Troost, Main MAX and students will be first to test WiFi on buses

Photo courtesy Kansas City ATA.

Photo courtesy Kansas City ATA.

Bus riders on the Troost MAX, Main Street MAX and heading to UMKC and Rockhurst will be the first to try out a new pilot project providing free WiFi service.

By next week, all MAX vehicles and 22 Metro buses will have a free wireless connection available.

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority says part of the reason MAX buses were selected for the pilot is due to the high ridership on the two MAX lines, and their proximity to University of Missouri-Kansas City and Rockhurst University, both of which provide the U-Pass transit pass program to students.

The  ATA  says  it is conducting this pilot to determine the demand for WiFi on buses. KCATA will also assess how well existing technology can meet the needs of riders.

“Our riders are generally very connected and technologically savvy,” said Director of Communications Cindy Baker. “We are excited to provide a way for them to stay connected while they are riding the Metro, whether they want to check email to get ready for the workday or just relax and surf the web.”

The carrier powering the WiFi service is T-Mobile US. “

Here’s more from the ATA:
Nationally, the percentage of buses with WiFi access has increased from 0.5% in 2008, to 1.1% in 2010, to 3.8% in 2013. Millennials, who are a growing part of Metro ridership, are especially interested in filing their time on transit with using mobile devices online and being productive while riding transit.,

Signs on board the bus will alert customers that Wi-Fi is available on the bus they are riding.  To logon to WiFi on a MAX or Metro bus, select “THEMETRO” from the network options, and read and accept the terms of service before browsing the internet or checking email.

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