Wireless service for BART riders

As I descended into the depths of the Embarcadero station, on a last-minute call to my sister for a ride from the BART station, I noticed that my reception wasn’t so bad, and I didn’t end the call with a disconnected tone… While I stood there waiting for my Daly City bound train, all four bars on the phone were showing, “Extended Network” flashing on my screen… Hmmm, this is new…or maybe I’m the last to know, I thought.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, BART became the first transportation system across the nation to offer wireless communication.

San Francisco stations where wireless devices work:
— Embarcadero
— Montgomery
— Powell Street
— Civic Center

San Francisco stations where wireless service is planned:
— 16th Street Mission
— 24th Street Mission
— Glen Park
— Balboa Park

East Bay stations where wireless service is planned:
— Oakland 12th Street
— Oakland 19th Street
— Lake Merritt
— North Berkeley
— Berkeley
— Ashby

Courtesy of this SF Chronicle article.

What does this mean for our BART ride? Extra conversations overheard…

4 Comments so far

  1. cd (unregistered) on November 29th, 2005 @ 6:02 pm
  2. cg (unregistered) on November 30th, 2005 @ 11:45 am

    does it work with all carriers?

    the dc metro has been wired for verizon since at least this past summer . . . . .

  3. suki (unregistered) on November 30th, 2005 @ 12:52 pm

    Five of six carriers have signed up to use the system, so I think that would cover the major carriers. I did a search for this when I first moved back to the Bay Area, and it looked like only Cingular or Sprint was accessible on BART for some phones…

  4. Android (unregistered) on December 6th, 2005 @ 7:53 pm

    Why would Google want to provide free WiFi?

    At first glance of this opportunity to provide a metropolitan WiFi network for San Francisco, one assumes that the provider would pay for it by either advertising or additional services (like a faster connection). But, after thinking about it longer, I believe Google wants to provide free (monitored) access to the Internet in order to improve their PageRank system.

    Page Rank Explained – http://www.google.com/technology/

    “PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important.”

    Important, high-quality sites receive a higher PageRank, which Google remembers each time it conducts a search. Of course, important pages mean nothing to you if they don’t match your query. So, Google combines PageRank with sophisticated text-matching techniques to find pages that are both important and relevant to your search. Google goes far beyond the number of times a term appears on a page and examines all aspects of the page’s content (and the content of the pages linking to it) to determine if it’s a good match for your query.”

    Now, imagine if Google had access to millions of peoples Internet traffic and an ability to monitor every site everyone visits. This would allow them to determine which sites are truly popular, trends on when a site might be more popular (time focus like during an event), and what sites may naturally link to other sites (following a users surfing rather then a robot

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