Rail

Chicago transit to equip subways with 4G

Posted on October 4, 2013

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is seeking wireless telecommunications companies to upgrade the existing wireless network to 4G technology.

This initiative is one of several efforts by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Forrest Claypool to modernize infrastructure and make the CTA a world-class transit system.

“Chicago’s world-class transit system continues to improve, including upgrading technology for the safety and comfort of the millions who commute by bus and train every week,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I am completely committed to investing in all aspects of our public transportation infrastructure, from rails to stations to wireless access, which will encourage ridership growth and economic opportunity.”

RELATED: "Amtrak upgrades wireless service"

The upgraded subway wireless network will improve the customer experience by offering better and more robust services capable of supporting tablets and smartphone capabilities, and it will also address system safety by providing more reliable communication between CTA personnel and emergency responders.  

The existing infrastructure dates back to 2005 and is beyond its useful life in that it only supports voice services and has limited data-support capabilities.

Under the project, the current wireless network would remain operational while upgrades are made. To keep upgrade costs down, the selected wireless telecommunication provider will need to utilize existing infrastructure materials — such as fiber optics, power sources and hardware equipment — whenever possible.

“This infrastructure was pioneering for the transit industry when it was installed, and through this upgrade initiative, CTA looks to lead the industry once more by offering a fully-operational, 4G network across all major wireless service providers,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool.

CTA has 12 miles of underground subway, or 24 miles of individual tunnels, on the Blue and Red Lines. Additionally, the subway system includes multiple underground passageways connecting rail lines and providing access to nearby buildings. The agency currently owns and leases its subway cellular network to six major wireless service providers, which generates approximately $1.8 million in non-farebox revenue for the agency annually.

Project costs will be determined after proposals are received from qualified vendors. The project will be funded through CTA’s annual capital program. CTA expects to continue to receive revenue from the wireless providers as it does today.

RELATED: "Mayor: Transit key to Chicago's economic edge"

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Hyperloop to build full-scale track next year

The Quay Valley, Calif. Hyperloop track will be built using HTT’s tube, capsule and station models. It will be instrumental in optimizing passenger system needs — such as loading, departure and safety considerations — to ensure Hyperloop is ready for larger-scale operation.

Keolis/MBTA make strides with commuter rail snowstorm recovery

Milestones include the completion of snow and ice removal from all platforms and critical rail switches system-wide, as well as the addition of supplemental trains, doubledecker and standard passenger cars to increase capacity and combat overcrowding.

Alstom to deliver to Sydney Citadis X05

Company is responsible for the integrated tramway system, which includes the design, delivery and commissioning of 30 coupled Citadis X05 trams; power supply equipment, including APS -ground power supply; signaling systems, the energy recovery system HESOP, depot equipment and maintenance.

Ann Arbor transit official urged MDOT not to lease railcars

In 2009, more than a year before MDOT signed a contract to lease and refurbish the double-decker railcars, which since have cost the state about $12 million, an Ann Arbor transit official told MDOT the cars were not suitable for proposed commuter rail services because they didn't meet federal requirements.

Hitachi purchases manufacturer of Honolulu's rail system

Finmeccanica owns all of AnsaldoBreda, which is unprofitable, and 40% of Ansaldo STS, which is profitable, according to the report. The two Ansaldo companies formed a joint venture, Ansaldo Honolulu JV, to design and build the 20-mile, 21-station elevated train system for Oahu under a $1.4 billion contract.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

Please sign in or register to .    Close