Friday, July 15, 2011

Light rail is now offering wifi on all trains

Today VTA is making a claim to be the first transit agency in the world to offer free onboard wifi on all light rail vehicles. VTA is hoping that the new wifi system would attract new riders by making the slower trip on light rail more productive. VTA initially introduced free wifi on special "express" trains last October. Already, many private employer shuttles, Highway 17 Express, and MST buses are offering onboard wifi.

As a part of the wifi promotion, VTA is conducting a contest this weekend and offering a prize of two Giants vs. Dodgers tickets and Caltrain tickets to the game. To enter the contest, just ride the light rail and log in to wifi.

If commuters are pleased that VTA is offering wifi on all light rail vehicles, they would be more pleased if Caltrain offers free wifi as well. While wifi has been one of the most requested service on Caltrain, the agency has not been very responsive to that demand, even though Caltrain would stand to benefit much more than VTA from increased ridership and fare revenues.

Since VTA provides operating subsidy to Caltrain, it wouldn't be a bad idea for VTA to provide technical assistance to Caltrain on installing wifi.


Anonymous said...

"VTA Light Rail Trains Now Offer Free 4G Wi-Fi at Lightning Speeds!"

Oh the irony!! Lighting fast wi-fi while crawling thru the downtown transit mall at a snail's pace!

I'm just teasing. I think Wi-fi is a great idea! Anybody tried it yet? Is it really lightning fast?

stormofthought said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

VTA Lightrail WIFI sucks 80% of the time! Very annoying as I sit here now constantly freezing up!

Unknown said...

I have to say the only thing I've been able to get the VTA wi-fi to work at least 90% of the time is Pandora, I've tried using VPN and putty, and my computer would crash badly. Sometimes you can stream Netflix.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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RickS said...

If they are so intent on dragging people to the service by offering WiFi, why didn't they give us the NAME to look for when trying to link to their WiFi or is it another one of those things of little import to VTA.


Ruben Compean Rodriguez said...

my computer is connected but when going to the portal it freeze up nothing else happen I have try all the steps but nothing happen, just sucks.

RickS said...

I've done another thing as useless as the Wifi service on VTA light rail and that is call them and tell them how it doesn't work on most of the trains and I use the trains alot and I try to use it everytime I get on most of the time when there is a signal 1mbs to me doesn't mean fast to me the most I have seen it at when there were a bunch of people in the company of some sort of VTA officials and it registered 30mbs but was still slow to do anything.

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RickS said...

First off I will be surprised if they will allow post.
Didn't see this til today. "VTA is hoping that the new wifi system would attract new riders". Another way to use up VTA funds in an ad campaign to increase ridership, right, that's what this is really about. VTA I swear is the biggest joke, and I've got to believe anyone that uses VTA has to agree. It doesn't matter what they do, I don't care what a public transportation agency offers, it will be totally meaningless if the schedules posted aren't followed. Am I wrong, or am I just spouting anally. Now I am not saying there should never be a late ride but it "SHOULD NOT BE THE RULE", with VTA it is.

I've used VTA since the very beginning and I have never seen a transit system change their schedules so much. The way it should and normally works, you implement a schedule and then over a few months you tweak it to suit actual traffic run times a couple of times and then leave it alone so regulars eventually don't need a schedule and if it is ever changed it is only usually a minute later, or 2 if near the end of the line as traffic increases over the years. But with VTA almost half the system is changed every 3 months which means there is a constant waist of paper reprinting everything. I used San Francisco's transit system for over 6 months in 1970 and they didn't change one route of the dozen or so I used, plus I think there were only a handful of late rides, one I was on our connector got knocked off the overhead cable and made us 5 minutes late till they could hook us back up.
If VTA really wants to entice the public why don't they run a campaign touting they are striving to have the best on time record in the nation, it really wouldn't be very hard just have the operators leave on time like they are suppose to and if they really need a 15 minute break after their 20 to 60 minute run can't that be scheduled in, actually I don't understand why it is they can't do more than 1 run at a time before they go on their mandatory 15 minute break because people that actually labor seem to make it through 2 hours without one. Seems to me a 20 minute run should warrant 4 runs and a 30 minute 3 at least.

This is just my opinion but my effort in running a transportation service is more directed at serving the public and getting as many people out of their cars as possible not at gouging the public for every penny we can get to support our 2 years of service with lifetime benefits with free medical of course. But then again that's just me.
Rick Saunders a VTA Rider