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TTC to roll out free WiFi at additional stations

Posted by Derek Flack / August 12, 2014

TTC wifiThe TTC is expanding the number of stations with WiFi to cover the entire lower loop (i.e. those stations south of Bloor on Line 1) in time for the Pan Am Games. Already available at Bloor-Yonge, St. George and Bay stations, the new timeline is speedier than some might have expected, but a pleasant surprise. According to a press release, work is currently underway at Wellesley, College, Dundas, and Union stations, with 2015 dates attached to most of the stops on the University side of the line.

BAI Canada still owns the rights to provide cellular signals in the TTC, but no major telecommunications provider has signed on to provide the service, which has left passengers mostly out of luck when wanting to check Instagram before the next train arrives. While the company claims that it will provide cellular infrastructure over the next three to four years, that's far from a sure bet.

And that's way the expansion of the WiFi network comes as welcome news. Sure, a cellular signal would be more convenient, but for compulsive email checkers like myself, the ability to have a quick look at my messages on the platform via WiFi is more than adequate. Is this a step in the right direction for the TTC, or is it still disappointment that we trail cities like Montreal who are moving forward with cellular signals underground?

Discussion

22 Comments

Cameron / August 12, 2014 at 04:32 pm
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Montreal's subway has no air conditioning though, so I think we're still in the race.
train taker / August 12, 2014 at 04:37 pm
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We'll take what we can get when it comes to the TTC. Yes it's old fashioned, but at least it's something. Like maybe something this simple could be rolled out within one year. That would be mindbogglingly fast for the TTC.
Peter / August 12, 2014 at 04:55 pm
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Yea, people that won't stfu on the street car and bus are what we need on the subway too FFS. Leave it at Wi-Fi. I don't want to hear about your life drama on the subway.
Martin / August 12, 2014 at 04:55 pm
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Are we really embracing this line 1 & 2 nomenclature? Is it so confusing to refer to the streets they run under, Bloor/Danforth & Yonge/University?

Not like we'll have more anytime soon.
mpolo / August 12, 2014 at 04:55 pm
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Still wish it was available between stops. If you're stuck in a tunnel, at least provide some internet to soothe our pain.
another / August 12, 2014 at 04:57 pm
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a bunch of people I know can never get onto that dam wifi. has only worked twice out of the 13 times i've tried it
Valerie / August 12, 2014 at 04:59 pm
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Cellular is going the way of the dinosaur. Wifi is the future. I'm just waiting to cut my cellular service and only use wifi.
Valerie / August 12, 2014 at 05:01 pm
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Facetime, skype, fb messenger, etc. Dinosaurs need cellular and pay big bucks.
pat replying to a comment from another / August 12, 2014 at 07:28 pm
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You have to check your browser and watch the advertisement before you get access. Otherwise, nogo.
Garneau / August 12, 2014 at 09:34 pm
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Didn't have this work when I tried it. I imagine having wifi will slow the simmering frustration from boiling over into rage if you're stuck at a station for 20 minutes while waiting for a delayed train. Otherwise this seems like a typical misallocation of precious TTC resources - I'd much prefer a time based transfer system than silly intermittent wifi.

hang on. / August 13, 2014 at 01:09 am
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We don't trail Montreal Metro at all. They have small, bouncy little cars that are stuffy and hot. Their subway cars aren't much bigger than our streetcars. Waiting time between trains is longer than in Toronto. "Moving forward with cellular" doesn't do much else for their decaying subway experience.
v79 replying to a comment from pat / August 13, 2014 at 01:13 am
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"You have to check your browser and watch the advertisement before you get access. Otherwise, nogo. "

Even though the message says you must watch the entire ad before getting service, that's not the case. Simply return to your previous screen when the video starts and you'll be good to go. I for one find the speed of usability of the TTC service much quicker and hassle free than other free wifi providers like Timmies and McDonalds.
v79 replying to a comment from Garneau / August 13, 2014 at 01:17 am
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The TTC isn't paying a dime for the service Garneau. It's being paid for by private enterprises/advertisers, so your worries about misappropriated TTC resources is entirely unfounded.
MR / August 13, 2014 at 02:33 am
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I got a better idea - why don't you FIX THE FUCKING SPADINA LOOP AND QUEENS QUAY STREETCAR. Priorities you dumb fucks (and then you can install WiFi to your heart's content)
Garneau replying to a comment from v79 / August 13, 2014 at 07:40 am
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My bad. I didn't think the chokehold the TTC union had on the city would permit that kind of flexibility.

So maybe they could put an ad on the ancient paper transfers they use and pay for a time based transfer that way? Or put up a few more billboards in the stations? Hell, let LuLu Lemon design the conductors uniforms! I'd support it if the combination of savings and revenue was spent on something that improved service. Some flexibility that actually improves service is what we're all looking for.
Tim / August 13, 2014 at 08:41 am
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How about rolling out Presto to more TTC stations?!
Walter replying to a comment from hang on. / August 13, 2014 at 12:12 pm
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Montreal build subways for $150M/km (see extension to Laval). Toronto is way ahead of Montreal because we pay over $300M. In fact, even our LRT (Eglinton) costs over $300M/km.
hang on, Walter / August 13, 2014 at 02:11 pm
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Montreal's metro is in dire need of upgrading. The stations are tired, dirty and patched up looking. The silliest thing they ever did was to use a narrow track, thus limiting the size of the cars. Spare us the lectures.
Ian / August 13, 2014 at 03:13 pm
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So instead of speeding up service, they're finding ways to make my loooong wait times a little more comfortable?
NickR replying to a comment from Ian / August 13, 2014 at 03:47 pm
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New subways on Yonge line added capacity, new signalling going in will increase subway capacity and travel time, Presto will speed up payment and boarding, new streetcars with more extra wide doors and presto/honour based system will greatly speed up service, new line to Airport will speed up time to Mississauga, new Eglinton LRT will speed up service around midtown, eliminating bus stops too close to each other is also going to increase bus speed. So yeah they're doing things. Some things take years to implement (that's the reality). Others issues they can't overcome e.g. no street car right of way on some roads.
bryan / August 14, 2014 at 01:43 pm
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I LOVE TORONTO!!! There is very good wifi connection in the subway stations, and quite fast trains! In addition, the subway in Montreal is way louder than Toronto, so if you want to feel yourself like a sausage between bread just go to Montreal and enjoy! Montreal sucks! Toronto is the best!
poppy / August 14, 2014 at 01:47 pm
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shut up you bastard! Toronto is a piece of shit! (for: Bryan, cocozao)

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