Monday, March 15, 2010

WiFi for LIRR, Metro-North? MTA eyes idea

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New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority says it is evaluating a plan to establish wireless Internet services at Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station-New York, both in Manhattan, and for Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road trains.

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MTA reportedly has invited companies to submit proposals for installing WiFi. Any company securing a contract with MTA would be expected to finance the project itself. MTA seeks to establish such service by year’s end.

Still unclear is whether customers would be expected to pay for WiFi service or whether any provider could generate revenue by other means. Amtrak recently introduced Wi-Fi service on its Acela trains plying the Northeast Corridor, initially at no charge to Amtrak customers.