Starting tomorrow, some Boston-area commuters will be treated to a newly deployed free Wi-Fi network compliments of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). The pilot program will offer free Wi-Fi to travelers on its Framingham/Worcester commuter rail coaches. Riders can access the “T Wi-Fi Commuter Rail Connect” program whenever they are traveling in one of the included coaches. The MBTA warns users about potentially intermittent or unavailable signals at various parts of the route, and offers travelers a link to “Signal Strength Maps,” so they can check the strength of the network available on the lines they’ll be traveling.
The MBTA says it chose the Worcester/Framingham line because, “…it provides one of the best opportunities from a geographical perspective to test Wi-Fi capabilities as it runs from Boston to central Massachusetts (Worcester) through various terrains (hills, wooded areas, etc.) Secondly, we are aware that the Framingham/Worcester trains have experienced significant performance issues due mainly to the owner and operator of the line (CSX). For that, we want to offer Framingham/Worcester customers the first opportunity.”
Once the pilot program is completed, the MBTA plans to roll out Wi-Fi service to all of its lines.
Naomi Graychase is Managing Editor at Wi-FiPlanet.