By Megan Hickey


CHICAGO (CBS) — Cities like Houston and Atlanta use bans and suspensions for public transit riders who repeatedly commit crimes. Now Chicago’s interim police Superintendent Charlie Beck thinks Chicago should follow their lead.

“There are a number of entities within the country that use either temporary restraining orders or settlement agreements on people who are convicted to keep people from riding the trains,” Beck said Friday as he unveiled a new CTA security plan.

Legal experts tell CBS 2 bans can be worked into probation orders on a case by case basis. But those orders are dropped when the probation period is over.

“It’s obviously not something that I can do as the police department but it is something that the courts can do,” Beck said

The programs for Houston’s METRO, San Francisco’s BART, and Atlanta’s MARTA systems are different.  Their conduct policies allow for some type of ban or temporary suspension. They also have appeal policies for riders to challenge them.

Transportation expert Joe Schwieterman says he understands the appeal but also cautions:  “The CTA can be a lifeline. So I think you’ve got to calibrate these programs well so that they’re fair to people while still protecting passengers.

And ultimately he worries that enforcement would be challenge: “You don’t need ID’s to get on trains. It’s going to be a bit of a loose sort of enforcement problem, I think.”

We reached out to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office about Beck’s comments. A spokesperson said right now they don’t have enough information about the proposal to give a comment.

Megan Hickey