King County Metro's budget for camera maintenance and operations on buses has not increased since 2008, even as the county's total number of bus cameras has increased, PubliCola has learned.
King County Transportation Department spokeswoman Rochelle Ogershok tells PubliCola that although "there is not a specific line item for camera maintenance" in Metro's budget, "our inventory of camera systems has grown since 2008, but expenditures have not increased commensurately."
As PubliCola first reported last Thursday, the cameras on both buses involved in last week's downtown shootings—in which a gunman shot a Metro driver after a fare dispute, boarded another bus, and was shot by Seattle Police Department officers—weren't working.
Metro attributed the failure of the cameras, provided by a Bothell company called Apollo Video Technology, to a "hard-drive error."
In a statement Friday, Metro announced it would be conducting "an immediate review of the status and maintenance of all on-board security cameras " and would "step up video system maintenance and review as part of its standard 6,000-mile coach inspection program" going forward.
Currently, about 550 Metro buses, or about 40 percent, are equipped with cameras.