As NYC turns on underground service, TTC chair teases Toronto transit’s future connectedness


The TTC is bringing cellular and WiFi service to two stations in the fourth quarter of this year, representatives confirmed, after the Commission’s chairwoman, Karen Stintz, tweeted a few photos from the launch of New York City’s Transit Wireless program.

Starting today, cell service is available in 30 stations across two GSM carriers, with two more expected to sign on in the coming months. The company providing the connectivity, which includes cellular and WiFi signals across an enormous swath of Manhattan’s underground, is the same one that, later this year, will flip the switch at Yonge/Bloor and St. George stations in Toronto.

TTC spokesperson, Brad Ross, confirmed that the two-station pilot project is a “customer charter commitment,” as laid out by the Commission last year. Once the network is more fully fleshed out in 2014, it will cover 61 stations across Toronto, though service will be limited to platforms, not inside the trains themselves. “For now, [it’s] just stations and platforms,” said Ross, citing tunnel time, not costs, as the prohibitive factor. Because Toronto only has one north/south and east/west channel for shepherding its millions of citizens, it’s untenable to shut down the service during running hours to install the RF nodes, antennas and coaxial cable necessary to deliver service between stations. Still, the TTC hopes that one day there will be consistent service across its underground network.

Stintz posted an image of AT&T’s LTE service within New York’s Times Square location, saying the same is coming “Soon at #TTC.

Last year, Broadcast Australia won a bid to deliver cell service within the TTC, beating out Bell Mobility and Chicago-based Extenet Systems. The RFP promised $25 million to the TTC over 20 years and a commitment to broker agreements with the three major wireless carriers, Rogers, Bell and TELUS, within twelve months. While Ross would not confirm that these deals have been reached, BA has until October to deliver them.

Via: Twitter