Public-awareness messages aim to foster awareness, educate customers to improve safety
As part of its continuing focus on customer safety, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today announced the launch of a new awareness campaign reminding ‘L’ riders about the dangers of trespassing on CTA’s railroad tracks.
The campaign features a series of messages warning of the dangers of activities such as trying to retrieve mobile phones, purses or other items dropped onto the tracks; standing too close to the platform’s edge; or playing around on the tracks when no train is in sight. The campaign aims to remind riders that going onto the tracks for any reason is trespassing and can lead to serious, life-changing injury or death.
“Safety has always been and will always be our No. 1 priority, in every facet of our operations,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “We hope this campaign will be an important reminder to our customers, and we believe it will help further promote safe behavior on our rail system.”
CTA has long used awareness campaigns to promote safety, including the successful “Stay Off the Tracks” campaign current seen throughout the system.
Customers who enter CTA tracks, known as the rail right of way, face not only the danger of oncoming trains, but also that of the electrified third rail, which carries 600 volts used to propel trains—a level of electricity that is almost always lethal.
So far in 2023 through August, CTA has received more than 1,100 reports of people entering the right of way, one of the most common being riders who jump off a platform to retrieve a dropped mobile phone, to trespassers attempting to walk on tracks between stations, or individuals committing vandalism or graffiti. The overwhelming majority of instances involve people purposefully going onto the tracks. In 2022, there were 1,860 reports, which was down from 1,987 in 2021.
“No customer should ever enter the rail right of way, for any reason,” said Nancy-Ellen Zusman, CTA’s Chief Safety and Security Officer. “A customer who drops an item can inform a CTA station employee, all of whom have received proper safety training and can communicate with CTA’s Control Center to slow or stop trains or remove power as needed.”
In addition to the dangers of going on to the tracks, trespassers also cause delays to rail service, as trains are required to stop to ensure safety. So far this year, trespassing has resulted in more than 90 hours of delays across the CTA rail system.
This latest campaign complements CTA’s existing rail safety information, including signs along the tracks, at every rail station and in every railcar, as well as safety brochures, website information and other materials. The new safety campaign messages will appear on digital screens, and on car cards in railcars and at rail stations throughout the CTA system.
“This campaign will expand and reinforce the important safety messages we provide our customers every day,” Carter said.
More information is available at www.transitchicago.com/safety
Rail safety campaign creatives