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Rail News: Passenger Rail

CTA posts drop in serious crime rate


The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) experienced a 19 percent decrease in the number of violent crimes committed on CTA property in 2012 thanks to stepped-up policing and expanded crime-prevention measures, agency officials announced.

The drop in crimes continued a trend that reflected collective efforts of the Chicago Police Department and CTA, agency officials said in a prepared statement issued in response to a published media report citing a 21 percent increase in crime at CTA rail stations.

Robberies and aggravated battery incidents reported on CTA's system last year declined 21 percent and nearly 12 percent, respectively, compared with 2011.

"CTA and CPD have worked hard to have a more effective presence no buses and trains, and we're pleased to see a significant drop in violent crimes," said CTA President Forrest Claypool.

The published media report failed to provide context to crime numbers, agency officials said. For example, the most common rail station crime was fare evasion, which climbed 41 percent and contributed to the agency's overall crime numbers.

"We are committed to addressing fare evasion as part of our strategy to aggressively prevent would-be offenders from committing more serious crimes," said Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.