BAI Canada and the TTC have brought wireless internet service (Wi-Fi) to St. Patrick and Queen’s Park stations, as part of their plan to extend Wi-Fi and cellular capabilities to all underground subway stations.
Each station hosts the TCONNECT Wi-Fi service and is cellular-capable, ready for local cellular operators to join the network. The network provides connectivity for transit riders and lets the TTC use business and transit applications, such as digital signage, for its passenger information services.
In introducing Wi-Fi to TTC stations, BAI Canada also launched TCONNECT, its free-to-the-public, sponsored Wi-Fi service. TCONNECT has worked with organizations like Mondelez, Tim Hortons, the City of Toronto and Koodo to provide free Wi-Fi to TTC riders. Since then, more than 200,000 unique users have accessed the TCONNECT network more than 1.5 million times. In June alone, TTC riders used more than three terabytes of data on the Wi-Fi network.
The partners launched the service at Bloor-Yonge and St. George stations in December 2013, expanded it to Bay Station in August, 2014, to Wellesley Station in September, 2014 and to College Station, also in September, 2014. They added Dundas, Queen, King and Union stations to the network in November, 2014. (And, since their last public announcement, they also seem to have quietly added St. Andrew and Osgoode stations to the list, too.)
They intend to expand the service to all remaining downtown stations on the 1 Yonge - University line and four stations on the 2 Bloor - Danforth line early this year. They will introduce Wi-Fi to Spadina Station in March and to Museum Station before the Pan-Am / Parapan American Games in July.
In the first phase, Wi-Fi coverage between stations and in tunnels is not be available, but, as soon as the train enters the next Wi-Fi-enabled station, devices automatically reconnect to the Internet. In the second phase of the project, BAI will extend the cellular network in the TTC tunnels and expects to finish all work in three to four years.
TCONNECT is ad-supported, meaning advertisers sponsor the Wi-Fi service with short ads. The service comes at no cost — no cost for passengers to sign onto the network and no cost to the TTC, TTC passengers or Toronto taxpayers for installing the infrastructure. (In fact, it generates revenue for the TTC.)