News pickup: CTA to install cameras on old rail cars; Red Line thugs rob riders of phones

Here are some CTA news items from the last few days:

CTA to install cameras on old rail cars. The CTA will install four video cameras on 850 older model rail cars by September, according to a Tribune report. The $14 million project funding through a federal Homeland Security grant comes on top of the project completed last year to install cameras at all 145 rail stations and platforms.

The cameras will not provide a live surveillance feed, but the video will be available for viewing after a crime incident. Four cameras and one video recorder will be installed on all 2600 and 3200 series rail cars. "Crimes photographed on the CTA's new 5000 series rail cars have helped police arrest at least 14 suspects in connection with 15 cases over a recent eight-month period," according to the Tribune.

This is welcome news, even if the live surveillance feed is not available. Live feed requires real people to be monitoring it. So for now, the cameras should help lead to more arrests after crimes are committed - and hopefully act as a deterrent.

Red Line robbers target cell phone users. Police are looking thugs who are stealing cell phone from Red Line riders on the South Side. Most of the incidents occurred between 55th and 95th streets, according to a Tribune story.

CTA filling new bus driver jobs. In preparation for the May shutdown of the south end of the Red Line, the CTA is welcoming more bus operators for the shuttles planned for the construction project. The CTA said 36 new drivers completed training last week. They are part of the 400 new drivers being hired for the Red Line South Track Renewal Project. During the project, the Red Line will be shut for five month from Cermak to 95th street to replace everything in the track bed; ties, rails and ballast.

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  • Will they use the cameras to target the trains from Roosevelt south to 95th or to 63rd to get rid of the panhandlers & preachers that drive us crazy on a regular basis?
    I've never once seen a cop there, but the Green Line goes right through the parking lot of Police HQ!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Just like Jewel took care of the Walmart ads by closing a Jewel across the street, Forrest takes care of this problem by closing down the Red Line, and then saying that when it reopens, it will have 5000 series cars. Maybe the Green, substitute, too. Then the only question will be whether any remaining 2600s will be on the Red Line, and by then the remaining ones should get cameras.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Especially since the article says the camera project will be done by September, while the Red Line project won't be.

  • I have never seen one of these panhandlers arrested and I have never seen police on the train,I've had enough on the red line,I'm getting a car

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    Cameras don't do anything if they're not used to actually catch the thief...people could do a bunch of things to hide their face from a camera.

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