TTC: Free Wi-Fi Available at St. George/Bloor-Yonge Subway Stations Starts on Nov. 25/13

Update:

Commencing November 25, 2013 free Wi-Fi will be available to TTC passengers at the two major interchange offices, Yonge-Bloor and St. George Subway Stations. Eventually, Wi-Fi will be rolled out to all the other subway stations.
Commencing November 25, 2013 free Wi-Fi will be available to TTC passengers at the two busiest major interchange offices, Yonge-Bloor and St. George Subway Stations. Eventually, Wi-Fi will be rolled out to all the other 59 subway stations, including a cellphone carrier by 2017.

see source

TTC riders will be able to access free wi-fi in two subway stations on Monday. But a plan to put cellphone service on the platforms remains on hold until a cell provider comes on board.

Riders will be able to send emails, receive TTC alerts and surf the web from St. George and Bloor-Yonge stations, effective Monday morning.

But BAI Canada, the company with the contract to outfit 61 Toronto subway stations with wireless, hasn’t yet attracted a cell carrier that would allow riders to phone and text on the subway, said TTC spokesman Brad Ross.

Riders will be able to send emails, receive TTC alerts and surf the web from St. George and Bloor-Yonge stations
Riders will be able to send emails, receive TTC alerts and surf the web from St. George and Bloor-Yonge stations

“Cell providers have not demonstrated an eagerness to participate at this stage, so there will be no cell service or texting,” he said on Friday.

BAI bought the rights to the TTC for $25 million over 20 years, last year. The other qualified bidder, Bell Mobility, offered only $5.49 million for the contract.

The infrastructure is now in place for cell service at those two stations.

“We’ve sent letters to the big service providers to encourage them to come on board …. The TTC is eager to work with (them) to provide this service our customers have asked for,” said Ross.

But the TTC is locked into the BAI contract for 20 years and it would be up to the company to give up on attracting those carriers.

Once the St. George and Bloor station prototype is complete to the TTC’s satisfaction, likely in January, BAI has a year to sign on cell providers that, combined, would serve 60 per cent of Toronto subscribers. BAI then has the option to extend that period by another year.

If after two years that hasn’t happened, the company can abandon the contract.

“We, the TTC, cannot force them out. It’s up to them. They have invested a great deal of money already in the system. The contract does not stipulate they must have cellular coverage in the system,” Ross said.

TTC is sending the right signals to TTC passengers. Riders will be able to send emails, receive TTC alerts and surf the web from St. George and Bloor-Yonge stations, effective Monday morning. But BAI Canada, the company with the contract to outfit 61 Toronto subway stations with wireless, hasn’t yet attracted a cell carrier that would allow riders to phone and text on the subway, said TTC spokesman Brad Ross.Riders will be able to send emails, receive TTC alerts and surf the web from St. George and Bloor-Yonge stations, effective Monday morning. But BAI Canada, the company with the contract to outfit 61 Toronto subway stations with wireless, hasn’t yet attracted a cell carrier that would allow riders to phone and text on the subway, said TTC spokesman Brad Ross.
TTC is sending the right signals to TTC passengers. Riders will be able to send emails, receive TTC alerts and surf the web from St. George and Bloor-Yonge stations, starting Monday morning. The 61 Toronto subway stations with wireless, still don’t have a cell carrier that would allow riders to phone and text on the subway. Riders will be able to send emails, receive TTC alerts and surf the web from St. George and Bloor-Yonge stations.

Meantime, TTC riders will be able to access the internet for email and there are apps that will also allow some smart phone users to text.

BAI Canada, a division of Broadcast Australia Pty Ltd., says it is optimistic cell companies will sign on.

“We anticipated going into this that it was going to take a while for the wireless carriers to make a decision to come on board,” said CEO Brian Jacks.

It took three or four years to sign a wireless carrier to New York’s subway system, he added.

“We believe that the ridership wants to have cellphone service, … we know the TTC wants to have cellphone service down there. We believe carriers will understand that in due time,” he said.

“As soon as they are ready we’ll be able to expedite providing that service to the ridership,” said Ken Ranger BAI chief operating officer.

It is important to note, he said, the wireless pilot is on schedule.

Monday’s soft launch will be followed by an official event in December, said Ross. But the TTC wants a couple of weeks to test the system before it is formally introduced.

It's only fair to share...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+Pin on Pinterestshare on TumblrShare on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail to someone

2 comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.