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Amtrak rolls out free Wi-Fi across Michigan

September 3, 2013
TAGS Amtrak / Wi-Fi
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Amtrak rolls out free Wi-Fi across Michigan
Amtrak is deploying free Wi-Fi service on all of its Michigan trains. Photo via fb.com

Every Amtrak train speeding across Michigan will soon double as a free Wi-Fi hotspot.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is allocating $1 million for Amtrak to provide free Wi-Fi service on all of its Michigan trains.

The service is expected to begin in early 2014.

States and lines already offering free Internet access have shown an increased ridership and, therefore, revenues for Amtrak, and MDOT expects the same in Michigan, according to Nick Schirripa with MDOT.

“It’s a $1 million investment up front, but we anticipate a net $800,000 revenue gain, because of the popularity of this service elsewhere and an increase in ridership,” Schirripa said.

“The installation of Wi-Fi service on Amtrak trains in Michigan makes passenger rail travel more attractive, efficient and productive throughout the state,” said Tim Hoeffner, director of MDOT Office of Rail. “We are proud Michigan is the first Midwestern state to offer Wi-Fi service on all its Amtrak lines.”

AmtrakConnect

AmtrakConnect is a cellular-based Wi-Fi service that takes advantage of 4G technologies to improve performance and enhance the passenger experience.

AmtrakConnect combines signals from multiple cellular providers to provide the best mobile experience possible.

“We place a strong focus on improving customer satisfaction, and this service is delivering the speeds and connectivity required to maintain a competitive edge,” said Lenetta McCampbell, Amtrak senior director, Passenger Experience.

The service routinely supports between 30 and 50 percent of passengers on a given train.

Amtrak said downloads larger than 10MB are restricted via Wi-Fi, to ensure the best service possible for the most passengers.

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