Commuting in Boston is about to get a whole lot more functional after the city announced it is tapping InMotion for to build commercial train Wi-Fi. The railroad Internet project will likely be a litmus test for other cities looking to add fast Internet service on public transportation.
It means millions of riders will be able to access email or websites through the new service.
Currently, AT&T controls the Wi-Fi sector for Boston public transportation, but it has become so slow that most residents and riders have stopped using the service, instead relying on data packages.
According to the MBTA the city inked a deal with the small Internet company to put Wi-Fi systems along the 14 stops of the Boston Commuter Rail line.
"This is a very exciting time for our Commuter Rail system," General Manager Beverly Scott said in a statement. "While the introduction of new locomotives and new coaches will continue to improve on-time performance rates, customer service initiatives like Wi-Fi and eTicketing make the overall commuting experience an even better one."
It will take a year and half before the upgrades are fully established. The MBTA said it is shooting for a 2016 launch.
The positive, however, is that commuters will not pay for the service as InMotion has promised to foot the bill in return for advertising revenue and marketing. Users wanting more than Wi-Fi, such as streaming videos bandwidth, will see an upcharge of $15 for the month.
The project is projected to cost around $5.6 million.