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MBTA seeks Wi-Fi service provider

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is seeking proposals to provide Wi-Fi service on commuter-rail cars and ferries, and at select commuter- rail stations.

The agency's goal is to expand the current Wi-Fi service — which began as a pilot program in 2008 — to a systemwide, state-of-the-art standard at no cost to the MBTA and its riders, MBTA officials said in a prepared statement.

The agency would provide access to MBTA-owned rights of way throughout the commuter-rail system in order to construct infrastructure required to deliver Wi-Fi service, as well as provide the successful bidder the opportunity to leverage their commercial services off the infrastructure, they said.

The offer includes a sponsorship that will provide partners with marketing rights and benefits, such as signage and advertising in stations, cars and ferry facilities; a corporate presence on MBTA maps and schedules; control of a Wi-Fi landing page; links on the MBTA website; and intellectual property rights.

MBTA officials hope to have a system selected and installation started by fall, with a rollout to be completed in phases over several months.

Transit Realty Associates L.L.C. and IMG Consulting are jointly marketing the program.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/6/2013