Wi-Fi Expansion on Capital MetroExpress and MetroRail

Capital Metro plans to upgrade and expand its onboard Wi-Fi service for customers. Capital Metro will replace the older Wi-Fi equipment currently onboard 10 Express route buses and install it on 28 more so that most Express routes will offer the amenity. Wi-Fi will also be added to the six MetroRail vehicles.

The upgrade also includes a toll-free customer support number for riders and the ability to monitor and troubleshoot the system remotely, resulting in hopefully trouble-free surfing for customers.

Capital Metro has also been providing Wi-Fi at the Lakeline, Leander, Pavilion and Tech Ridge Park & Ride facilities, but due to low usage at the Park & Rides, when the new equipment is completely installed, Internet connectivity will be discontinued at the facilities.

We expect the new, upgraded service to be in place in early 2009.

9 thoughts on “Wi-Fi Expansion on Capital MetroExpress and MetroRail

  1. Life. Complicated.

    So when did Lakeline Park and Ride get Wi-Fi? I tried to use it about a month ago and there was no WiFi available.

    Also, will it just be the red buses or will it be all express buses?

  2. Kirk Talbott

    We rolled out wi-fi to three of the park and rides including Lakeline at the beginning of the project (2 years ago). What we found was that the hardware had issues and was not as available as we would have liked. Hence the period where you didn’t get the service last month.

    As for the express buses we plan on rolling it out to all of the express buses* not just the red ones.

    *Note: Since the universe can never be clean and perfect you should be aware that we do have 1 express route that is not operated by Capital Metro. Since the bus used is owned and operated by CARTS we will not be putting wi-fi on that one vehicle. Hence the caveat. Otherwise you should see wi-fi on all of our other express routes and passenger train vehicles.

  3. Life. Complicated.

    Thanks Kirk! When I tried it and it didnt pick up any signal, I just thought it hadnt made it out to Lakeline yet. I understand the Universe ~ That is why I likely was able to have Wi-Fi at HEB Plus from the Leander Park and Ride one day when my son had to know something that could only be found on the net.

    Thanks for the great job you all are doing with getting Wi-Fi out!

  4. Geoff McElhanon

    So when is this going to happen? I’ve been waiting eagerly ever since seeing the info go up on the wireless authentication page.

    It says on the login page that this will happen in February, but February is almost up!

    I can’t wait! The reps at the GO line don’t know a thing about this…

  5. Erica McKewen

    Geoff,

    The new wi-fi network and equipment is being installed Feb. 26-28. According to our IT folks, it will be available immediately. We will put new signage on the buses that have wi-fi and such, but you should be able to use it right away after it’s installed.

  6. Geoff McElhanon

    I am very pleased by the wide availability of wireless service on the buses. However, not all the buses are working, and my attempts at getting anyone to seriously look at and correct the problem buses have fallen on deaf ears. I am trying this blog as a last resort in the hope that someone will look into the problems.

    I have called both the wireless support line and CapMetro GO line to report that the following buses have no wireless network available on board:
    9106
    9107
    9108
    9115
    9118
    9303 (still configured for the old service)
    9305

    Call me a fanatic, but almost since the expanded service began, I've been keeping track each day the status of wireless service on the buses I've ridden. If you're interested, I can send you what I have. Right now I'm riding the 9304… and it's working. 😉

  7. Kirk Talbott

    Geoff,

    Thank you very much for your passion and zeal. I am looking into the status on these vehicles and once I have an answer I will post shortly.

    And I will also look at how we can make it easier to get a problem sovled on the bus (not everyone wants to enter the blogosphere).

  8. Kirk Talbott

    Geoff, Here is what I found out.

    3 of the buses have not had the equipment installed yet (9115, 9118, and 9303). They were in the shop when our big roll out took place and so we are scheduling them to be installed in the next few weeks.

    Buses (9106, 9107, 9108) all appear to be working. We can connect to them and see them. Our remote monitoring tool is able to see them as well, but they have only had a handful of people connect to them in the past few months (which is very odd). We are researching to find out if they are only intermitantly working. If so, we will have them replaced.

    9305 is what we call a "Bad Bus". Well actually the Wi-Fi unit is bad (the bus is actually very nice). We have that unit scheduled for repair.

    As for reporting issues in the future, please feel free to call the 1-866-470-6897 number and I will make sure we get these issues, or you can call our Go Line 474-1200 and they will send the issues over to us.

    Sorry for the delay in getting these systems back up and working, but thank you for your creative persistence.

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