Utah Transit authority upgrades access control
Transition to S2 Security solution made easy with existing Mercury hardware
Utah Transit Authority (UTA) provides transportation for the three million people throughout Utah’s 1,400 square-mile Wasatch Front, including Salt Lake City and other nearby metropolitan areas. Over 2,500 employees operate and maintain light rail, commuter rail, streetcars and buses from the Salt Lake City headquarters, eight major hubs and other storage facilities.
UTA wanted to upgrade its access control system for lower cost of maintenance and greater ease of use, while accommodating future expansion. “We saw an opportunity for conversion by using the open platform Mercury hardware in UTA’s existing system,” explains Joey Edmunds of Stone Security, the systems integrator for the project. “We knew that we would be able to address the project one step at a time to spread out installation costs and make deployment easier.”
Stone Security recommended transitioning to S2 NetBox access control system to address ongoing cost concerns as well as ease of use. “The zero-software footprint, browser-based system was a deciding factor for the UTA IT group, along with the user friendliness of the system,” observes Edmunds.
The initial system takeover included nearly 320 card readers across the eight main facilities and several smaller buildings. The system head end was replaced with S2 NetBox Enterprise, which also seamlessly integrated with intrusion detection by connecting to existing Mercury panel inputs and relay outputs. Inputs connect to door position switches, and outputs drive piezo sounders, audible alarms and strobe lights. “The S2 solution has transformed a two-dimensional access control system into an actionable system that tells our team what to investigate,” says Thomas Ostby, Manager of Security, UTA.
UTA developed standards for which doors were open to the public versus to employees. Access levels for employees were further defined for critical infrastructure such as data centers and bus control centers. The browser-based S2 system enables the team to easily make these configurations and monitor access events with the click of a mouse to determine who is coming and going.
The takeover required a high level of planning, coordination and staging to convert to the S2 solution site by site. However, utilizing existing Mercury hardware made the transition a smooth one.
The S2 solution combined with Mercury hardware gives UTA a cost-effective, practical means for expanding the system in the future. A new police building was recently added to the system, and other facilities are planned. UTA also intends to transition all doors under lock and key to electronic access control. “We expected the system takeover to be difficult, but using the existing Mercury hardware made it easy,” notes Ostby. “The level of detail and what you can do with the S2 system is really limitless.”