materialize for Net-starved train riders." credit="Bart.gov" />
BART, the San Francisco Bay Area's commuter railway, plans to offer Wi-Fi access on all trains and at all stations by 2011, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday.
The 20-year deal, signed Friday with start-up Wi-Fi Rail, is set to bring high-speed wireless access to BART's 104 miles of track and 43 stations. The network is based on a "huge fiber-optic backbone," according to Wi-Fi Rail.
BART, short for Bay Area Rapid Transit, has been testing the service for about a year in underground sections in San Francisco and on about two miles of open track in Hayward. More than 16,000 people signed up for the pilot service, which has been free, the Chronicle said. Wi-Fi Rail plans to charge $30 per month once the service is fully installed. Other subscription plans, based on hourly, daily, or annual use, will also be available.
According to Wi-Fi Rail, tests on trains running at more than 81 mph "have consistently demonstrated upload and download speeds in excess of 15Mbps."
The company, founded in 2005, is based in the Sacramento area.