BART to install free WiFi at all stations by 2024 – NBC Bay Area
All BART stations are on track to install WiFi networks by 2024, officials from the transit agency said Thursday.
Providing wireless internet service at all BART stations and on the agency’s new fleet of trains is part of the agency’s Digital Railway program, which aims to modernize the BART system by facilitating calls, SMS and the use of the Internet for passengers.
BART plans to leverage its existing partnerships with telecommunications companies such as Verizon and AT&T to improve wireless service throughout the system as well as other local transportation agencies such as the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.
“We want to keep pace with modern technology and make sure people can use the devices they love and love,” Travis Engstrom, BART chief technology officer, told the BART board on Thursday.
The board of directors initially approved the Digital Railway program in January 2020.
A pandemic and 18 months later, Engstrom said on Thursday the agency plans to launch the first of four parts of the digital railroad, which includes the installation of wireless phone service in the Muni metro, d ‘by the middle of next year.
“This service will ensure that passengers who today normally have long periods without connectivity on these trains will be able to have cell service in the metro,” he said.
For BART, its first segment of the Digital Railway program includes starting the installation of wireless internet service in late 2022 at BART stations in downtown San Francisco, with the goal of completing all stations. by 2024.
In addition, the agency also plans to install wireless service reinforcement poles along its train routes by 2025, which will allow passengers to use BART’s WiFi network on any route. .
BART also plans to install new fiber optic cable into the system by 2023 to further increase cellular service and speed.
It will take about four weeks per station to install WiFi in the station throughout the system, Engstrom said, adding that the service will be free and will not include internet speed levels unless the BART board does. approves them.
“I would be very careful not to have any kind of multi-level service,” Janice Li, director of the BART board. “I want to make sure this is a benefit that all of our riders can access as fairly as possible.”