Security cameras to watch over some shuttle bus stops during Red-Line job
By ROSALIND ROSSI Transportation Reporter email@example.com May 8, 2013 8:30PM
A CTA train pulls into the Garfield Station on the Red Line. File Photo | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times
Updated: June 10, 2013 2:27PM
Red Line South riders forced to take free shuttle buses due to upcoming track reconstruction will be wrapped in an extra layer of security — live-action cameras watching over them at shuttle stops.
CTA board members agreed to spend $75,000 Wednesday for temporary surveillance cameras at seven shuttle stops during the upcoming five-month shutdown of the Red Line.
Starting May 19, the CTA’s busiest rail line will close its nine southernmost stations — from 95th to Cermak — to allow for the $425 million reconstruction of Red-Line tracks.
The last four Red-Line stops — 95th, 87th, 79th and 69th — will offer displaced riders a free shuttle bus to the 55th St./ Garfield Green-Line stop. At that station, anyone who enters can get a free L ride on the Green Line.
In addition, free shuttle buses will run near continous loops between the last five shuttered Red-Line stations — from 95th to 63rd. Yet another shuttle will run a loop between the Roosevelt and Cermak stops, said CTA spokesman Brian Steele.
The cameras, which are part of the city’s Camera Safety Partnership, would be owned, installed and monitored by the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications.
While cameras on CTA shuttle buses merely record video for later playback, the cameras at shuttle stops will allow live-action monitoring by both the Office of Emergency Management and the Chicago Police Department, CTA officials said.
Shuttle stops getting the live cameras are at: 95th, 87th, 79th, 69th, 63rd, and Cermak-Chinatown on the Red Line as well as the Garfield stop on the Green Line.
CTA board member Jackie Grimshaw Wednesday asked if the CTA would have to give the cameras back after the Red-Line reconstruction concludes Oct. 19.
Whether the CTA would lose the cameras would be “up to the city and the Chicago Police Department,’’ responded CTA security chief James Keating. However, Keating said, once installed, the city usually doesn’t take cameras down.
The cameras will not only help with security. CTA President Forrest Claypool said they would help the CTA “monitor traffic and look at the street in a more efficient way.’’