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Chicago to Leverage Ride-Share Fees for CTA Surveillance Upgrades

In February, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a plan to upgrade security cameras and add new ones at Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) stations and bus turnarounds, which would be funded by a fee hike for Uber and Lyft ride-sharing services.

According to The Chicago Tribune, about 3,800 existing CTA cameras will be traded for HD models starting later in 2018, and 1,000 cameras will be added. CTA officials previously announced that a portion of the 15-cent fee increase on ride-sharing fares would go toward security camera upgrades as part of a larger package of capital projects. The CTA will also install video monitors at train stations to employees can be more aware of what’s happening on the platforms. New lighting and cameras will be installed at 100 bus turnarounds.

The project will cost $33 million, according to CTA President Dorval Carver.  $15 million will go to modernizing lighting and making repairs, and an additional $13 million will be earmarked for modernizing train station cameras.

“Both CTA and CPD believe cameras do have some deterrent effect – and we want would-be criminals to know that cameras are everywhere on CTA,” says CTA spokesman Jon Kaplan in a report from The DePaulia. Since 2011, the CTA says their cameras have helped police investigate, arrest and charge more than 1,300 individuals.