HONOLULU (KHON2) — As officials anticipate the first phase of Honolulu’s rail project to be up and running sometime next year, security measures are starting to take shape.
The Honolulu Department of Transportation Services is calling it a three tier security system for the rail. The first tier is part of the City’s 13 years contract with Hitatchi Rail.
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“They’re employing staff for what I’m calling ambassadors who will roam the stations and will be on the trains,” said Roger Morton, Honolulu Department of Transportation Services Director. “Their job is really customer service, making sure everything is going okay for the customer, but really they’re also eyes on the system.”
The next level includes a security force.
“We have contracted for private security to ride the trains and to provide security on the trains,” Morton said.
DTS is assuring the public that its surveillance system will provide eyes and ears with 1,300 cameras being installed.
Honolulu police will act as the third tier. If there’s an incident on one of the trains, HPD will respond and take care of the situation.
Residents with whom KHON2 spoke say they’re onboard with the safety plans.
“I think surveillance cameras would be good just in case, because it’s common for people to get stuff stolen from them so it would be comforting to catch the person who stole from somebody,” said Tiana Tipoti, a Kahuku resident.
However, others believe there should be more safety measures in place.
“I think video cameras are necessary just for follow up and things like that you see it all the time for crimes, but it’s not a prevention in the very beginning,” said John Goldsmith, a Kakaako resident.
Two way intercom systems will also be located on every train to ensure a safe ride.
“Our customers can get in touch with our control center through the intercom system and they can also call 911 if they see anything happening on the train,” Morton said.
According to DTS, there are already City laws that cover what’s allowed on public transportation, but with the next legislative session approaching, some state laws may need to be updated.
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“We are considering going back and broadening a little bit of that language to not only cover buses, which is what we’ve done so far, but also to cover our new rail system as well,” said Morton.