Chicagos’s L train and city buses are safer, but a shockingly high number of serious CTA crimes still go unsolved

Chicago Police officers stand guard at a Chicago Transit Authority train station Friday, July 22, 2005 in Chicago. CTA officials say security remains at a heightened alert since the July 7 London bombings. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

A recent Chicago Sun Times investigation, spanning 2015 through April of this year, found some startling data regarding crime on Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) rides:

RELATED: California transit agency will not release footage of crimes because it could “perpetuate stereotypes”

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Whether on the bus or L train, crime at a station or a parking lot increased by 16 percent between 2015 to 2016.

What’s more, over 90 percent of the serious crimes reported go unsolved, the majority of which are larceny thefts, typically involving cell phones.

In 2016, only 2.6 percent of these crimes were solved.

Police say they are working to better train detectives to monitor surveillance footage as another tool to catch alleged criminals.

The agency does not keep track of crime in the 35  suburbs where it provides service, and former CTA officials from the mid-1980s could not say differently.

A spokesman reiterated, however, crime is still rare, and, in 2016, there was only one serious crime per quarter-million trips, indicating an overall decrease in public transit crimes since 2008.

RELATED: Crime in Chicago looks better than in 2016, despite homicides

The CTA began operations in 1947 and provides 1.64 million rides on an average weekday, with 145 train stations and over 10,000 bus stops.

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