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New free mobile app lets customers text MARTA police
by Staff Reports
April 03, 2013 01:24 PM | 1923 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARTA is today launching a free smartphone application that empowers customers to send texts and photos to the transit system’s police department about suspicious activity wherever and whenever their devices are in range of cellular service.

The easy-to-use “See & Say” app can be downloaded from the iTunes Store or the Android Market for phones and tablet devices on those operating platforms. (To find the app, search for the keywords “MARTA See & Say.”)

“This new app is the latest example of how we will use technology intelligently to transform the way we do business,” said Keith T. Parker, MARTA’s general manager/CEO. “While MARTA is a safe transit system, we expect that the app will also help customers feel safer by giving them a convenient tool for communicating directly with our police department.”

The software is part of MARTA’s ongoing “See Something, Say Something” campaign that is supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s transit security grant program. It is designed for environments with limited cell service — including transit systems such as MARTA — with underground tunnels where cell service is not available.

If a customer loses cellular service while using the app, the text or photo will be sent to police dispatchers immediately once a signal has been re-established.

Other advantages of the app include:
Giving customers the option of sending reports anonymously and temporarily disabling the smartphone camera’s flash so pictures can be taken discreetly.
Providing two-way communication that enables customers to receive and comment on alerts from MARTA Police, and for police to request more details about an incident from customers in return.
Alerting customers when there is a delay in transit service or other issues.

The app is not intended to replace 911 emergency calls, a service which will still be available. However it provides another layer of security for MARTA customers that includes the ongoing installation of video surveillance cameras on all buses, trains and mobility (paratransit) vehicles.

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