CTA to Install 4G Service in Red and Blue Line Tunnels Later This Year

By Josh McGhee on February 17, 2014 9:12am 

 The CTA hopes to award a contract and begin work later this year on  upgraded wireless service.
The CTA hopes to award a contract and begin work later this year on  upgraded wireless service.
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DNAinfo/Kyla Gardner

CHICAGO — Work to install 4G service in the subway tunnels of the Red and Blue lines could begin later this year now that the CTA is moving forward with a plan to boost phone and data service.

The CTA said Monday it's taking the next step in Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to upgrade the wireless infrastructure by seeking proposals for the 24 miles of tunnels used by the two lines.

The current data infrastructure there was installed in 2005 and inadequate, the transit agency said.

The CTA is now seeking proposals for the work, with a goal of awarding a contract by the summer and beginning construction before the end of the year. The CTA said the project's cost will be released after proposals are received.

“We’re pleased to make progress in our efforts to update technology infrastructure that is no longer adequate to meet today’s wireless needs, including those of our customers, our employees and emergency responders,” said Forrest Claypool, CTA president. “We’re committed to finding the best qualified organization to efficiently design and install the modern infrastructure our subway tunnels need.”

CTA said it hopes the improved cellphone coverage will provide better voice and data services and improve safety by offering more reliable communication between emergency responders and CTA employees.

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