ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Anytime you ride Rockford Mass Transit, your every move is recorded. RMTD didn't quite publicize its security upgrade. Actually, cameras were installed two years ago to make sure its $164,000 monthly passengers are kept safe. On one of the buses we saw, there were 5 cameras inside and two cameras outside. It records what you’re saying, but nobody we talked to thought it was an invasion of privacy.
Almost everyone we talked to who was riding the bus thinks they're safer because of it. The video is only kept for 30 days unless there is a complaint. Riders know they are being recorded because there are signs posted all over the bus. The cameras aren't only used to catch criminal behavior, they are also used to keep bus drivers accountable. If they don't pick someone up or they're running late. They also catch when people don't pay.
"We see this as a measure for passenger safety. We don't sit there and look at it, we're not eavesdropping, we're not sitting and looking at it in real time, it is just in case there are incidents,” said Lisa Brown with RMTD.
All the cameras and other recording equipment cost about $5,000 a bus. The buses are trying to keep the recordings lighthearted, with the signs they post. They don't want you to think big brother is watching.
RMTD spokespeople say they haven't really had an issue with crime on the buses. About two million people ride them each year.