Board approves plan to upgrade BART wireless services | News | PleasantonWeekly.com |

News

Board approves plan to upgrade BART wireless services

Goal is to improve Wi-Fi coverage, cellphone connectivity

BART directors voted unanimously on Thursday to approve a plan to improve cellphone connectivity and provide seamless Wi-Fi coverage in a gradual process over five years.

BART officials said the project will involve constructing new Wi-Fi and Bluetooth infrastructure, enhance cellular coverage to drastically reduce dropped calls, provide reliable connectivity for video and audio streaming while riding and waiting, and allow for improved app functionality, even in underground stations.

They said the project also lays the groundwork necessary for potential future mobile ticketing and on-demand personalized service information on a riders' device of choice.

New BART General Manager Bob Powers said the advances are part of his emphasis on improving customers' experience while generating revenue for the transit system by expanding underground cellular and fiber optic infrastructure.

"We must bring our technology up-to-date and expand broadband coverage to better compete in the transportation market and provide convenient, easy to use transit," Powers said in a statement.

The plan calls for BART and the San Francisco Municipal Railway to partner with Mobilitie, the country's largest private wireless infrastructure company, to add underground cell coverage to three Muni tunnels -- Sunset, Twin Peaks and the Central Subway -- within three years.

The next phase will require Mobilitie, which is based in Newport Beach, to build new wireless systems in all BART stations within four years.

The third phase of the proposal will extend wireless services from the stations to BART's new "Fleet of the Future" train cars.

The final phase involves installing new commercial fiber optic cables along some BART and Muni rights of way.

The four projects are expected to bring in more than $243 million over 20 years, with all capital and operating expenses borne by Mobilitie, according to BART officials.

BART chief information officer Ravi Misra, who led the planning and negotiations for the project, said, "This digital railway project opens up the potential for BART to offer world class digital communication to our riders and to modernize our business practices in the field."

— Bay City News Service

What is community worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

There are no comments yet. Please share yours below.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Big money pouring into Livermore referendums
By Tim Hunt | 12 comments | 2,045 views

You Can Help: Scents and Migraines
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,712 views