New York

MTA Wants High-Speed Wireless Internet on Metro-North and LIRR Trains

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According to the Post, the Metropolitan Transit Authority is asking for bids from service providers to make high-speed wireless internet available to riders on Metro-North and LIRR commuter trains serving Westchester, Connecticut and Long Island. The final plan may or may not be free to non-subscribers of the winning company, depending on which plan the MTA accepts. All costs for the service would be covered by the provider, because the MTA says they can’t afford it.

Riders interviewed by the Post are enthusiastic

“It’ll give me a great chance to keep in touch with clients and my employer on the way to work,” said Anna Greatbatch, 29, who uses Metro-North.

“That can be a huge advantage to businesses to have that extra time when employees can be working for them outside the office,” she added.

although not everyone is that goal oriented

“I could get onto YouTube and watch and listen to some of my favorite songs that I don’t have on my iPod and watch some funny videos,” said Jules Marker, from Yonkers.

The MTA’s requirements for providers call for service to be available at all points on their train routes, and for a help desk to be available for riders. Penn Station (which already has limited wireless internet access in the waiting room) and Grand Central Station would also get full access.

New York City Transit talked about plans for subway cell phone access a few years ago, but not so much yet.