CTA - Chicago Transit Authority
Security Camera Installation


Customer safety and security is CTA’s No. 1 priority.

Under the leadership of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a number of steps have been taken to improve efforts in tackling crimes committed across our bus and rail systems, including: increased police patrols and undercover operations targeting pick-pocket theft rings, vandalism and other crimes; expansion of our surveillance camera network to more than 23,000 cameras  – making it one of the most comprehensive bus and rail camera networks among U.S transit agencies.

On this page:


What's New

CTA’s Statement on Rumors of Immigration ID Checks on CTA (02/15/2017)

System security

Behind the scenes, there are ongoing and extensive efforts under way to prevent crime and to investigate and prosecute criminals who commit crimes. CTA’s Security Department works closely with Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) Public Transportation Unit, a dedicated unit to CTA, on a number of ways to keep passengers safe each day.

CPD and the suburban police departments of Evanston, Forest Park and the Oak Park all provide police protection on our buses, trains and stations via the deployment of both uniformed and plainclothes officers, as well as surveillance missions and other policing strategies, including:

Public awareness programs

If It’s Unwanted, It’s Harassment.

Note: call 911 for emergencies or if your immediate safety is threatened.

As part of our ongoing efforts to provide customers with a safe and comfortable travel environment, in 2015 we launched a new educational and awareness campaign that puts would-be offenders on notice that harassment is not tolerated on the CTA.

We take harassment seriously – one incident is one too many.

If you are a victim or witness of harassment on the CTA, we encourage you to speak up and report it.

While not every harassment incident may be considered a criminal offense or result in arrest, the information you provide us is still helpful because it can help determine if there’s a larger pattern of activity that needs to be further investigated.

 (Learn more about this campaign)

Cameras aiding in the fight against crime

Our camera network is an invaluable tool for police and their investigation into crimes committed either on or near CTA properties. CTA cameras have been successfully used in detecting crime patterns and serial offenders involved in both reported and unreported crimes, and have even led to the apprehension of offenders through real-time, remote policing missions.

Video Assisted Arrests
Since June 2011, when we began tracking video assisted arrests, CTA’s cameras have aided police in the investigation, arrest and charging of at least

Individuals, in connection with at least

cases where a crime was committed on or near CTA properties.


January 1 - December 31, 2015

In 2015, CTA cameras aided police in the arrest of at least 256 individuals in connection with at least 253 cases where a crime was committed on or near CTA properties.


Recent arrests and convictions

These are just some of the ways CTA’s extensive surveillance camera network is proving invaluable to not only police, but also to customers, neighbors and even reptiles.

Below is a sampling of some arrests made over the last couple years, where CTA's surveillance camera aided police in their investigation of crimes committed on or near CTA properties. For more information on these cases click on the images below.




About our camera network

May 2014: Completed a $14 million project to retrofit our existing rail fleet – more than 840 rail cars – with more than 3,300 360-degree high definition cameras. These cameras are in addition to those on our newest generation of rail cars – the 5000-series, which were pre-equipped with multiple surveillance cameras. CTA's entire rail passenger fleet is now fully equipped surveillance cameras.


Security Camera Room

October 2012: Created a new, secured access video surveillance room for use by CTA security investigators and local police to maximize the effectiveness of our comprehensive camera network and ensure they have quick and easy access to footage and live camera feeds. The space is approximately 2,800 square feet and more than 12 times larger than the previous space and provides investigators access to 20 terminals with 35 displays and a quad-screen video panel to view video from rail stations, rail cars and buses.


June - November 2011: CTA's rail system camera network more than doubled in size under an aggressive and unprecedented effort to install more than 1,800 additional cameras in rail stations and platform in less than six months to ensure every rail station was equipped with multiple, high-definition cameras. These cameras can provide a live-feed to the CTA Control Center and the Office of Emergency Management (OEMC).


Since 2003: Each bus in CTA's  fleet is equipped with multiple surveillance cameras. Today, CTA's buses feature upwards of 12 cameras on each vehicle depending on model.


 Press Releases


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