Texas Transit Agency to Scan Faces of Train Passengers

Texas Transit Agency to Scan Faces of Train PassengersDallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), North Texas’ biggest municipal transit agency, is bringing cameras and facial recognition technology to its trains.

Whereas the Beijing Railway Station in China recently introduced facial recognition as a means of efficiently processing passengers in the onboarding process, DART’s move is primarily intended as a security measure, at least partly in response to calls from the community for improved train security in the wake of particular violent incidents including an on-train shooting last year. But DART officials are eager to play down any perceived intrusiveness of the technology, asserting that passengers’ faces will be matched only to images uploaded by DART itself, and not any state or national databases. That could mean scanning for wanted or missing persons, for example. Meanwhile, the cameras themselves will provide the added benefit of allowing authorities to monitor train capacity.

DART’s aim is to bring the technology to 48 of its 163 train cars this year at a cost of about $4.8 million, and to expand the technology to all train cars by 2018.

Sources: The Dallas Morning News, StarTribune

February 18, 2016 – by Alex Perala