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The Chicago Traveler

Subway Signals

by Matt B on September 17th, 2008

Years ago, while riding the 'L' underground, I always found it amusing to see passengers confusedly looking at their cell phones and wondering why they didn't have any signal. Didn't they realize that they were several feet below the surface?

cell phoneNowadays, being under the streets doesn't have to stop you from texting, gabbing, Twitter'ing, Flickr'ing, and other cell-phone what-not, depending on your carrier. More than two years ago, U.S. Cellular signed a lease with the CTA to use the wireless infrastructure in the subways, allowing customers to get a cellular signal even while underground. Earlier this month, Verizon Wireless also struck up a deal, so Verizon customers will also be able to send and receive calls, text messages, e-mail, etc.

Personally, I might not mind not having a cell phone signal, especially if it meant that no one else did either. After all, the 'L' gets pretty darn loud when it goes underground, and I don't want to listen to someone talking even louder into his/her phone. However, I suppose the CTA does need the money, and there are occasions when I'd rather not wait 9 or 10 stations before I can send out an important text message: for example, 'Which stop are we meeting at-

Photo credit: (c/o SXC) Colin Nixon

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