NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – NJ TRANSIT rail riders will soon be going wireless.
The NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors approved a plan Wednesday to enter into a 20-year contract with Cablevision to provide high-speed wireless internet access at stations and onboard trains.
“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.
Newark Penn Station, Hoboken Terminal and Secaucus Junction are expected to be outfitted with Wi-Fi by the end of the year. The service will eventually be brought to other stations and onboard trains.
The entire project is expected to be completed by 2016.
The service will be provided to NJ TRANSIT customers at no cost to the agency.
Without Cablevision’s investment, Wi-Fi aboard the trains would have cost NJ TRANSIT $140 million.
“That kind of a cost, we never would have been able to provide it,” NJ TRANSIT executive director Jim Weinstein told WCBS 880′s Levon Putney.
NJ TRANSIT said a recent survey found 67 percent of passengers use Internet devices while commuting.
Some transit advocates said the Wi-Fi is nice, but other improvements are needed.
Albert Papp, Jr. with the New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers said riders also want clean bathrooms.
“And these are human needs that affect us all on a daily basis, if not more so,” Papp told Putney.
Cablevision will set the pricing for non-customers. Otherwise, the service will be free to Cablevision customers.
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