CTA riders got some welcome good news late last week:
- The first subway section of full 4G wireless service was completed in the Kimball Subway, a 1.2-mile section serving the Logan Square and Belmont stations.
- And, the Yellow Line will finally reopen Oct. 30 after a five-month closure due to an embankment collapse resulting from construction on Metropolitan Water Reclamation District property.
The 4G wireless service in that portion of the Blue Line subway is the first phase of the project started early this year to bring full wireless service to all portions of the Blue and Red line subways before the end of the year.
The 4G wireless project is a $32.5 million deal, brokered by the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, with America’s four major wireless providers – T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint – to finance the network modernization. In January 2015, T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint collectively agreed to fund the design and construction of a next-generation Distributed Antenna System (DAS) capable of supporting the latest 4G wireless networks and mobile devices.
The project will provide continuous 4G coverage in 22 miles of subway, from O’Hare Airport and through the underground tunnels and platforms of the Red and Blue Lines, the CTA’s two busiest rail lines.
Restoring service on the Yellow Line took longer than anticipated for the CTA. And it cost the CTA more than $3.5 million, according to the Tribune.
Now the CTA wants to celebrate with a ceremonial first ride the morning of Oct. 30 at the CTA Oakton Station on a vintage 2400-series rail cars in celebration of the return of the Yellow Line. Additionally, the CTA will put into service CTA’s two newest 5000-series rail cars—the last to be delivered from an order of 714 cars, part of CTA’s ongoing modernization of its rail fleet.
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