Security camera

Security cameras

Cameras aiding in the fight against crime

With about 32,000 cameras installed across our bus and rail system, our surveillance camera network is one of the most comprehensive among U.S. transit agencies. Every day these cameras serve as an invaluable tool for police and their investigation into crimes committed either on or near CTA properties. 

Images pulled from our cameras have been successfully used in detecting crime patterns and serial offenders involved in both reported and unreported crimes, and have even led to the apprehension of offenders through real-time, remote policing missions.

To learn more about the ongoing, collaborative policing efforts across the CTA, visit our Security webpage. 

Video Assisted Arrests (June 2011 - EOY-2017)
Since June 2011, when we began tracking video assisted arrests, CTA’s cameras have aided police in the investigation, arrest and charging of at least

Number of indivduals arrested through 2017: 1,387

Individuals, in connection with at least

Number of reported incidents of crime on or near CTA properties where camereas aided in an arrest: 1,272

cases where a crime was committed on or near CTA properties through December 2017.


Recent arrests and convictions

​Below is a sampling of recent arrests where CTA's surveillance camera aided police in their investigation of crimes committed on or near CTA properties:

Video assisted arrest bulletins composit for 2016

About our camera network

Rail stations

Train Stop Security Camera

  • Every rail station is equipped with multiple, high-definition surveillance cameras.
  • In 2011, we more than doubled the size of our camera network under an aggressive and unprecedented effort to install more than 1,800 additional cameras in rail stations and platform in less than six months.
  • Beginning in 2018, as part of the Safe & Secure program, we'll be making a number of other improvements to our rail system camera network over the next few years, including:
    • Upgrading more than 3,800 older-model rail station cameras to HD;
    • Adding approx. 1,000 new HD cameras for improved coverage at select stations; and
    • Installing new video displays at rail stations to aid personnel in monitoring station and customer activity.

Rail cars/trains

Train Security Camera

  • Every rail car across all eight rail lines is equipped with multiple surveillance cameras.
  • In May 2014, we completed a $14 million project to retrofit our existing rail fleet – more than 840 rail cars – with more than 3,300 360-degree high definition cameras.
  • Our 5000-series rail cars were the first in our fleet to be pre-equipped by the manufacturer with multiple surveillance cameras. 



  • Bus Not in ServiceCurrently, every vehicle in our fleet of more than 1,800 buses is equipped with multiple surveillance cameras. 
  • Each bus features both interior and exterior cameras.
  • There are upwards of 12 cameras on each vehicle depending on model.
  • CTA's fleet of buses have been equipped with multiple surveillance cameras since 2003.



Policing and surveillance

Security Camera Room

  • To help maximize the effectiveness of our camera network and ensure that investigators have quick and easy access to footage and live camera feeds, in October 2012, we created a new, secured-access video surveillance room that is 12 times larger than the previous space. Here, police and investigators have access to:
    • Live cameras feeds from every rail station; 
    • Access to recorded video from CTA vehicles;
    • 20 desktop work stations equipped with 35 displays; and
    • A large, quad-screen video panel to view video from rail stations, rail cars and buses.
  • In addition to our Security Dept. and their video surveillance room, CTA personnel in our Control Center, which oversees our day-today bus and rail operations and is staffed 24/7, have access to our live camera feeds.
  • And as part of our collaborative efforts with the City of Chicago, the Office of Emergency Management (OEMC) and the Chicago Police Department's Public Transit Unit also have direct access to our live camera feeds.