Chicago Looks to Improve CTA Safety With New Initiative

City officials are looking to keep Chicago Transit Authority passengers safer with a new initiative announced Tuesday.

The "Safe and Secure" program will rely heavily on upgrading technology across Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA leadership said. 

Aimed at preventing crime on public transportation, the initiative will add 1,000 new cameras and upgrade more than 3,800 existing cameras to high definition.

The City will also put $15 million behind new lighting, repairs and improvements at all 146 CTA rail stations, Emanuel said.

New cameras will be installed at more than 100 CTA bus turnaround locations and video monitors will be added to all CTA rail stations to help employees better monitor the station and passenger activity.

The agency said that, working with the Chicago Police Department, there have already been roughly 1,300 arrests using evidence from this technology from June 2011 through December 2017.

"I’ve lived in this area all my life, and crime has increased in the area," Pink Line rider Jackye Davis said, adding, "so I welcome the extra security."

The "Safe and Secure" program will be funded by the relatively new fee on rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, the first of its kind across the country dedicated to improving public transportation, officials said.

That 15-cent per ride fee was implemented in January and is expected to generate millions of dollars in revenue to cover transit projects like this, as well as $5 million more dollars in 2019. 

Of the new "Safe and Secure" initiative, CTA head Dorval Carver said lighting is his passion - and he wants to take all the dark corners and "light it up."

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