Access Control Goes Mobile at Brooklyn Navy Yard
Founded in 1801, the Brooklyn Navy Yard (the Yard) was once the United States’ most storied naval shipbuilding facility. For over 150 years, the Yard built and launched famous fighting ships including the USS Maine, USS Arizona and USS Missouri.
In the 1960s, the Navy left the Yard and turned the property over to the City of New York. In 1981 the City appointed the not-for-profit Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC) to convert the historic property into a 300-acre industrial park that is now home to over 400 businesses employing more than 8,000 people.
Because there is not much public transportation or parking nearby, BNYDC decided to operate a free shuttle bus service to make the property more accessible to employees, contractors and visitors to tenants. As a secure facility, the Yard needed to ensure that only authorized people boarded the buses. “We already had LenelS2™ NetBox™ access control system in place at the Yard entrances and wanted to extend its capabilities to our buses,” explains Pasquale Cirullo, Vice President of Technology, BNYDC.
BNYDC approached LenelS2 and systems integrator, Advanced Electronic Solutions, Inc. (AES), to craft an access control solution for the shuttle bus program. “The people and products from LenelS2 are very easy to work with,” notes John Busardo, Business Development Manager, AES. “Sitting down and discussing the problem led to a unique, powerful solution that other manufacturers may not have considered.”
AES worked with Orion Entrance Control, Inc. to design an enclosure where bus riders could present their credentials. Each three foot tall, triangular enclosure houses a bar code reader, an HID iClass reader for reading both physical cards and mobile credentials and a LenelS2 MicroNode™ Plus that communicates with the existing NetBox access control system via a cellular router. The enclosure contents are hard wired for power into the bus electrical system.
The Yard also integrated a visitor management system with the NetBox system to simplify the visitor experience. Now when a Yard employee registers a visitor, the visitor receives a bar code for entry to the shuttle buses or main gates.
The solution is currently set up on six buses, which run two regular weekday routes. Giving riders a positive and intuitive experience was a top priority, so the design was modeled closely off of regular public transportation. The top of the box features an indicator light that becomes a green arrow or a red ‘X’ when it reads a credential so that both the rider and driver can see it and take appropriate action.
“The new system makes it is easy for us to ensure that the people who should be on the Yard, are on the Yard,” says Cirullo.
With the new system, the Yard makes sure only tenants or visitors are using the shuttle bus system and arriving at the facility. The Yard can also capture ridership data and run custom reports through the NetBox system to help analyze the efficacy of routes or determine if more buses are needed.
“We plan to grow the Navy Yard to house 20,000 or more employees, and now we have a solution for our buses that can scale as we grow,” observes Cirullo.