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CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined other city leaders Wednesday to address safety concerns on the CTA.

With an uptick in violent crimes on the CTA, the Chicago Transit Board has approved two new contracts, doubling the current number of unarmed private security guards patrolling buses and trains. 

An additional effort to curb crime will see CTA working closely with the Chicago Police Department, which provides law enforcement for the transit company to investigate crimes.   

The declaration comes following a series of violent crimes on or near CTA trains.

On Tuesday night, a 25-year-old man was shot twice in the stomach on a Red Line train at 63rd Street. The man was transported to the University of Chicago Hospital in serious condition.

Most recently, several violent crimes, including the murder of 16-year-old Vadarrion Knight, have been reported at the Red Line Grand Avenue Station.

“The word is visibility what we need to do is make sure that on every platform across our system that you the commuters see the visibility of sworn police officers as well as these unarmed security guards,” Lightfoot said.

In an effort to curb violence against CTA passengers, the transit authority announced last week that it’s making its unarmed security guards more visible on Red and Blue line trains.

CTA President Dorval Carter reiterated the company’s commitment to safety.

“You’ll see the added security very shortly,” Carter said. “But I should be clear that while we’ve talked about the Red and Blue line as the focus that is not the only places security guards will be deployed, they’ll be deployed throughout the system.”

CPD is also adjusting resources from within its Bureau of Counter-Terrorism. Brown said the department would have dedicated gang and narcotics teams assigned to the CTA to investigate transit crimes and patrol the transit authority. 

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Local 308 President Eric Dixon, who represents rail operators, told WGN he believes the CTA needs its own police force to combat crime, however.

Lee Smith III, a Red Line passenger, told WGN News a step in the right direction as many situations on the CTA need an immediate police presence. 

“I think people would be less likely to try certain things if they felt like somebody was right there watching,” he says, “or somebody could just be there in seconds.”