BAI Canada and the Toronto Transit Commission have brought wireless internet service to Bay Station as part of a broader plan to extend Wi-Fi and cellular capabilities to all underground subway stations. Bloor-Yonge and St. George were the first two stations to get Wi-Fi, in December 2013.
Work has already begun at Wellesley, College, Dundas and Union stations, and 18 stations encompassing the lower loop plus Spadina station, will have Wi-Fi service by the first quarter of 2015, ahead of the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games in July 2015. As with the initial stations, each station will host the TConnect Wi-Fi service and will be cellular-capable, ready for the GTA's cellular operators to join the network. The network provides connectivity for transit riders on-the-go, and allows for business and transit applications such as digital signage, to be used for passenger information services.
"We are excited to announce this next stage of our work with the TTC, adding wireless infrastructure to 14 additional stations by March 2015," said Ken Ranger, CEO, BAI Canada. "Our shared Wi-Fi and cellular infrastructure is robust and reliable, and allows riders to get more value for the time they spend within the underground subway system."
The introduction of Wi-Fi at Bloor-Yonge and St. George stations came with the launch of TConnect, BAI Canada's free to the public, sponsored Wi-Fi service. TConnect has worked with brands like Mondelez, Tim Hortons, the city of Toronto and now Koodo to provide free Wi-Fi to TTC riders. Since launch, the TConnect network has been accessed by more than 200,000 unique users more than 1.5 million times. In June alone, TTC riders used more than three terabytes of data on the Wi-Fi network.
"Thousands of riders are logging on and using TConnect, which provides connectivity for the internet, social media and email, as well as access to real-time alerts and transit updates," said Andy Byford, TTC CEO. "We look forward to expanding the reach of that underground wireless experience throughout our multi-year agreement with BAI Canada, helping to modernize the network that moves Toronto."
BAI Canada and the TTC are delivering Wi-Fi and cellular infrastructure to all public areas of all subway stations, including platforms, mezzanines, walkways and stairwells. The installation of this service comes at no cost to the TTC and Toronto taxpayers - BAI Canada is paying the TTC $25 million over 20 years for the rights to install and operate the network. The second phase of the project is the extension of the cellular network within the TTC tunnels. All work is expected to be complete in three to four years.