NYC is doing a massive upgrade on its transportation system by adding more than 2,000 buses that will be equipped with free Wi-Fi and USB charging ports.
Designed with a distinct new look and feel, the project is part of the state's efforts in modernizing the MTA in order to meet the increasing demands of commuters in the 21st century.
"Internet access has become a necessity, not a privilege, and from charging ports to Wi-Fi, this new MTA fleet will provide critical tech services that New Yorkers depend on each day," said NY City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The new buses, which will make up almost 40 percent of the MTA's existing fleet, will start hitting the roads in April. All new buses will reportedly feature charging ports and free Wi-Fi hotspots on all rides. These new USB ports will range from 35 to 55 unit installations and will be conveniently distributed throughout the bus.
With the new buses' Wi-Fi system, which was introduced with mobile ticketing last January, New Yorkers will be able to read emails, check their social media accounts and perform other activities without having to worry about cellular data plans. All in all, the upgraded buses aim d to enhance everyone's daily commuting experience.
This year, MTA is also launching a new pilot program that will involve the installation of digital information screens on at least 200 buses. The screens will provide commuters with a number of relevant information, including upcoming stops, weather, news, advertising, available transfers and real-time communication from the bus command center. Each bus will reportedly have around two to three LCD screens mounted.
Existing buses are also being upgraded with the installation of Wi-Fi and USB charging ports. MTA said all express buses are expected to be equipped with these amenities toward the end of 2017.
According to Tom Prendergast, MTA Chairman and CTO, wireless connectivity is becoming an increasing necessity in the lives of their customers. MTA wants to accommodate the growing trend by equipping its buses with high-speed connectivity, charging ports, and digital screens in order to provide a more reliable and enhanced riding experience to their customers.
"We are fully committed to meeting Governor Cuomo's challenge head-on to ensure the entire MTA is focused on delivering improvements to the people who rely on us every day," said Prendergast.