BAI Canada and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) have announced Wi-Fi is now available at Bay Station, part of an ongoing rollout to expand wireless and cellular capabilities at other stations.
Work has commenced at Wellesley, College, Dundas and Union stations, along with 18 stations part of the lower loop and Spadina station, set to have Wi-Fi ready by the first quarter of 2015, and also be up and running for the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games set to take place in July 2015.
BAI Canada says each station will again host the free, sponsored TCONNECT Wi-Fi service, which has been accessed by over 200,000 unique users over 1.5 million times. This June, TTC riders consumed over three terabytes of data on the Wi-Fi network alone.
As for cellular capabilities, a release stated they are “ready for the GTA’s cellular operators to join the network.” Last August, Rogers, Telus and Bell all stated they had no plans to join BAI’s TTC subway station network, after losing the bid to BAI Canada in late 2009 to provide wireless service.
Ken Ranger, CEO, BAI Canada, said in a statement “We are excited to announce this next stage of our work with the TTC, adding wireless infrastructure to 14 additional stations by March 2015.”
BAI Canada and the TTC reiterated Wi-Fi and cellular installations will be available throughout all areas of subway stations accessible to the public. BAI Canada is paying the TTC $25 million over 20 years for the rights to setup and manage the network, while a second phase to expand cellular connectivity within TTC tunnels is expected to be finished in three to four years.
Below are the planned dates for the next phase of Wi-Fi installations:
- Wellesley – September 2014
- College – September 2014
- Union – October 2014
- Dundas – October 2014
- Queen – November 2014
- King – November 2014
- Spadina – December 2014
- St Andrew – January 2015
- Osgoode – January 2015
- St Patrick – February 2015
- Queen’s Park – February 2015
- Museum – March 2015
BAI Canada first launched free Wi-Fi at Bloor-Yonge and St. George stations back in December of 2013. At the time, when asked about whether talks were in place with the ‘Big 3’ for cellular coverage, Ken Ranger, COO told us “BAI Canada and the TTC continue to work with Canada’s telecommunications companies to establish these commercial partnerships.”
Update: We asked BAI Canada if there was any update since last year in terms of getting Rogers, Telus and Bell to sign onto their TTC network. Ken Ranger, CEO of BAI Canada, responded with the following statement via email:
We anticipated entering into commercial agreements with the Wireless Service Providers may take time as it has in other countries, and therefore chose to initially focus on providing a robust Wi-Fi offering, as the majority of TTC riders travel with at least one Wi-Fi enabled device. BAI Canada and the TTC will continue to work with Canada’s telecommunications companies to establish these commercial partnerships.