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BART pulls plug on free wireless Internet service

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officials announced earlier this week that the agency has terminated its agreement with WiFi Rail Inc. to provide free wireless Internet service in downtown San Francisco and Oakland, Calif.

The service was discontinued Dec. 29, local news media reported. The Wi-Fi termination does not affect cellphone service on BART. Wi-Fi was available in less than 5 percent of the agency's trains, BART spokesman Jim Allison said in a San Francisco Chronicle news article.

BART and WiFi Rail signed their agreement in 2009. Allison said the Wi-Fi service was offered on a free-trial basis, but "the performance of the constructed portions of the network did not meet expectations," according to the newspaper.

However, WiFi Rail Chief Executive Officer Cooper Lee said problems with the BART agreement began in 2012, and that he was considering legal action as a result of the termination, the Chronicle reported.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/2/2015