Free Wi-Fi is being installed at several Greater Cleveland Reginal Transit Authority (RTA) transit centers and stations around the city, with plans to expand those services to buses, paratransit vehicles and trains in the coming months.
RTA interim CEO Dr. Floun’say Caver announced the transit authority’s plans alongside East Cleveland Mayor Brandon King at a press conference yesterday at the Louis Stokes/Windermere station.
This comes after the RTA board approved a five-year contract with AT&T in June that would allocate little more than $2 million for the first five years (approximately $400k annually). Along with providing complimentary broadband internet services on all vehicles, the contract also plans to equip vehicles with 4G cellular data, real-time location services and vehicle diagnostics.
Stations already equipped with free Wi-Fi include the Tower City Station, Cedar University Station, East 55th Station, Louis Stokes/Windermere Station, Southgate Transit Center and Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center. The Puritas-Werst 150th Station is receiving Wi-Fi access soon, while RTA plans to install internet services at the West 65th Street, West 117th Street, Brookpark and Superior stations, although it is unclear when.
Cleveland.com reports that Wi-Fi is set to be installed in September to trolleys and buses on the CSU Line, HealthLine and east side Hayden District. Later this fall, internet access is going to be added to vehicles and buses in the west side Triskett district.
Caver said in the press conference that Wi-Fi installations on rail transit are set to begin at the start of 2020. He emphasized the importance of bringing internet services to students, especially those who might lack the consistent Wi-Fi access needed to complete their school work.
“We're about making sure that the people in this community have the access that they need to travel to the places that their dreams will take them,” Caver said. “And if we can do that by simply adding access to the internet right here at this station and eventually to all of our stations, we will know that we did a good job."
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