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Old September 13th, 2005, 10:21 PM   #1
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MISC | Wi-Fi on Transportation

As a bus commuter, I feel it's very important for transit companies to do whatever it takes to make commuting by bus as appealing as possible.

King County Metro (Seattle) is taking a step in that direction with it's new pilot program.


King County Executive Ron Sims and Metro officials today launched a pilot effort to turn transit buses into rolling WiFi hotspots. Beginning with this afternoon’s commute, the first two buses on the routes 48 and 197 will begin offering-up wireless Internet access to passengers who have laptops or WiFi-enabled devices. The two routes serve the University of Washington and communities such as Loyal Heights, Columbia City and Rainier Beach in Seattle and Kent-Des Moines, Star Lake and Federal Way via Interstate-5. Later this fall, Sound Transit will join the partnership by equipping selected buses serving the Route 545 between Redmond and downtown Seattle. The pilot project will run through Metro’s February service change.

Check it out:
cut and paste into media player

What would it take for you to finally get out of your car and get on board?

Edit: Community Transit, too. (Snohomish County/Lynnwood/Everett)


Last edited by dimlys1994; March 6th, 2016 at 08:58 AM.
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Old September 13th, 2005, 11:03 PM   #2
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Thats a great idea. I don't think it will work for busy urban bus routes, but commuter buses, suburban trains and maybe Skytrain would be awsome.

I hope to see this avalible on Vancouver's transit system in the very near future.
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Old September 13th, 2005, 11:40 PM   #3
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^I agree that this might be a good idea on trains, or even motorcoaches, but city buses? I don't think I would want to use my laptop on one. That strikes me as being rather awkward.
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Old September 14th, 2005, 01:26 AM   #4
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I think this is a great concept. Laptops may be too bulky for the more crowded routes, but those using a handheld device will have a much easier time.
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Old December 27th, 2005, 11:07 PM   #5
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Wi-Fi Access on Rapid Transit

I'm interested to know which systems around the world offer wi-fi wireless internet access, and how exactly it works.

This is purely for my own/the forum's interest (not a study), although I have put the questions in the form of a survey. Please answer whichever ones you know, even if the system is still an early proposal.

1. Which transit system is it and where is it located?

2. Is there a website about its wireless access program? If so, please link.

3. What kind of transit vehicles is it available on? What length of routes (in travel time)? Is it also accessible from stations/platforms?

4. Is there an extra fee for using it?

5. Is it operated by a third party company?

6. How do you set it up? i.e. visit a website and sign up an account

7. What security technologies, if any, does it use? i.e. WEP, WPA

8. Add in anything else about specific wireless technologies the system uses. i.e. 802.11b/g

9. How is the quality of the connection? i.e. speed, reliability

10. Are there special amenities for laptop users, like desks and lamps, on the transit vehicles?

11. What types of users do you most frequently see using it? i.e. students with laptops, businesspeople with PDAs, gamers playing Nintendo DS/PSP

I might add in some more questions here as I think of them. Feel free to add in any other thoughts you might have as well.

Last edited by zonie; December 28th, 2005 at 03:51 AM.
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Old December 29th, 2005, 08:12 PM   #6
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Am I maybe a couple years too early here? Have these systems actually been implemented yet? I thought I'd at least heard rumblings of such systems in the likes of Boston and Toronto (VIVA?).
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Old December 29th, 2005, 11:17 PM   #7
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Rapid Ride Wifi


Commuting time has become much more productive with wireless web access on Albuquerque’s Rapid Ride buses.

Wifi on the bus

Make internet phone calls,
check email, and chat with friends
during your bus commute

With your wireless-enabled laptop, you’re ready to surf the internet, exchange e-mail, and chat with friends, family and co-workers while aboard the Rapid Ride. And your messages are encrypted for security.

While on the Rapid Ride, your communications “on the go” might include low-cost internet phone calls (more on voIP Leaving www.cabq.gov, click for disclaimer ). You can also use a PDA Leaving www.cabq.gov, click for disclaimer , handheld personal computer, or video camera as you move across the city.

Albuquerque’s 12 wireless-enabled Rapid Ride buses enable you to exchange data, voice, and video information very fast.

Your laptop connects to a router on the roof of your Rapid Ride bus and the bus’s antenna connects to a wireless network via antennae on traffic lights and other key access points along the bus route.

About every half mile, your bus’s antenna switches to the next stationary antenna. As you use your laptop on your moving bus, the network keeps you seamlessly, smoothly connected.
How the City's Network Engineers Did It

In January 2005, Mayor Martin Chavez launched the City’s planning of wireless access on Rapid Ride buses. From March to June, network engineers for the City and Cisco Certified InterNetwork Experts (INETX) conducted a successful test on Central Ave. from 1st St. to San Mateo Blvd.

With the technology proven, the mayor decided in July to proceed with deploying wifi on the entire Rapid Ride route. Network engineers in the City’s Information Services Division started deploying the wireless-access network along the full route in August.

Wi-Fi antenna atop an Albuquerque traffic light

Traffic light antenna
help maintain a seamless
Internet connection

The Rapid Ride travels Central Ave. from Unser Blvd. to Wyoming Blvd. The bus then loops up and back to Uptown offices and malls (traveling north on Wyoming Blvd. to I-40, west on I-40 to Louisiana Blvd., north on Louisiana to American Parkway, and from there to the Uptown Station).

Approximately every half mile along the entire Rapid Ride route, a Cisco Aironet ® 1300-series outdoor bridge / access point is deployed. Engineers mounted most of these 83 compact, rugged bridges on traffic lights.

Network engineers for the City mounted an internal antenna on the roof of each Rapid Ride bus. On the buses they also installed Cisco ® 3200-series mobile access routers with “always-on” connectivity. These wireless routers enable users on a moving vehicle to maintain secure data, voice, and video connections.

Wi-Fi antenna atop an Albuquerque traffic lightThe network engineers completed the always-on mobile IP (Internet Protocol) network by October 1st.

The broadband network architecture with its single common standard enables transparent, encrypted and secure communication with seamless roaming across the bus route. The entire mobile wireless network maintains continuous connectivity while vehicles move and transition between “zones”.

The bandwidth speed of the wireless systems is 54 megabits per second – faster than a T-1 circuit – and the system is scalable and can be expanded easily in the future.
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Old December 29th, 2005, 11:27 PM   #8
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One San Jose commuter rail line has Wifi
pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/whakojacko/
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