The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Metra Is Bringing Free Wi-Fi To Some Of Its Rail Cars

By Kate Shepherd in News on Sep 28, 2015 3:15PM

Photo Credit: Mark Sliozis

Metra is finally testing Wi-Fi in its cars. The commuter train service will install free internet hot spots on 10 rail cars before January to see how it works over a six-month period, Metra announced Friday.

"We have explored several ways to provide free Wi-Fi on Metra trains and are committed to doing all we can to get this done for our customers," Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno said in a statement. "If it's financially feasible and our customers like the level of service this technology can provide, our agency would seek funding or sponsorships to install free Wi-Fi on more of Metra's railcars."

Once the program is rolled out, Metra will let customers know which cars have Wi-Fi and will accept feedback. There will likely be dead zones along routes and it will be difficult to stream video, according to Metra. Metra also hopes to have free Wi-Fi available in the waiting areas of all five downtown stations within 45 days and is finishing installing charging stations.

Commuter railroads in other cities including Boston have installed Wi-Fi and a similar test program was recently launched for the South Shore Line, according to the Tribune.