The New Jersey Transit Board of Directors authorized the agency to enter into a public-private partnership with Cablevision Systems Corporation to offer one of the top requested amenities to NJ Transit customers: high-speed wireless internet access at stations and onboard trains.
The WiFi access will be provided to NJ Transit customers via a dedicated, trackside WiFi network, the first of its kind in the nation, the agency notes, and at no cost to the agency.
“Through customer forums and surveys conducted as part of NJ Transit’s Scorecard initiative, we know that wireless internet service will be a welcome amenity for NJ Transit customers, enabling those who wish to remain connected during their commute to do so continuously,” said Transportation Commissioner and NJ Transit Board Chairman James Simpson.
WiFi on the NJ Transit system will be implemented in phases. The initial phase will focus on outfitting major stations like Newark Penn Station and Hoboken Terminal, which together serve more than 100,000 customers on a typical weekday on all transit modes, as well as Secaucus Junction, by the end of this year. Subsequent phases will include equipping additional train stations and ultimately rail cars by line. The project is expected to be substantially complete by year-end 2016.
In September 2010, NJ Transit issued a request for proposals from qualified firms for the provision of wireless internet access to customers, including the design and architecture of the system to be used.
The board has authorized NJ Transit to enter into a 20-year no-cost contract with Cablevision for the implementation and maintenance of a system-wide wireless internet service that allows Cablevision to offer wireless internet service at rail and intermodal stations, on station platforms and onboard trains by installing a high-speed communications infrastructure. The infrastructure includes fiber optic cabling, wireless access points, antennas and related equipment in stations, along the right-of-way and onboard vehicles, a capital investment that will be made by Cablevision.
A WiFi network at stations and onboard trains will offer high-speed access to most internet applications, including web browsing, e-mail access, browser-based applications, file uploads and downloads and multi-media applications.