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tbedwell

Chicago El Loop Pictures

Did you know that CTA and Metra have photography bans? You can photograph their trains from public property but absolutely NOT in stations.
 
CTA VP of marketing and communication, Noelle Gaffney, explains what the policy is.
"The general public is allowed to take snapshots in public areas. Equipment such as lighting, tripods, cables etc. is not allowed except in instances where a commercial and professional photographer enters into a contractual agreement with CTA.
"Photographers are not allowed to enter or photograph non-public areas of CTA stations.
"Photographers are prohibited from obstructing transit operations, interfering with customers, and blocking doors or stairs.
"In light of heightened security concerns, CTA personnel will evaluate the actions of photographers on a case by case basis to determine if a photographer is in compliance with the above guidelines. Photographers must cooperate with the requests of CTA personnel, which may include ceasing taking pictures.
"Public areas are the areas where you enter the station, pay your fare, and wait for the trains. Non-public areas are any storage rooms, work areas, ends of platforms that are blocked off to public access (such as in subways), tracks, etc."

She added: "Our goal is to try and be flexible and recognize that tourists and others may want to take pictures. But if it appears to us that someone is more interested in the facility itself or the equipment, than in photographing their friends or scenery, then our personnel has the right to ask them to stop. "

Following 9/11, we were very strict for a while. But we have made adjustments to try and have procedures that accommodate people without compromising security or customer safety.

"Instructions given to our personnel make it very clear that they must do their best to distinguish between tourists/people just taking a couple of snapshots compared to someone who is showing an unusual interest or raising suspicion.
 
Well - that IS an education! I've been working as a consultant with the RTA for the past 9 months. You wouldn't believe the BS that I've had to go through to take record shots at the various stations that are within the scope of my assignment. I've been stopped from taking photographs at Evanston, Quincy, Union Station, Joliet, Lasalle, etc.... I have a security badge and clearance from RTA and CTA and still get hassled. I quess I just have to look like I'm a regular rider. Seriously, this is very frustrating given the amount of time that has been wasted goofing around with their security clearances. Thanks for the clarification.
 
"Thanks for the clarification."

I have printed her statement out and carry it with me.
 

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