Getting a reliable internet connection on a CTA subway platform can often be a Sisyphean task (and a drain on your data plan), especially during rush hour. Luckily for commuters, the CTA is taking the mantra “new year, new me” seriously.
Over the weekend, CTA officials announced that by the end of January, free Wi-Fi hot spots will be installed at three downtown Blue Line stops Washington, Monroe and Jackson. You can try out the free Wi-Fi at the Clark/Lake Blue Line station, where the hot spots have already been installed.
While the free Wi-Fi is limited to CTA platforms, commuters will be able to connect while waiting for a train to download long documents, podcasts or check the weather—all without using any of their data plan. If this pilot program proves successful, Wi-Fi could become available at every CTA station, though no timetable has been set.
The $600,000 upgrade comes at the behest of Emanuel, who has advocated for CTA improvements throughout his time as mayor. In 2015, the outgoing mayor introduced 4G wireless service across CTA's subway tunnels and platforms, making it the largest subway system in North America with complete 4G coverage.