Rail

Metra testing free Wi-Fi on 11 railcars

Posted on February 22, 2016

Chicago's Metra has completed installation of cellular Wi-Fi hotspots on one railcar for each of its 11 lines as part of a pilot program to determine whether the technology can provide free and dependable Internet access to customers onboard its trains.

“We continue to explore ways to provide free Wi-Fi on our trains and hope our customers will tell us if they find these new hotspots valuable,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno. “If it’s financially feasible and our customers like the free service, our agency would seek funding or sponsorships to install Wi-Fi on more of Metra’s railcars.”

The six-month pilot program is expected to cost approximately $35,000.

The pilot program is similar to one recently launched by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) on its South Shore Line. Like the NICTD program, this Wi-Fi service is available on a car-by-car basis instead of a full train.

In general, the hotspots are limited to a 1 megabyte download speed per user. Checking email and Internet browsing are the intended uses of this service, not streaming video. Metra has posted information onboard to notify customers that streaming video will likely impair service and that there may be dead zones along the route.  

Metra will rotate the 11 Wi-Fi cars among each of its lines throughout the pilot program. The Wi-Fi cars are labeled with decals on the exterior and will be positioned as the end car on the train (opposite end from the locomotive), when possible. Conductors will also alert customers to the location of the Wi-Fi car through onboard announcements on all outbound trains.

To access the free Wi-Fi service, customers can simply select “Metra Wi-Fi Onboard” from the list of options on their smartphones, tablets or laptop computers. Once selected, they will have to agree to the terms and conditions to gain access to the service.

Customers can then visit www.metrarail.com/wifisurvey to provide feedback on the quality of Wi-Fi service.  

Last year, to further enhance the agency’s customer connectivity options, Metra completed installation of charging stations at all five downtown stations and implemented free Wi-Fi in the waiting areas.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Caltrain hosts groundbreaking for electrification project

The project will electrify the Caltrain corridor between San Francisco and San Jose and will equip the corridor with high-performance electric trains.

Lhota unveils New York City subway action plan

The announcement comes fewer than 30 days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared New York City’s subways to be in a state of emergency and directed Chairman Lhota to provide a plan for immediate action that puts customers first.

Canadian infrastructure bank possible financing option for U.S.-Canada high-speed line

The Trudeau government’s soon-to-be-launched, $35-billion infrastructure bank will seek to use public funds as leverage to attract billions more in private investment for major infrastructure projects, such as bridges, transit systems, and rail lines.

Joint venture selected to operate new Hartford commuter rail

TransitAmerica Services and Alternate Concepts has been selected as the service provider that will operate and manage service on the CTrail Hartford Line — the passenger rail service currently under construction.

Keolis, MBTA to improve commuter rail ticket checking

Estimates suggest that up to $24 million in uncollected fare could be recovered through a ticket-checking modernization initiative and other tactics.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close