May 25, 2010

Chicago to equip all stations with cameras by May

Mayor Richard M. Daley and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) officials said that by May 31, one or more safety cameras will have been installed at every one of the CTA's 144 rail stations.

The Mayor also said that by the end of the year, the CTA plans to have nearly 3,000 cameras installed system-wide.

"Having cameras at every station is a valuable tool, both for security purposes and from an operations perspective as well. Real-time video is available to CTA's Control Center and can assist in the event of a service disruption," said CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez. "The CTA is committed to putting the tools in place to increase the safety of its customers and employees, and reaching this milestone is a step in the right direction."

Daley said that since 2002, the CTA has made great progress in upgrading its infrastructure to include the addition of safety cameras. And so far this year, they have installed about 550 cameras, increasing coverage to more than 1,800.

The Mayor pointed out that the CTA station cameras build on many previous steps the City has taken to create a camera safety network that helps law enforcement and emergency personnel in their mission of serving and protecting residents.

The CTA has received $22.6 million in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funds since 2006 to enhance its security and surveillance network and is using a portion of those funds to expand camera coverage on its rail system.

After each station across the system has at least one high definition camera installed, additional cameras will be installed across the rail system beginning with the Loop stations and along the Brown and Red lines by this fall. All stations will have multiple cameras by the end of the year.

The CTA is investing approximately $19 million to install and network security cameras across the system. The remainder of the funds will be used to further enhance the CTA's security network by improving the video management system.

All the projects will be paid for by a combination of DHS, Federal Transit Administration and other grant funds.

Daley said that later this year CTA will launch a pilot program to see whether it's feasible to retrofit CTA's railcars with safety cameras. The CTA's new 5000-series rail cars come equipped with cameras.

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