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Monday, January 25, 2010

CTA installs security cameras at 24 Green Line stations

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Mayor Richard M. Daley and Chicago Transit Authority President Richard L. Rodriguez announced a significant development in the agency's ongoing effort to enhance safety and security on its rail and bus system. With the installation of cameras at 24 Green Line stations, the CTA's rail system now has 1,657 cameras at 73 rail stations.

The CTA has received $22.6 million in Department of Homeland Security funds to enhance its security and surveillance network and is using it to expand camera coverage on its rail system. At least one high-definition camera will be installed at every rail station by this summer and additional cameras will be installed across the rail system beginning with the Brown and Red lines later this year. The Green Line initiative cost approximately $4 million and the expansion plans are budgeted at $9 million. The remainder of the funds will be used to further enhance the CTA's security network. All the projects will be paid for by a combination of DHS, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Regional Transportation Authority funds.

CTA also is launching a pilot program to explore the feasibility of retrofitting CTA's current rail cars with cameras. The pilot will help identify costs and the most efficient design and technology upgrades needed in order to operate the cameras. This pilot, funded by $800,000 in FTA grants, is expected to begin this spring. New rail cars already on order will come equipped with cameras.

Security on CTA buses and trains is provided by the Chicago Police Department Public Transportation Section. Officers from the unit include both uniformed and plainclothes officers who ride the trains and buses and patrol stations. CTA works closely with CPD to identify, apprehend and prosecute individuals who commit crimes on CTA property.

While security cameras are a useful tool, CTA also reminds customers they can assist by reporting any suspicious activity they witness. Reporting instances of crime or suspicious activity across the system helps CTA and CPD determine how best to deploy resources.

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