Amaro, January 30 2008
- Parvus Corporation today announced that the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has included Parvus RiderNet³ mobile access points in a Wi-Fi pilot program, believed to be the nation’s first cellular-based wireless Internet service for commuter rail.
Beginning January 30, the MBTA “Wi-Fi Commuter Rail Connect Test Program” will offer free wireless Internet service on at least one coach of every train traveling the 45-mile commuter rail line between Worcester and Boston. Forty-five coaches will initially be equipped with the service, enabling the line’s 18,000 daily passengers to use laptop computers, cellular phones, PDAs, or other Wi-Fi enabled devices to access the Internet during their commutes to and from South Station on participating coaches.
“One of the first programs of this type on a United States commuter rail system, this service will provide our customers with the opportunity to get the most out of their time spent commuting," said MBTA General Manager Daniel A. Grabauskas. "During this test phase, feedback from our riders will be solicited to help us maximize the technology's benefits, and then expand the program to other parts of the 13-line Commuter Rail system."
Wi-Fi amenities on buses and trains are becoming more common and are frequently cited as inducements for using public transit, particularly to improve productivity of commuters as they go back and forth to work. On Jan 27, Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray announced that the MBTA was ready to launch this innovative pilot program.
The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported Mr. Murray as saying, “This is an important first step in our commitment to improve commuter rail services throughout the commonwealth. I believe this is a great opportunity for Massachusetts because we are a high-tech state and pride ourselves on our well-educated work force. This allows that connectivity to take place and encourages and incentivizes people to take the train as well.”
RiderNet³ (“RiderNet cubed”) is Parvus’ third-generation transit Wi-Fi solution for implementing high-speed Internet access onboard mass transit vehicles (bus, train). Parvus delivers a turn-key solution that bundles all needed equipment (router, modem, antennas, cabling) and managed services, including cellular airtime, technical support, remote system monitoring, 1-800 user phone support service, and usage reporting.
“Parvus looks forward to supporting MBTA throughout the trial and into the future as we explore advanced wireless technologies to support increasing user demands and bandwidth requirements,” said Parvus Director of Transportation Programs Andrew Hunt. “RiderNet was uniquely designed for the needs of mass transit operators and continues to prove itself a cost-effective and reliable solution for bringing high-speed Internet access to passengers nationwide.”
Parvus is part of the Eurotech Group, which has a long history in the traffic and public transportation field, providing vehicle communication, location tracking, and video surveillance systems, as well as mobile internet access points and passenger counting devices. Parvus products can be found at a variety of public transit authorities nationwide, including the New York Metropolitan Transportation Agency, New Jersey Transit Authority, Foothill Transit, Monterey-Salinas Transit, Santa Cruz Metro, Utah Transit Authority, among others.