Puget Sound Transit gives wifi to the carless geeks

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Not many people enjoy their commute. It's probably the least enjoyable part of the daily experience, plus these days it's the least environmentally-friendly thing most of us do. Well the cats at King County Metro have taken a big step toward getting us out of our cars.

Two of the more popular bus lines have been outfitted with free WiFi, which certainly makes public transit a much more attractive option for those of us moving around in Seattle. Check out how Ken Watanabe and his team are making sure you have no place to hide from your email!



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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      Matthew Mushall

      I'm wondering why this hasn't been introduced sooner and in more urbanized areas such as NY, Philadelphia, SF, LA, Dallas, etc.  It seems WiFi access should be a standard on public transportation nowadays.  A Friend of mine is currently living in Japan, and the Japanese have entire cities WiFi enabled! 

      Actually, the solution here was fairly simple, and it doesn't seem that expensive.  Does anybody working at Microsoft ride the bus to work?  Does the public transportation offer stops at the Microsoft campus.  I'm just curious.

    • User profile image
      Yes, a lot of people ride the bus that work for Microsoft.  Traffic isn't the best around here.
    • User profile image

      Very cool, which route numbers have wifi? Is it just Metro, or Sound Transit as well? I admit I didn't watch the whole thing, I actually have work to do today Smiley

    • User profile image
      Matthew Mushall

      Well, I did not know that.  I had suspected traffic in the area to be a little kinder given the images on Google Earth, but it would seem I am mistaken.  Anyway, thanks for that interesting bit of Trivia, Adam.

    • User profile image

      Japan, South Korea, and many countries outside the U.S. have citywide Wi-Fi access because those countries often have a state run (or at the very least state supported) telecommunications "company" providing the access in a highly urban area. The economies of scale in cities like Tokyo or Seoul make it much more reasonable for a single state run telco to provide Internet access to the majority because everyone lives and works in the city--minimal effort to install access points and fiber optic cable equals the maximum result of customers served... and there's a monopoly on the service.

      In the U.S., a great number of city workers live outside the city in the suburbs and commute to work in their own vehicles rather than buses and trains for whatever reason. Both those suburban and urban users have the choices of numerous Internet providers (DSL, cable, satellite, dial-up, etc.) at different price points and service levels. The power of the market and of choice...

      If it was a monopoly Internet provider in the U.S. providing Wi-Fi, everyone would be up in arms because there was no choice. If a municipality such as SF or LA provided "free" Wi-Fi, they'd jack up their already sky high property taxes or sales taxes to pay for the Wi-Fi that not everyone in the city was using and/or was being misappropriated by suburbanites that came into the city with a laptop and a Wi-Fi card looking for "free" Wi-Fi.

      So what's the solution to this mess?

      Don't know but that's probably a topic for a future Ten ep!

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