Thursday, September 11, 2008

Post 9/11 photography on the CTA - Entirely Reasonable

I was taking some photos on the Red Line of the Chicago Transit Authority today, and I was told politely that I would need to get permission. So I put the camera away... and decided to see what's involved in getting permission. The response was one which I'm quite happy with, as a photographer, passenger, and Citizen of the United States.

I rode the Green Line to the LindenClinton stop and walked over to CTA headquarters. Ms Kelley in customer service was very nice and polite in determining who should handle my inquiry. The lobby on the second floor features a nice Neon sculpture I hope to photograph some day.

After a short wait I was greeted by Ron Grazian Jr., who is the Planning Coordinator for Operations Oversight. He explained the situation to me, and gathered information from me about the nature and purpose of my photography. He gave me a copy of the policy document they use for their staff, which will probably prove helpfull at some point in the future. He also made the quite valid point that they have 11,000 employees who may or may not know the fine details of their policy.

The policy itself is quite reasonable, leaving things to the discretion of their employees, which is probably the most sane approach to things they could have possibly done. I'm very impressed with the professionalism and thoughfullness of the CTA.

In discussing why I take photos, and what I do with them, I was surprised that Ron had not heard of Flickr, so told him about the site, and gave him a link to my photostream. We both learned some things, time well spent.

All in all, a 5 Star experience. No hiding behind a set of rules, or anything of that nature, just real 1:1 conversation. 

Thanks Ron!


Unknown said...

None of this makes sense b/c not only does the green line not go anywhere NEAR Linden, that stop is in Wilmette, not Chicago. The headquarters have always been downtown in the merchandise Mart or their new home on clinton St.

Mike Warot said...

My bad... I'm used to thinking about the Linden stop.... and typed it instead of Clinton.