January 13, 2019

Mayor Emanuel And CTA Launch New Public WI-FI Service In Downtown Blue Line Subway Station

Nation’s First Subway System Fully Equipped with 4G Wireless Service Now Providing Free Internet Access at Clark/Lake Station; More Stations to Come

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Transit Authority President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. today announced the availability of free WiFi network service at the CTA’s Clark/Lake Blue Line subway station—the latest investment in technology to benefit customers and improve commutes.

“By adding WiFi service, we are helping keep commuters connected in the fast-paced, digital world,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This service will benefit the thousands of daily commuters and travelers who pass through this station every day.”

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.

“Free WiFi provides our customers another option for connectivity,” Carter said, “This is yet another added convenience we’re offering our customers to help make taking public transit an even more appealing option.

CTA will expand WiFi coverage to the Washington, Monroe and Jackson Blue Line subway stations by the end of the month.

Mayor Emanuel has made multiple investments in technology that benefits CTA customers. 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 City of 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.