01/11/2012 01:44 EST | Updated 03/11/2012 05:12 EDT

Sensors at Edmonton transit station will detect multiple weapons threats

EDMONTON - A California company says it will be installing sensors at a downtown Edmonton transit station that will be able to detect threats from chemical, radiological and explosive weapons.

Cubic Security Systems of San Diego says the sensors on ticket vending and ticket validation machines at the city's Churchill station will also alert law enforcement if any threats are detected.

Cubic says in a news release that the pilot project is funded by the Canadian government and will be launched in late March.

Company president Walt Bonneau Jr. says public transport moved approximately 15 times more passengers than aviation in North America in 2010.

But he says there has been no substantial deployment of explosives detection technology until now.

The pilot project will be administered by Health Canada with Canadian Public Works as the contracting authority, and the Edmonton Transit System serving as the test coordinator.

“The Edmonton ticketing system is an honor system in which fare media are validated by a validator device and onboard inspection," says Bonneau.

"The validators analyze the fare cards ... and have the capability to take images and send a silent alert to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Edmonton’s transit police if explosives or other potentially hazardous substances are detected.

"If the police are concerned there may be a threat, they can request a secondary inspection.”