Metro considers proposals for cell service, possibly Wi-Fi for rail riders
Metro is reviewing bids on installing cell phone service and possible Wi-Fi in the Red and Purple Lines in Los Angeles.
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — Cell phone service and possibly Wi-Fi could be making its way to Metro's Red and Purple Lines if the transportation organization can find the right deal, according to a report released by the transportation agency.
The report tracks the progress creating a contract that would provide cellular phone service in rail stations and tunnels.
Metro issued a request for proposals to potential bidders interested in the project on Dec. 22, 2011. The proposals were received by Metro on Feb. 24 of this year.
A committee evaluated the proposals, reviewing applicants experience and past performances, project plan and understanding of requirements, and the possibilities for revenue generation.
Though Metro is looking for the best proposal financially, the greatest importance will be placed on "technical and project related factors," according to the report.
Metro said providing cell phone service to riders could also enhance emergency response times and make people feel safer during their trip.
A few readers of Metro blog The Source were not thrilled with the idea of riders being able to talk on their phone on the subway.
"The one thing that is nice about the Red Line is that no one is talking or yelling on their phone on the train. There is no need to phone service in the subway," reader NG commented.
Metro is currently negotiating with each of the proposers and anticipates offering the bid to one of the groups in August or September 2012.