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1,000 high-def security cameras coming to CTA trains

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The security program hopes to help cops catch more criminals

Mayor’s Office / Twitter

Ever see those grainy mugshots of cellphone thieves and other criminals on the train? Soon those will be crystal clear. The city plans to add 1,000 high definition cameras and 3,800 regular cameras throughout the transit system to improve safety.

The Chicago Transit Authority will also add new lighting and make other improvements to all 146 stations later this year, according to the mayor’s office. More than 100 cameras will be installed at bus turnaround locations and video monitors will be added to all CTA rail stations to help staff monitor activity.

Since 2011 the CTA’s camera network has doubled and helped police arrest at least 1,387 people. But that doesn’t necessarily mean safer public transportation. The station video monitors are an important addition and can keep CTA personnel aware of crime and get victims the help they need more quickly.

Currently the surveillance center, which was expanded in 2012, is used by CTA investigators and local police to ensure they have access to the footage and live camera feeds.

The work will cost $33 million and is funded by the rideshare fee the city implemented pay for public transit improvements. Breaking that down: $15 million will pay for the lighting and train station repairs, $13 million will go toward modernizing station cameras, $4 million for CTA bus turnaround cameras, and $1 million for video monitors at train stations, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Back in 2014, the transit system completed a $14 million project to add more than 3,360, 360-degree high definition cameras. These were added to 840 of the newest rail cars which helped get the entire fleet fully equipped with surveillance cameras.

Find more information on the CTA’s security measures and how to stay safe on the agency’s website.