Tuesday, May 22, 2018

CTA’s ride-hailing fee to bolster Safe and Secure Program

Written by 

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has announced that the agency will add more than 600 new high-definition (HD) security cameras to its rail system as part of its Safe and Secure program.



CTA said the upgrades will modernize the transit authority's camera system, making it entirely HD. With the addition of new HD cameras, CTA also announced lighting enhancements along the Green Line in the first of multiple phases of the Safe and Secure program.

CTA's Safe and Secure program is funded by a ride-hailing services fee, which officials noted was the first such fee implemented in the U.S. that was dedicated to public transportation improvements.

Officials said the program will be a multi-faceted initiative meant to increase safety throughout the CTA system.

"The CTA is in the midst of an unprecedented modernization, from new tracks, railcars and switches to new security technology to support safe commutes for every resident on every rail line," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "We're proud that Chicago is the first city in the nation to create a ride-hailing fee dedicated to transit, which has made the Safe & Secure program possible and allowed us to begin this work now."

The Safe and Secure program will also add 1,000 new cameras in addition to upgrading more than 3,800 older cameras throughout its system. The $3.5 million plan has already gotten the first phase of the program underway, and will replace standard-definition cameras at 20 subway stations with HD cameras.

More than 600 cameras will be upgraded along the system's Red and Blue lines and at multiple stations along the Blue Line O'Hare Branch.

Several stations along the Green Line will also receive new or upgraded LED lighting.

Future phases of the five-year Safe and Secure program will entail the addition of new lighting, station repairs and other improvements to improve safety at all of the CTA's 146 rail stations, officials said.

Video monitors will be added to all CTA rail stations to enable agency personnel in their efforts to monitor station activity.

"CTA is one of the safest transit systems in the country, but I believe we can always do more to ensure every passenger and every employee feels safe and secure while using our transit system," CTA President Dorval Carter, Jr. said. "I thank the Mayor and City for their continued support of transit and for recognizing its importance to the vibrancy of Chicago. The Safe & Secure program will build upon a number of camera and other security-related enhancements the CTA has made in recent years."

Officials say the security cameras, found at every rail station and on every train, have been key to helping Chicago police identify crime suspects. All of CTA's buses and trains have multiple cameras, the agency said.

Since June 2011, CTA said cameras have helped police to investigate, arrest and charge more than 1,300 individuals.