CTA seeks bids, expects subway tunnel wireless rehab to begin this year

The CTA is now accepting bids to upgrade wireless access in subway tunnels to 4G technology. Hopefully by this time next year you will spend less time staring at a blank screen and more time surfing the internet in the Red and Blue line tunnels.

From the news release:

Last fall the agency issued the first step in a Request for Proposals (RFP) process to select a pool of qualified bidders for the project. The second step of the RFP process has begun with the issue a detail specification of the project to the pre-qualified bidders, seeking their proposals for the design and installation of a modern cellular infrastructure system in the CTA’s Red and Blue line tunnels and underground facilities.

Responses are due by mid-March. The CTA anticipates awarding a contract by summer 2014 and work to begin later in the year.

The existing infrastructure dates back to 2005 and is inadequate to support modern wireless needs.

Project costs will be determined after proposals are received from qualified bidders. As the wireless project is under way, the CTA will keep the current wireless network operational, and the CTA will continue to receive revenue from wireless providers as it does today.

I just wonder if the CTA can vastly improve the wireless network but make the phone lines so terrible that no one would want to talk on the phone in the subway. Whaddya think?


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  • On your last point, of course, by specifying 1999 technology. However, I don't think that the wireless companies will pay for the privilege of using that infrastructure.

  • This is just what the phone thieves want. More nitwits not paying attention to what's going on, so they get robbed of their phones & more.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    I have to agree with that one. However, at least they aren't Posteriorbooking while driving.

    Of course, we're also assuming that phone thieves can't figure out that smartphones have gps.

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    In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Cool theory, bro.

  • This is off topic, but...
    On the bus in the last week, when the Ventra card doesn't register, the drivers are telling the passengers to rotate the card & hold it in a certain way.
    Is it possible that this is the problem why there are so many try again responses?
    If that's true, then it seems that the antenna in the card was poorly designed, because it should work in any direction as long as the card is relatively close & parallel to the reader.
    Personally, my card is in my wallet & it almost always works. The few times on a bus when it didn't, no one else's worked either until the bus moved a bit & then the cell signal was picked up. There have also been a few balky L station readers & I had to go to a different turnstile to go through, especially at Granville.
    I also have no other RFID cards to worry about.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    But Claypool has been saying for a month that everything is o.k.

    The cell tower issue should have been figured out by now.

  • I remember when they were getting bids back on 2005 to put cell lines in the subway. It never really worked all that well.

  • In reply to jakester:

    My cell phone works a lot better in the subway than it did before 2005... Plus, that was before I had a smartphone that used data. I don't make calls down there very often.

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