By Memorial Day weekend, CTA rail riders will find themselves under the watchful eye of security cameras tied into the agency's control center. One or more cameras will have been installed at all of the 144 train stations by month's end.
Stations with just one camera will have it installed at the station level for now. But the ultimate goal is to have about 3,000 cameras in place by the end of the year, Mayor Daley said. "We have reached an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to make our transit system as safe as it can be," the mayor said at a Friday press conference. "We know that cameras deter violence in our neighborhoods. They can be equally effective on public transportation."
The real need is for cameras on rail cars to help deter the huge surge in thefts we reported this month. To that end, Daley also announced that later this year CTA will launch a pilot program to determine the feasibility of retrofitting CTA's rail cars with safety cameras.
A $22.6 million Dept. of Homeland Security grant is covering most of the costs of installing the security cameras and the surveillance network.