Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

Quality of Life

Pilot Project Will Connect 'Rapid Bus' And Internet

A San Diego Metropolitan Rapid bus is shown.
Metropolitan Transit System
A San Diego Metropolitan Rapid bus is shown.

The San Diego Association of Governments planning board has approved a pilot project that could let San Diegans use their laptops on the bus.

The board on Friday agreed to spend $275,000 to test a wireless Internet service on some of the buses, which are used on three rapid bus lines in San Diego. If the signal proves to be strong, SANDAG will spend a total of $654,000 to set up the system on all 47 buses used on the rapid bus routes.

Rapid bus lines have fewer stops and better stations than your typical bus line, in hopes of attracting more customers to mass transit. A SANDAG staff report says wireless Internet access is one of the biggest requests by users of public transportation.


One of the rapid bus lines runs between downtown San Diego and San Diego State University. One runs from downtown to Escondido, and another goes between Rancho Bernardo and UC San Diego.

The pilot program will allow coverage to be tested along the bus routes and give time for necessary adjustments to be made, according to SANDAG. Test results in other cities have shown coverage can be spotty because of frequent coverage dropouts.

The pilot project calls for only six of the 47 buses that serve Routes 215, 235 and 237 to be outfitted with wi-fi for testing. Passengers will be surveyed about their experiences using the system. If the tests go well and wireless systems are placed in all rapid buses as early as fall 2016.