Bloor-Yonge and St George subway stations now have free Wi-Fi, as today the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and BAI Canada have officially announced the launch of the ad-supported networked called TCONNECT, which had a soft launch back in late November.
These two stations were chosen as the first locations due to their high capacity which targets 25 percent of weekly TTC subway riders each weekday.
TTC CEO Andy Byford said in a statement “The TTC is committed to enhancing the commuter journey and we promised to customers in our 2013 Customer Charter that two prototype subway stations would see wireless service by the end of this year.”
Ken Ranger, Chief Operating Officer, BAI Canada followed with “Today marks the beginning of a new era for TTC customers. As we move into the next phase, we are excited to bring wireless and cellular infrastructure throughout the lower loop so Torontonians and visitors to Toronto can enjoy this enhanced experience in time for the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games.”
BAI Canada and the TTC will have WiFi and cellular infrastructure in place for all subway stations, including all public areas such as platforms, walkways, stairwells and more within the 65 current and planned underground stations.
The contract with the TTC will see BAI Canada pay $25 million over 20 years for the rights to install and operate networks. All work is slated to be completed in three to four years.
Back in August, it was reported by the National Post incumbent wireless carriers Rogers, Telus and Bell were seen as reluctant to sign onto BAI Canada’s cellular network, as at the time no talks were in place to start integrating cellular service.
How are you liking the free Wi-Fi service so far?
Update: We reached out to BAI Canada for a comment about whether or not talks were in place with Rogers, Telus and Bell for cell coverage. Here’s what Ken Ranger, COO of BAI Canada responded via email:
“BAI Canada and the TTC continue to work with Canada’s telecommunications companies to establish these commercial partnerships. We know that the TTC’s commuters are anxious to have cell service. We are confident the cellular service providers also share in our desire to provide this service to both the TTC’s and their own customer base.”