NCTD Restores Wi-Fi To Coaster Rail Line Cars
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Aired 6/19/13 on KPBS News.
Wi-Fi connections on the Coaster light rail line are back, though user discretion is required.
Commuting by train up and down San Diego’s coastline just got more productive.
The free Wi-Fi service that was canceled last December has been restored, allowing passengers to work on laptops or tablets while commuting.
Frances Schnall of the North County Transit District said the agency worked with its provider, T-Mobile, to strengthen and improve the service.
“We’re providing this free Wi-Fi as a way to check email, to connect to the Internet, catch up on the news,” Schnall said. “It is not designed, nor will it support, heavy usage, so we’re asking people to refrain from downloading video and music and other large files."
Schnall said the agency continues to rely on commuters to regulate their Wi-Fi usage to avoid overloading the system.
North County Transit officials last year said passengers were abusing the service by overloading it, resulting in frustrated passengers who could not get online because other riders were using up all the bandwidth.
But Schnall said towers that service the rail line have been improved and passengers will be connected to the Internet via two 4G modems. The service is available in all 28 Coaster cars.
Schnall said Wi-Fi is not being considered for the Sprinter light rail line from Oceanside to Escondido since that train makes more frequent stops, giving passengers less time between stations to work online.