A better use of data to protect transit rail

In recent years, transit-rail agencies have been using data and applying Internet of Things (IoT) principles to address certain safety and security challenges. 

Now they're looking to take the next step, which is figuring out how data can be used better to protect passengers and railroad assets.

So, to find out what's going on, I recently spoke with Larry Jordan, president and chief technology officer at Wi-Tronix LLC, which provides remote monitoring solutions for mobile assets in the rail, marine and mining markets. Larry and I talked about the need for railroads to be able to remotely access data collected on trains and in stations, then turn that data into real-time information that security personnel can act upon.

Also last month, I checked in with Alex Wiggins, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (Metro) executive officer of system safety and law enforcement. Alex told me that Metro is now using video analytics to track fare evasions.

"We've trained our cameras to people jumping turnstiles and using emergency exit gates to enter the system," he said. Metro's next step is to catalog that data so that the ageny determine the best places to deploy its security resources.

On another security front, Metro recently partnered with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration to develop a pilot program that will screen train passengers for explosives and other weapons.

You can find out more about what Jordon and Wiggins had to say in my feature story published in the March issue of Progressive Railroading. 

Also, if you're in the transportation security business, you might want to check out the agenda for Progressive Railroading's Secure Rail Conference in Orlando April 5-6. The event will feature industry experts discussing the latest risks and threats to physical and cyber security, how to anticipate future threats, and how to manage and protect employees, passengers and assets. There will be plenty of opportunities for networking, too. Even though the conference is a week away, it's still not too late to register.

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