Interestingly enough, Free Wi_Fi is becoming ever so prevalent everywhere--Schools, Libraries, Transport systems (that you've noted), restaurants (as epitomized by Starbucks especially as Google is now the provider :-); etc. etc. etc.)). I hope all agree with this reality that the very nature of Wi-Fi is increasingly being commoditized as well--and I am sure it is causing sleepless nights for the data companies--as it should :-)
@ Joanne Goldman, you have described at length the real problems associated with using gadgets in buses and trains. Many of us have experienced often the annoyance caused by someone sitting nearby talking loudly on the cell phone. But other more dangerous practices like texting on the move while alighting from a bus and getting so engrossed in using the gadget to become ignorant of the circumstances should more readily be addressed.
It would be wonderful to have free WIFI on all transportation systems in place. It would do a lot of good besides spreading technology and making things easy for commuters. It will also contribute in driving people away from using private vehicles which put a heavy load on energy resources. Mass transit is the ultimate answer to energy conservation and free WIFI will work as another incentive for choosing the public transport instead of private vehicles.
I can't speak for all subway systems, but I know that in some of the older systems there's lack of space for the required cabling and/or the problem that existing cabling is being used for other communications, like emergency services.
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