Many cities have more robust subway camera systems than NY

As a manhunt began Tuesday morning for the person who shot 10 people in a crowded Brooklyn subway car, law enforcement quickly looked to the station cameras that they hoped had caught their suspect on tape.

But they were out of luck.

The surveillance cameras at the 36th Street station in Sunset Park, where the incident occurred, had not been working, MTA officials later said.

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Metropolitan train systems in Shanghai, Washington D.C., and San Francisco have invested in extensive surveillance systems on board the trains. But putting them in New York’s subway system, which is more than a century old, would be expensive, according to experts.

“Those are capital projects and transit agencies have to make very tough decisions regarding capital projects,” Bill Terry, director of the National Transit Institute at Rutgers, said.

Installing cameras could mean making cuts in important areas elsewhere, like in fleet vehicles or facilities.

Gothamist, April 14, 2022