More than 600 new high-definition cameras will be added to the CTA rail system, announced Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Sunday—an effort to modernize and increase safety.
“The CTA is in the midst of an unprecedented modernization, from new tracks, railcars and switches to new security technology to support safe commutes for every resident on every rail line,” said Mayor Emanuel.
Emanuel and CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. announced that the new HD cameras, along with lighting improvements along the Green Line, kick off the first of several phases of the Safe & Secure program.
“We’re proud that Chicago is the first city in the nation to create a ride-hailing fee dedicated to transit, which has made the Safe & Secure program possible and allowed us to begin this work now,” Emanuel said.
The program, which was announced earlier this year by Mayor Emanuel, is a multi-faceted initiative meant to increase safety across the CTA system and provide a more secure, comfortable traveling experience.
Safe & Secure will add 1,000 new cameras and upgrade more than 3,800 older-model cameras throughout the system.
According to a news release, CTA’s security camera network has more than doubled in size since 2011 under Mayor Emanuel. These surveillance cameras have been an important tool in aiding Chicago police to identify crime suspects and detect crime patterns.
“Since June 2011, CTA cameras have aided police in the investigation, arrest and charging of more than 1,300 individuals,” stated the release.
The $3.5 million five-year program has already started its first phase, replacing older, standard-definition cameras at 20 subway stations with the new HD cameras. More than 600 cameras will be upgraded in the Red and Blue lines, including the O’Hare, Jefferson Park, Belmont and Logan Square stations along with the Blue Line O’Hare Branch and at the Clark/Lake station in the Loop. Multiple stations along the Green Line will also receive new and upgraded LED lighting.
“CTA is one of the safest transit systems in the country, but I believe we can always do more to ensure every passenger and every employee feels safe and secure while using our transit system,” CTA President Carter said.
Future phases of the program will include new lighting, station repairs and other improvements to enhance safety at all 146 CTA rail stations.
CTA said it will also install new cameras at more than 100 CTA bus turnaround locations and video monitors will be added to all CTA rail stations to aid personnel in monitoring station and customer activity.