Time To Play Guess The Wi-Fi Car!

Riders of the Metro-North’s New Haven line get ready to participate in the latest game show phenomenon, “Guess The Wi-Fi”. In this game, riders will pay their fares & hope behind that magical ticket & subsequent seat is wi-fi access on your commute!

According to a brief report in Sunday’s New York Post, the MTA has secretly equipped one car on the New Haven line with wi-fi. The car is not being revealed due to the agency phasing in the project which is not complete. Here is the Post’s brief report by Annie Karni:

All aboard the MTA’s mystery Internet train.

Computer-addicted commuters who ride the Metro-North to and from Grand Central could be surfing the Web during the ride — but they don’t even know it.

One car on the New Haven line has been secretly equipped with Wi-Fi, as part of a covert three-month pilot program the MTA has rolled out, The Post has learned.

The MTA isn’t telling commuters which car is connected because the system is “not ready for prime time,” spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said.

The train car has an outside antenna that receives a cellular signal from AT&T. Inside the car, a router converts cell service to Wi-Fi.

The MTA is currently reviewing three proposals to carry Wi-Fi throughout the Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road systems and to provide 32-inch digital screens in cars for advertising and real-time updates about schedules and delays.

Installing digital screens would cost up to $38,000 per car, according to an MTA request for proposals issued last March.

I wish I could be there to see the spectacle of people whipping out their devices to see if they are the lucky winners in getting wi-fi service. Eventually the car will be revealed online & then people will flock to the car like the sheep many are & feel like they accomplished something.

If you ask me, it is not a big deal. While wi-fi service is great to have on the railroad, thanks to Optimum Wi-Fi working on the LIRR, I find the agency has more pressing things to get accomplished. While it does not sound like the cost for this project is a lot, it does seem like a waste of resources during these economic times.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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