Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Dorval R. Carter Jr. 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.
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.
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.