Lake County Motorist

Suburban Chicagoland commuter and motorist weblog

The Little-Known WiFi Engine that Could

The Little WiFi Engine that Could Did you know that Illinois enacted legislation to develop a plan to provide wireless internet access on passenger trains? The bill was passed in June 2007. A plan was to be finalized by December 31, 2007, but I can’t find any progress reports on this initiative. With the transit budget issues rightly taking legislative focus towards the end of 2007, my guess is that the WiFi plan deadline wasn’t met.

WiFi access on the trains would increase personal productivity of a Metra commute, as well as create additional revenue for the state. I currently use my Metra time to sleep or zone out (which also has its purpose) but I’d love to have WiFi on board so that I could check email or work online. Factor in a reasonable pricing structure, and you’ve got a winning benefit. Amtrak’s Hiawatha Line commuters would benefit from the convenience of WiFi during their hour-and-a half trek between Milwaukee and Union Station, as would Amtrak passengers throughout the rest of Illinois.

Boston’s already piloting WiFi on trains. When’s our turn?

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