Addition of Second Wireless Provider in CTA Subways Improves Communications for Agency and Customers

August 29, 2008

Effective Monday, September 1, communication capabilities for customers will be further improved with the availability of Verizon Wireless services throughout the Red and Blue Line subways. Verizon has signed a 10-year agreement to lease CTA's wireless communications infrastructure in the subways.

"With more people either working on-the-go or taking advantage of a few minutes during their commute to check their email or read the latest news, the availability of Verizon's wireless services in our subway system is one more convenience we can provide for our customers and their use of use of personal wireless devices," said CTA President Ron Huberman.

In 2005, CTA completed the installation of state-of-the art technology designed to enhance CTA's existing two-way radio system and improve subway communications options for CTA, the Chicago Police Department and Chicago Fire Department in the Red and Blue line subways.

The improved telecommunications system also laid the groundwork for the agency to generate additional revenue by leasing its wireless infrastructure for commercial service to allow the use of wireless devices, such as cell phones, text messaging and wireless email devices throughout the 11.4 mile subway system. In July 2006, U.S. Cellular became the first wireless provider to lease use of the infrastructure. As part of its agreement, CTA will receive $27,950 per month for Verizon to lease the agency's subway wireless infrastructure.

Currently, only Verizon Wireless and U.S. Cellular customers are able to send and receive phone calls, text messages and other information and data from their wireless and web-enabled devices. CTA is working to add additional service providers to the system. As more wireless service providers contract with CTA to use the infrastructure to provide service, more customers will be able to use their wireless devices.


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