Technology

Chicago Transit expands Wi-Fi availability

Posted on January 16, 2019

In 2015, the Mayor brought 4G wireless service to the subway system, making CTA the largest public transit system in North America with 4G coverage in its entire subway.
Daniel Schwen
In 2015, the Mayor brought 4G wireless service to the subway system, making CTA the largest public transit system in North America with 4G coverage in its entire subway.Daniel Schwen

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Transit Authority officials launched the availability of free Wi-Fi network service at the CTA’s Clark/Lake Blue Line subway station — the latest investment in technology to benefit customers and improve commutes.

The new Wi-Fi service, which provides riders with free, fast internet service, is ideal for regular commuters and visitors who want to quickly download media, large files, or simply access the internet without using up their data from their monthly wireless service packages.

CTA will expand Wi-Fi coverage to three more Blue Line subway stations by the end of the month.

In 2015, the Mayor brought 4G wireless service to the subway system, making CTA the largest public transit system in North America with 4G coverage in its entire subway. The $32.5 million deal was brokered by the Mayor’s Chicago Infrastructure Trust, and was completely funded by America’s four major wireless providers.

The free Wi-Fi network is made possible by connectivity upgrades to CTA’s extensive subway wireless network, which was upgraded in late 2015 as part of Mayor Emanuel’s ambitious endeavor to make the Chicago the first largest city in North America to provide transit riders with full 4G wireless coverage across its entire system of subway stations and tunnels.

CTA currently has continuous 4G coverage crossing 22 miles from O’Hare airport through the underground tunnels and platforms of the Red and Blue Lines, the CTA’s two busiest rail lines.

Other technologies have also greatly boosted the CTA customer experience, including expansion of Train Tracker and Bus Tracker functionality, digital information and train tracker screens at rail stations, new digital screens on buses, and a dramatically expanded and modernized security camera network.

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