CTA adding 1,000 new cameras, improving lighting at stations as part of security plan

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The CTA is planning safety improvements across the city, ranging from new cameras to better lighting.

Technology is going to play a big part in the upgrades and the city hopes it makes CTA riders feel safer.

Tuesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the Safe and Secure program at a Pink Line station at Central Park. What the plan will do is add 1,000 new cameras and upgrade 3,800 older cameras across the CTA system to high definition. New cameras will be installed at more than 100 bus turnaround stations.

"It is going to be about just shy of 5,000, about 4,800, high definition cameras that are going to be installed throughout the system of the CTA, every line will have it in the stations," Emanuel said.

The city will also invest $15 million for new lighting, repairs and other improvements at all 146 CTA rail stations and $13 million on the improvements to the camera networks.

The city will add video monitors at all CTA rail stations to help CTA workers monitor customer activity and monitor the stations.

Ensuring every CTA customer and employee is safe on our transit system is a top priority for me," said CTA President Dorval Carter. "I thank the Mayor and City Council for their support of transit and for recognizing the vital role it plays in Chicago. The Safe and Secure initiative allows us to build on the success of our past efforts and further improve the commuting experience for our customers."

Some CTA riders say it will make them feel safer.

"I think it's a good idea...they see the cameras, they won't do wrong. If somebody's watching you, you won't do wrong. That's just my opinion, so I think it's a good idea," said CTA rider Tim Murray.

"If he put more cameras in, I won't have to worry about anyone taking my phone or my wallet or nothing like that. I would feel safer if they do that," said CTA rider Jereka Dunn.

The program is funded by a new fee on ride-hailing services. Emanuel said it is the first such fee in the country dedicated to improving public transportation.

Police have said the cameras have helped them make 1,300 arrests since 2011. The city plans to complete the project within the next two years.
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