Mayor Emanuel, CTA Continue Investments to Improve Transit Experience

October 29, 2018

First-ever public art and architecture book, three new Chicago Architecture Center tours and continued upgrades of security camera network are among several recent projects to benefit customers

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. today announced major milestones on two ways CTA is working to improve the transit experience - the installation of nearly 500 new security cameras and a new coffee table book and Chicago Architecture Center tours focused exclusively on art and architecture in CTA stations.

“CTA customers expect and deserve the kind of investments that benefit their daily commutes and boost their overall riding experience,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Public art and security are two of the many tools we’re using to keep CTA the option of choice for Chicago commuters.”

In the last year, CTA and Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) installed nearly 500 cameras in and around rail stations along the Red, Blue and Brown lines as part of a multi-faceted, collaborative effort to further improve public safety. 400 of these are HD cameras as part of its Safe & Secure program – a $33 million, multi-year investment funded by the Mayor’s innovative ride-hailing fee.

Safe & Secure will add 1,000 new cameras and upgrade more than 3,000 older-model cameras throughout the system to the latest-generation high-definition. The program also includes new lighting, repairs and enhancements to safety at all 145 CTA rail stations. New cameras will also be installed at more than 100 CTA bus turnaround locations, and video monitors will be added to CTA rail stations to aid personnel in monitoring station and customer activity.

Public safety officials from CPD, OEMC and CTA have worked together to strategically deploy new street-level cameras near CTA’s subway and elevated stations. So far this year, OEMC has overseen the installation of 95 new HD surveillance cameras near the entrances of the Grand and Chicago Blue Line, Sedgwick Brown Line, and the Clark/Division, Lake, Grand, Jackson and Monroe Red Line stations. OEMC will continue to work with the CTA and CPD to support safety enhancements to CTA’s system in 2019.

The Mayor and CTA also unveiled Elevated: Art and Architecture of the Chicago Transit Authority – a new book celebrating and chronicling the extensive collection of public art and significant architectural contributions across the nation’s second largest transit agency.

Elevated, CTA’s first-ever collection of art and architecture projects, is part of Mayor Emanuel’s and President Carter’s shared vision to expand and celebrate public art across Chicago’s bus and rail system, while also enriching the experience and minds of those who travel the system each day.

In conjunction with the book, CTA has also partnered with the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) to create two new, ‘L’ tours that showcase select CTA station art and architectural details featured in the new book. These new tours, one covering Chicago’s South Side and the other the North Side, will be offered from the CAC in early 2019. The new tours will join the popular, current CAC ‘L’ tour Elevated Architecture: Downtown ‘L’ Train.

“The CTA’s ‘L’ trains are as indelible a part of the Chicago experience as its architecture, public art and rich, diverse neighborhoods,” said Lynn Osmond, CAC President. “The CAC is eager to bring all four elements together, for Chicagoans and visitors, in our two new tours that will reveal Chicago’s gems that are hidden in plain sight.”

“You can be a lifelong Chicagoan who has traveled CTA buses and trains for decades, and not seen or been aware of all the architectural details and art installations featured across our system” said CTA President Carter. “A trip on any of our buses or trains can become immersive and layered, providing you with a one-of-a-kind experience that is inspiring, educational and exciting.”

The two programs follow the Mayor’s announcement last week of $5M to support his plan to foster transit-oriented development on high-capacity bus corridors and a new pilot program to add digital information screens on CTA buses.

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