Metra spending $15.5 million on security cameras in passenger cars
Metra plans to deploy an army of security cameras on all its train lines in the near future.
Board directors Friday approved a $15.5 million contract with Railhead Corp. of Burr Ridge to design and install a network of surveillance cameras in passenger cars throughout the system.
"We're excited," Executive Director Jim Derwinski said. "It will help provide that sense of security for passengers" and employees. Derwinski said the initiative wasn't in response to any particular incident.
Cameras will be located in vestibules and railcars with nine planned per car.
The Chicago Transit Authority has about 32,000 similar cameras on trains, buses and in stations.
Metra began testing security cameras in trains on the Electric Line in 2016.
The commuter railroad also introduced an app this spring dubbed Metra COPS, which allows riders to discreetly report wrongdoing or suspicious activity on trains.
The app disables a smartphone's camera flash to avoid being noticed, and a Metra police dispatcher will reply to riders using the app and can send out alerts to passengers.