The message is simple. It’s not worth your life.
That’s what the Chicago Transit Authority is telling riders in its new public safety campaign Monday, which warns riders to stay off the tracks.
The transit agency said the number of riders hopping onto the tracks is up as last year nearly 350 people made the dangerous move.
On-track fatalities have also increased slightly in recent years. Officials said with more than 200 million rides each year, nine people died on the tracks in 2011 and that number jumped to 11 in 2012. This year, at least seven people have died on the tracks.
And with the threat of electrocution by the third rail, which pumps out 600 volts of electricity, the CTA is encouraging riders to ask employees if they need to retrieve something off the track.
Signs posted around CTA stations and on rail cars will say things like, “You can live a few minutes without it for a few minutes," and "Don't worry, it's coming."
“I have seen people they’re just jumping around on the edge of the tracks and it doesn’t take that much to just fall off,” said rider Carol Walz.
The Red Line, which has the highest number of riders, also had the highest number of accidents and was followed by the Blue Line, officials said.
“Though the number of fatal incidents on the CTA is extremely low, one incident is one too many,” CTA President Forrest Claypool said in a statement. “We continue to work to ensure the safest system possible, and to both remind and encourage our customers to take simple steps to keep themselves safe.”
Car cards and posters will appear on rail cars, at rail stations and on digital station signs this week.