The Chicago Transit Authority is expanding an apprenticeship program that will give more people who have committed crimes a second chance and give commuters cleaner buses and trains to ride on.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Forrest Claypool announced Wednesday the ex-offender apprenticeship program will be quadrupled in size to allow for as many as 265 apprenticeship opportunities on the city’s bus and rail systems. The apprenticeship assignments will last nine months to a year, and will include duties such as servicing platforms and cleaning buses and trains.

Emanuel says the program benefits Chicago because it will lower the unemployment rate among hard-to-employ ex-offenders, and reduce recidivism. He and Claypool say as the ex-offenders learn job skills, they are also making buses and trains cleaner for riders.

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