CTA subway tunnel set for 4G wireless upgrade starting in November

The CTA has identified a company to upgrade wireless service in its subway tunnels to 4G and expects work to start by November. The CTA board is expected to approved the $27 million project this week

Illustration by Susan Wise

Illustration by Susan Wise

The new service, which will take about a year to install, will replace the current 2G service in 22 miles of Red and Blue line tunnels. During the entire project period,  the CTA will keep the current wireless network operational and will continue to receive revenue from the six major wireless providers that currently provide service in CTA subways. The CTA owns and licenses its subway cellular network to six major wireless service providers, which generates $1.8 million of annual revenue.

Aldridge Electric was selected as part of a comprehensive, two-part Request for Proposals (RFP) process that began in 2013 and that evaluated bidders on their project proposal, experience, qualifications, safety record and financial capability, said the CTA. Aldridge will use CTA’s existing infrastructure equipment, including fiber optic cable, power sources and other equipment, to minimize the upgrade’s costs.

I will be happy to more efficiently be able to text, surf the Net and stream video. I just hope this doesn’t lead to more people talking on their phones in the tunnel. It’s already loud due to the roar of the train. Having people trying to talk over that on phones would just make the ride more unbearable.
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  • Also more people stealing phones in the tunnel.

  • Maybe they can fix the fact that the cell signal doesn't work 90% of the time at Clark/Lake which is one of the biggest transfer stations. Never could figure that out...

  • When they install 4G, this is going to be good for the first time in years. I can't wait. It's going to up the ante on CTA Bus & Train Tracker! LOL!!

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