Wifi Rail: Your Tax Dollars at Work

"We completely failed to deliver on our last contract, so give us another $2.5M and we'll try again."

Currently, BART offers a sad excuse for WiFi through a contract with WiFi Rail. Forty-four of BART's 669 train cars are equipped with weak, unreliable service. WiFi Rail chargers commuters for wifi and requires some users to watch advertisements.

"The fact is, we are dealing with a vendor that has had trouble coming up with the capital needed to fulfill the contract," Paul Oversier, BART's assistant general manager for operations, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

In a typical logical twist, the minds behind BART's current disastrous WiFi were hired to provide the brand new service. Thanks to a nearly $2.5 million contract, Oakland-based WiFi Rail will soon become the largest high bandwidth mobile Internet LAN in the U.S., according to the WiFi Rail web site.

The project will be funded in part by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

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6 Responses:

  1. Other Jamie says:

    WiFi Rail will soon become the largest high bandwidth mobile Internet LAN in the U.S."

    Is there a standard measure for lack of use per passenger-mile?

    "Millions of riders didn't even bother to try last year, and with this new cash infusion, we think we can be even more useless next."

    There really are times when I wish the corruption and cronyism we put up with were simply more transparent, like some other countries. It would be less wasteful. Why the fuck waste money on a stack of repeaters for something that doesn't work and nobody uses? Spend it on hookers and blow - better for the local economy than handing it to Cisco.

    • nooj says:

      Why so negative? It'll work this time for sure!

      • Jal says:

        I was merely attempting to optimize our operative business climate. Pretending to make things better is suboptimal, and deprives hookers and drug dealers while marginally enriching factory owners in China and the blue-button down brigade who decend on our fair city every bubble.

        Come to think of it, it does seem to be about a 13 year cycle, just like locusts.

        • Other Jamie says:

          Whoops, sorry, this is "other Jamie". Not sure why my iPad was remembering the other attribution.

  2. Chris says:

    "The project will be funded in part by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security."

    Ugh. Cf. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/csec-used-airport-wi-fi-to-track-canadian-travellers-edward-snowden-documents-1.2517881

  3. Isn't that article from a year ago? Not that WiFiRail has gotten any better since then.

    Anyway, pretty much all public WiFi sucks. BART's isn't particularly worse than average. I mean at least is does work, kinda, sometimes, once you make it past the three-step craptive portal; a lot of public WiFi doesn't actually work at all.