No Reading Streetsblog on the Bus: LADOT Rejects Wi-Fi for Buses
In response to a City Council motion by Transportation Committee Chair Wendy Greuel and Councilman Tom LaBonge, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation studied the feasibility of providing Wi-Fi Internet service on Commuter Express Buses. Their conclusion? It’s too expensive to pursue right now.
The city estimates that the cost of installing the necessary equipment would be over $500,000, which would be more than enough to cover the cost of the Dodger shuttle for the next three years, with another $1.3 million needed for the first five years of service. In addition, there was little enthusiasm from riders for the service. Only 17% of riders who responded to an LADOT survey didn’t already have a Wi-Fi capable device and would use Wi-Fi if it were available on the bus. Of that small number, over those interested were not willing to pay for that service.
While it would certainly be cool to have Internet provided on buses, LADOT is probably on the right track. More and more people are able to access the Internet via cell phone, Wi-Fi card or other device. By the time their contract expired in five years, the technology they provide could be nearly obsolete.