As Metro (slowly) rolls out cell service along its subway network, the transit agency is also working to install wireless internet on its vast fleet of buses. Last week, Metro announced a pilot program under which 150 Wi-Fi-equipped buses will be brought into service over the next two weeks.
If all goes well, an additional 150 buses will be equipped with Wi-Fi later this year. After that, all new buses added to the 2,200 vehicle fleet will offer internet access, allowing for the gradual expansion of Wi-Fi to the entire bus network.
The buses will be distributed throughout the system at random, so unfortunately there won’t be much way to tell in advance whether or not you’ll be able to catch up on some emails during your next ride. But the buses with wireless service will be marked with green decals to alert riders that they can connect to the internet once on board.
The wireless network will be called “Free Metro WiFi,” and will provide riders with access to a security page, service updates, and a customer relations chat box as soon as they log on.
According to Metro, the internet will be free to all users with no limit on time usage. The signal is expected to be about as fast as a 4G LTE signal, allowing for basic web surfing (but probably not large downloads or high definition video streaming).