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COTA to roll out WiFi to bus fleet this month

The Central Ohio Transit Authority is installing WiFi throughout its bus fleet following a successful pilot this spring.

WiFi will be installed on 350 fixed route buses by the end of August. Vehicles for paratransit and on-demand services will have WiFi by the end of the year.

“We’re all for any opportunity that gives our customers flexibility,” said vice president and CIO Micheal Carroll. “It’s an opportunity to increase our ridership.”

When the project is complete, the Columbus agency will become one of the few bus operators in the U.S. to fully equip its fleet with free WiFi for customers.  “We are a leading-edge transit organization,” Carroll said. “That’s part of being a Smart City.”

COTA originally announced the WiFi plan late last year with a goal of rolling out the service in January 2017.  The project was delayed because COTA tried — unsuccessfully — to find a major carrier to provide the service free to riders.  Instead, COTA will pay $125,000 to T-Mobile to provide the service for a year and will look for a sponsor to cover future costs. Link to full story in The Columbus Dispatch via Mass Transit.

Photo credit: hardeep.singh/Flickr

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