Karen Stintz, chairwoman of the Toronto Transit Commission, unofficially unveiled on her Twitter account that the TTC will soon be getting Wi-Fi and cellular service underground at two of its stations.
TTC spokesperson Brad Ross confirmed that St. George and Yonge/Bloor stations will both be getting underground wireless Internet access by the end of the year, after Stintz tweeted this out:
— Karen Stintz TTCteam (@TTCchair) April 25, 2013
Stintz was testing out the new service just unveiled in New York City yesterday, which will bring cellular and Wi-Fi service to 30 stations in the MTA subway system, Mobile Syrup reports. The same technology will be installed in the two TTC stations before the end of the year, and will be rolled out to 61 stations in total over 2014.
[ More Right Click: ‘World’s most expensive iPhone’ will cost you $15,000,000 ]
Currently, the plan is limited to platforms and stations, largely because it would mean cutting off the city’s two main transit lifelines for a significant period of time in order to install the necessary technology.
Underground Wi-Fi became something of international interest ahead of the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games, when London announced it would be rolling out Wi-Fi to 120 tube stations over a year. The service is provided by Virgin Media, allowing Virgin customers to use the service for free and others to buy passes to access the network.
And Toronto isn’t the only Canadian city looking to provide cellular and Wi-Fi access on its underground transit system, either. There has been speculation since 2011 that the Montreal Metro will be getting cellular access (initial reports suggested it would be coming this year), with Wi-Fi access following shortly thereafter. Calgary also unveiled a 30-year transit plan last December that would include Wi-Fi service to C-Train stations, although only a small portion of the LRT system is actually underground.
Need to know what’s hot in tech? Follow @yrightclick on Twitter!