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Monday, February 25, 2008

Free Phone Calls on the Bus

WiFi Bus

Wi-Fi Bus Connects Streets of San Francisco and Wi-Fi Callers

Using a Skype or Fring account and a Wi-Fi enabled phone on a Wi-Fi equipped bus allows you to make free calls while you ride around town.

We've seen Wi-Fi installed in planes, trains and automobiles, but San Francisco will soon be launching the first Wi-Fi bus. Developed by Cisco Systems and Muni, the local transportation authority, the city's new "Connected Bus" is outfitted with free Wi-Fi for riders, as well as touch screens displaying wait times and useful map information. Muni CEO Nathaniel Ford explains, "This is definitely not your grandmother's bus in terms of technology and capability."  

Continued...

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, some local citizens think the program is an unnecessary waste of resources, while others think the bus, debuting this upcoming Monday, will be a big hit and draw new riders to the system. If the Wi-Fi capability proves popular, then it can be implemented into new buses for as little as $10,000 a pop.

Laptop use on the bus would probably be awkward, but it seems great for checking e-mail and quickly finding directions to local restaurants on smartphones and other Wi-Fi mobile devices. We can't wait for the Connected Trolley.