December 9, 1998

The Chicago Transit Board today approved a new initiative aimed at eliminating etched or broken windows on CTA buses through speedy clean up and replacement, and deterring graffiti and vandalism through video surveillance.

As part of "Operation ClearView," 461 buses from the Forest Glen and Archer Avenue garages will be fitted with digital cameras to record activity on the buses. These recordings may be used as evidence to prosecute individuals who deface CTA buses. The Forest Glen and the Archer bus garages were selected for this program because of the high concentration of etching and graffiti that occurs on these buses.

In addition, 1,405 buses from six CTA bus garages will be fitted with new windows and glass to replace the existing windows that have been defaced with etching. These bus garages include: Chicago Avenue, Kedzie Avenue, North Park, 74th Street, 77th Street, and 103rd Street.

"This is an effort to reinforce the commitment from the CTA to provide service that is clean and safe, as well as service that is on-time and friendly. We cannot afford to let vandals deface our bus windows and get away with it," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. "Through Operation ClearView the CTA will send a message that we care about our customers and we cannot tolerate graffiti and damage to our buses."

Each year, the CTA spends close to $1 million to replace etched and broken windows on its fleet of buses. Under "Operation ClearView" the contractors would begin the process of changing out the windows of the buses in February of 1999. Installation of the digital video cameras would begin in March of 1999.

This project was competitively bid and awarded to Midwest Bus Corporation of Owosso, Michigan to provide and install the glass windows with the Vandal Shield film under a $1.3 million contract. Prima Facie, Incorporated of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania was chosen to equip the buses in the "Operation ClearView" program with video recording devices as part of a $3.1 million contract.

CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett said, "I commend the CTA staff for developing a program to improve the appearance of our buses which will make traveling on board the CTA a more enjoyable experience for our customers. Operation ClearView is the CTA's way to take an active stand against vandalism on our buses."

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