PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Wi-Fi is now available at several T stations in Downtown Pittsburgh.
Thanks to Comcast, seven T stations of the Port Authority from Station Square to Allegheny on the North Shore now have free Wi-Fi service no matter how deep you go underground.
Wireless hotspots will be installed at the Station Square, First Avenue, Steel Plaza, Wood Street, Gateway, North Side and Allegheny stations.
And it’s available even if you are not a Comcast customer.
“If you’re not a customer of Comcast, you simply see Xfinity Wi-Fi as an available network, you create a user name and password. Once you do that once, you will automatically connect at any of these seven stations going forward,” said Bob Grove of Comcast.
Port Authority acting director David Donahoe said connectivity is part of making public transit more attractive.
“No longer do we just say, ‘We’re here and you have to ride us.’ Today, it’s more like, ‘Welcome aboard’ and we have your ride because we want you to continue to choose transit as your option for getting from one place to another,” he said.
And making that experience better requires easy access to the internet while underground.
“It says I’m connected,” said Zack Tarasovich, looking down at his phone.
He likes the new service.
“I think it’s a great idea. I always lose service when I get in the tunnels starting at Gateway,” he said.
One T rider says it’s timely as other cities already offer this service.
“A lot of people run their businesses from their phones,” said Melisha Hutchins. “So having Wi-Fi is really important especially for me. I run a personal training business, and sometimes my data plan is really slow.”
Getting free Wi-Fi on the T platforms themselves is all well and good, but how about on the trains when they run underground?
The Port Authority tells KDKA money editor Jon Delano that nothing is on the table for this service, but they’re open to it from Comcast or any other provider.
The Wi-Fi service will not only be beneficial to T riders who don’t want to use up their data while waiting on the platform, but it will also be useful in Port Authority’s plans to provide real-time tracking for light rail vehicles.
“Customers have told us that they want the ability to stay connected while waiting for a train, and we are thrilled to have worked with Comcast to deliver this service,” Port Authority Interim CEO David Donahoe said a release. “We see this as an invaluable tool, especially once we roll out real-time tracking of our light rail vehicles, which is currently in a testing phase.”
Port Authority approved a seven-year, non-exclusive agreement with Comcast back in January.
To locate Xfinity hotspots in Pittsburgh, download the Xfinity WiFi App or visit xfinity.com/wifi.