent Transport Systems
A guide for practitioners!

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Facility Surveillance

Security applications at bus stops and bus terminals may be used for real-time monitoring so security operatives can be summoned. Surveillance equipment might range from simple fixed wide-angle cameras to remote-controlled adjustable pan and zoom video cameras – and can use remote monitoring and infinite loop recorders.

Recorded images from CCTV systems may be used for the investigation of incidents, as evidence in Court - and for training and analysis purposes such as modelling the dynamics of the bus terminal, including how crowds build up. This can be valuable to inform the design of future terminals.

The key technologies are CCTV and systems for remote disabling of equipment to prevent further damage where equipment is vandalised. In contrast to in-vehicle surveillance, high bandwidth connections can be used to transmit images from the CCTV cameras to control centres and other locations. Whilst this provides many opportunities for surveillance, it also presents some content management issues. Other technologies include telecommunications - usually land lines and fibre-optic (due to bandwidth requirements) - viewing screens at control centres, image management software and image and data storage and archiving.


Interfaces need to be specified and tested - and well-structured and managed system need to be in place to control effectively the large number of cameras and the large volume of continuous data and image streams. Compliant procedures need to be established for the capture, storage and handling of images and information - to ensure that any data used as evidence is admissible in Court.

Practitioners need to be aware that the costs of maintaining CCTV systems can be high. Absolute reliance on surveillance technology is no substitute for the reassurance to travellers that comes from the presence of uniformed staff – who can also provide information to travellers and assist those with special needs.


CCTV technology is increasing in sophistication. Particularly important is the development of Video Content Analysis (VCA) - where video can be automatically analysed to detect temporal events which are not based on a single image. A system using VCA can recognize changes in the environment and identify and compare objects in the database using size, speed, and colour.


A limited availability of bandwidth may impose severe constraints on the extent to which sophisticated surveillance technology can be used. Climatic conditions and environmentally polluted conditions provide further challenges for the effective operation of equipment.

Reference sources

The US Department of Transportation’s ‘Transit Security Design Considerations’ report provides a useful analysis of issues surrounding facility surveillance in the context of a wider transit security strategy. See