Schumer: MTA Should Hurry On Wifi Plans

New York’s low-key senior senator, Chuck Schumer, is urging the MTA to speed up its plans to make both Metro-North and the L.I.R.R. Wifi-enabled, which would mean wireless Internet for all those suitably equipped for it.

Schumer, who would go to the opening of an envelope, held his press conference at Bronxville train station…no word if he ducked into J.C. Fogarty’s for a pint afterwards.


Where my Wifi at?

Schumer wants to know why the transit system’s broadband study is taking so long.

The Journal News reports:

“Why is Metro-North lagging behind? We don’t know,” Schumer said at the Bronxville station. If the MTA passes a plan quickly enough, Schumer said, it may be able to obtain federal stimulus funds for the work under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Rail systems in places like Boston and San Francisco already use or are setting up wireless Internet services. Amtrak is testing a system on its Acela Express trains that run between Washington, D.C., and Boston, passing through New York City.

“They’re almost inevitably an overwhelming success,” Schumer said.

The MTA responded that it just recently placed ads soliciting bids from Wifi providers, which are due in in September. Schumer concedes the rollout will take a few years, but says he’d like to see a pilot program in place in a few months.

Grand Central debuted wireless internet at the Station Master’s office waiting room in May 2008.

Paul Vitale, vice president of government and community relations for the business council, said the MTA should be out in front, providing wireless Internet before others.

“We should be a trendsetter,” he said, “not a follower.”


This entry was posted in Bronxville, JC Fogarty's, Metro North, Wifi and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Schumer: MTA Should Hurry On Wifi Plans

  1. Metro-North has to focus on cellphone reception first, then WiFi. Most people on the train are already using voice and data on the train with their cellphone, lets make sure that works from end-to-end first, on all carriers, including the GCT tunnel and ALL parts of GCT.

    Also, try opening your notebook computer in anything but a face to face seat on a most trains – its not like an airplane seat, there is very little room depending on the size of commuter and notebook.

    Finally, any WiFi solution will just be bridged 3G anyway.

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