The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) in the US has made free Wi-Fi network service available at 18 downtown Red and Blue Line station platforms.

The move is intended to enhance the travel experience of passengers and enable them to use the internet while waiting at stations.

CTA’s 22 miles of subway and tunnel network is already under 4G wireless coverage. The expansion of the service will allow riders to access fast internet at the platforms.

CTA president Dorval R Carter Jr said: “We aim to provide the best possible connectivity for our customers and this new Wi-Fi system allows us to offer that amenity.

“We believe this Wi-Fi service will make taking public transit an even more appealing option for our customers.”

“We believe this Wi-Fi service will make taking public transit an even more appealing option for our customers.”

The transit operator invested around $1m from its operating budget to bring the Red and Blue line subway stations under wireless coverage.

The Blue Line’s Belmont and Logan Square stations will offer free internet services by the end of this month.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said: “Chicago has taken the next technological step toward keeping commuters fully connected in our fast-paced, digital world.

“This service will benefit all passengers who rely on our rail system to get to work, school and to destinations across our great city every day.”

In recent years, CTA has taken multiple initiatives to improve customer experience. It includes the expansion of train and bus tracker functionality at rail stations, modernisation of the security network and installing mobile device chargers.

Earlier this week, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) started the construction of a station for CTA’s Green Line at Damen Avenue and Lake Street.