BART riders can now enjoy wireless access for mobile phones and other devices as they pass underneath the Bay in the Transbay Tube.
Four mobile phone companies - AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint/Nextel and Verizon - activated their wireless networks inside the Transbay Tube over the weekend, allowing travelers to make phone calls and surf the Web.
BART spokesman Linton Johnson said there is already wireless service between BART's Embarcadero and Balboa Park stations in San Francisco. Now, passengers should have a continuous signal in the underground sections between the West Oakland station and Balboa Park, according to the transit agency.
Thirty-five percent of BART's tunnels and eight of its 16 underground stations now have wireless service, which is paid for by the providers and not by BART, Johnson said.
BART plans to add wireless service next year between the 12th Street, 19th Street and Lake Merritt stations in Oakland; between the Ashby, Berkeley and North Berkeley stations; inside the Berkeley Hills tunnel; and between South San Francisco and San Bruno.
The agency is also planning to add WiFi to the system in the coming years to allow high-speed Internet access.