CTA to Expand Mobile Security Network Pilot

February 14, 2007

The Chicago Transit Board today approved $1.5 million to increase the number of fixed locations at rail stations and emergency response vehicles participating in CTA's Mobile Security Network pilot. Antennas will be placed at a combination of 39 select rail stations and garages and antennas and laptops will be added to 20 vehicles, including Chicago Police Department (CPD) Public Transportation Section cars.

"Expanding the number of vehicles and facilities participating in the pilot allows CTA to gather more data in order to evaluate the feasibility of using the mobile security network system-wide," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown.

The Mobile Security Network uses a wireless transmitter to send live images from existing cameras on CTA buses to laptops in vehicles such as police cars, CTA supervisory vehicles, and to CTA's Control Center.

The pilot uses 40 buses, Chicago Police Department (CPD) Public Transportation Section police cars, CTA's Incident Command bus, CTA supervisory and security vehicles and fixed locations at select rail stations and two garages. CTA is testing the feasibility of the system for approximately six months.

The vehicles used in the pilot are equipped with antennas and a network system that attaches to the laptop, allowing the individuals inside to view images on the laptop monitor. The pilot vehicles need only be within 600 feet of a wireless transmitter in order to receive images.

Images also can be transmitted from the existing fiber optic network that connects cameras at CTA rail stations. The receivers connected to the laptops allow vehicles such as police cars at street level to view images from the subway or elevated platform when they are near a wireless transmitter at a rail station.

"The mobile security network allows Chicago Police to view and assess the situation more quickly and take the appropriate action," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. "Adding mobility to our security camera system maximizes the capabilities of our existing cameras and helps to improve the overall safety and security of CTA customers."

CTA's security camera network currently has the capability to transmit live images from CTA rail stations to CTA's Control Center and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications. Presently there are more than 1,000 cameras at 49 stations on CTA's rail system. Cameras will be added at more stations as funding becomes available.

Additionally, the new rail cars currently on order will have seven cameras on each rail car. The prototype of the new rail cars is due to arrive in 2008, with delivery of rail cars for service expected to begin in 2010.

 

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