Camera project on Gwinnett Transit buses nearly complete

New technology will help in new surveillance and vehicle tracking for Gwinnett Transit, officials said.

Commissioners signed off earlier this week on changes to a contract with Avail Technologies, which is installing mobile data communications and GPS technology, as well as video surveillance cameras on transit buses.

The $4.8 million project is expected to help officials track vehicle locations in real time to let people know about delays or schedules. The cameras will not only help with security, said Gwinnett Transportation Director Kim Conroy, but also will allow officials to know the most popular stops and times for service to allow for planned route changes.

“The systems will enable Gwinnett County and the service contractor to better manage bus operations functions which will lead to higher service efficiency and cost effectiveness, as well as provide real-time customer access to information on route schedules, next bus arrival time, service interruptions, and other important notifications,” said David Tucker, the department’s deputy director.

With cost adjustments approved earlier this week, the new agreement will replace some of the equipment and allow the contractor to use new technologies that weren’t available during the original bidding process, Tucker said. The changes will allow the county to reduce its dependence on other contractors for IT support, which simplifies the maintenance and reduces long-term operating costs, Tucker added.

Most of the hardware has been installed and the security cameras have been activated, Tucker said, adding that the cameras have already proven to be effective in resolving problems with passengers and have acted as a deterrent to some behaviors.

Only about 3 percent of the project’s costs have come from county funds, with the bulk coming from federal and state grants. The project is expected to be fully implemented in April.