News pickup: 50 new cops to focus on CTA bus, rail lines

Here's a roundup of CTA news from the last week.

The biggest news announced Wednesday is the deployment of 50 new police officers to patrol exclusively at CTA bus and rail stations across the city. The officers will "graduate" from the fall class of the Chicago Police Academy and fan out across Chicago starting in the spring of 2012.  The project will cost about $10 million, according to the CTA press release. UPDATE: Of that $10 million, the Trib reported early today the CTA already is spending $9.2 million for security from off-duty cops, and will add $800,000 for 50 more full-timers. But that math doesn't add up. I hope to learn more on this.

Aug. 2 open house set for for update on Red Line extension. The CTA will hold an open house 6 to 8:30 p..m. on Tuesday to discuss plans to extend Red Line service from 95th Street to 130th Street. During the open house, at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, 211 E. 115th St., riders can learn more about the next step in the process - the environmental impact study. The press release on the open house also mentions that public comments about the Red and Purple Line modernization project will be released next week.

CTA orders 300 more new rail cars. The CTA last week placed an order for an additional 300 Series 5000 rail cars with manufacturer Bombardier. That brings to total ordered to 704 706 (thanks Jack), at a price of about $1 billion total. CTA President Forrest Claypool told CTA Tattler earlier this month that the agency plans to make no changes to the current aisle-facing seating configuration. I have been advocating for bench seating like New York City has, as opposed to the molded seats.

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  • 706.

  • I think a true police prescence -- not the transit aids with the dogs -- makes a greater difference. Similar to the old time beat cops I was a victim of an iPhone theft on the Midway Orange Line in June 2010, and it would have been nice to know that Chicago's Finest could have been around to help me or potentially stopped the theft.

  • A Brown Line motorman was announcing this morning there'd been reports of Apple pickers and pickpockets on the line today. He asked that everyone be aware of their surroundings and where their possessions were.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    That's either really stupid of him or he's in league with the thieves.
    As soon as an announcement like that is made, hundreds of people will touch their hands to the pockets where their wallets or other valuables are.
    Cops are told to never make a public announcement like that!
    Motormen should also not say anything.

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