CTA Begins Work to Upgrade 3,800 Cameras to High-Definition, add 1,000 New Cameras and Install New Lighting; $33 Million Of Improvements Funded by Innovative Ride-Hailing Fee
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. today announced the CTA is adding more than 600 new high-definition security cameras to its rail system—upgrades that will modernize the camera system and make it entirely high-definition. The new HD cameras, along with lighting improvements along the Green Line, kick off the first of several phases of the Safe & Secure program, a multi-faceted effort announced by Mayor Emanuel in 2018 to increase safety across the CTA system and provide a more secure, comfortable traveling experience.
“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,” Mayor Emanuel said. “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.”
Safe & Secure will add 1,000 new cameras and upgrade more than 3,800 older-model cameras throughout the system. Work has begun on the $3.5 million first phase of the program, which will replace older, standard-definition cameras at 20 subway stations with HD cameras. More than 600 cameras will be upgraded in the Red and Blue line subways; the O’Hare, Jefferson Park, Belmont and Logan Square stations along the Blue Line O’Hare Branch; and at the Clark/Lake station in the Loop. Additionally, more than 50 new cameras will be added to these stations.
Also, multiple stations along the Green Line will receive new and upgraded LED lighting.
Future phases of Safe & Secure, a five-year program, will include new lighting, station repairs and other improvements to enhance safety at all 146 CTA rail stations. CTA 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.
“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. “I thank the Mayor and City for their continued support of transit and for recognizing its importance to the vibrancy of Chicago. The Safe & Secure program will build upon a number of camera and other security-related enhancements the CTA has made in recent years.”
Under Mayor Emanuel, CTA’s security camera network has more than doubled in size since 2011. The cameras, found at every rail station and on every bus and train, have been an important tool to help Chicago police identify crime suspects and detect crime patterns. All of CTA’s buses and trains have multiple cameras.
Additionally, CTA has worked closely with the Chicago Police Department’s Public Transportation Unit to strengthen and deploy strategies to fight crime that include expanded police patrols, rail saturation missions and undercover operations. Since June 2011, CTA cameras have aided Police in the investigation, arrest and charging of more than 1,300 individuals.
CTA’s Safe and Secure is funded by a new, innovative fee on ride-hailing services championed by Mayor Emanuel, the first such fee in the country dedicated to public transportation improvements.
For more information on CTA security efforts, visit transitchicago.com/security.