After more troubling incidents of violence against CTA employees and passengers, there are growing concerns that safety protocols aren’t being stepped up quickly enough.
Riders that spoke to NBC 5’s Alex Maragos say that they haven’t seen the safety changes that Chicago officials announced last month, and they’re worried that violent attacks, including two that happened at stations on Tuesday, may continue.
At approximately 11 p.m. Tuesday, a man was attacked by a group of people inside the State and Lake Red Line stop in downtown. Authorities say that the victim was hospitalized, and is expected to recover.
Another attack also occurred at the station earlier Tuesday, and when coupled with a CTA employee being shoved onto the tracks at a North Side Red Line stop, riders are concerned that a troubling trend may be emerging.
Feeling out of the loop? We'll catch you up on the Chicago news you need to know. Sign up for the weekly Chicago Catch-Up newsletter here.
“I’ve definitely seen some situations. It would be a lie not to admit to that,” one passenger said.
“A lot of robberies and things like that,” another said. “People are acting reckless.”
On March 10, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, CTA President Dorval Carter and Chicago Police Supt. David Brown announced a bold new safety strategy on buses and trains, saying that additional manpower would be dedicated to keeping riders safe.
“We hear complaints from customers on the CTA that they see drug dealing, conflicts associated with gangs, so we’re trying to make that change,” Brown said.
Police promised more patrols and doubling the number of unarmed security guards on platforms, buses and trains, but no regular riders that NBC 5 spoke to has noticed the difference.
“You’ve got to watch out for yourself,” one rider said. “You’ve gotta keep your eyes open and watch your six.”
"The added security guards announced a few weeks ago are being deployed as quickly as possible," CTA said in a statement to NBC Chicago. "With regards to the deployment of added police resources, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) is the law enforcement entity for CTA and is most knowledgeable about this subject matter."