Fifteen years in the making. That's according to what Daily Wireless said about Wi-Fi access on Oregon's comuter line that went online on Friday.
Along a 27 mile route, I can see lots of folks making use of this service. Personally, I'm not too thrilled about this since I get car-bus-train sickness very easily (I'm fine if I'm the driver). But I think this is the right step forward.
I'm hoping that stations will also be outfitted with wireless Internet service in the next step. I mean it's not likely folks will just go to intermediate stops just to go P2P crazy. And it would be a natural progression in providing commuters service.
Furthermore, it can help promote public transportation. Obviously, the Oregon route provides free Wi-Fi to all riders. But at stations, Wi-Fi access can be provided for a small charge to monthly ticket holders. For mobile folks who don't ride the trains as much, they can buy Wi-Fi creds for an additional free (say $) for5 the day.
As you read further, you see how much Wi-Fi access is being charged. The BART seems to be the most ambitious project for public transit but the charges could hinder adoption of the system. $300 a year. It reminds me of T-Mobile's hotspot charges. These days, it's practically free with some services. Plus, in this economic condition, I'm not sure a lot of Bay Area folks will be eager to shell out a monthly $30 fee for Internet access for a small part of their day. Plus, it stands to reason that a lot of folks will already have Internet access through their mobile devices.
Charges aside, let's hope we'll see more wireless Internet access in public venues. If anyone know of a site that provides lists of wireless Internet in different cities and train stations, let me know. I think a lot of folks will be interested in knowing if their cities offer Wi-Fi access.
Source: Daily Wireless