WIND Mobile and Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) are in the news once again when just a couple days ago, TTC and BIA Canada – the company that received the $25 million contract to install the wireless service in each Toronto subway station – set up a joint press conference to make an "important announcement." The Mayor John Tory, TTC Chair Josh Colle, TTC Deputy CEO and Chief Customer Officer Chris Upfold, and Ken Ranger of BAI Canada were all to attend.
This time around the new announcement was that WIND subscribers can now make calls, send texts and use data in 15 TTC Subway Stations. It was only a month ago that the carrier partnered with BAI Canada and TTC to enable WIND customers to use their devices at platforms in St. George, Bay Station Line 2 and Bloor-Yonge stations. We can now add to that platform stations at Spadina, Museum, Queen's Park, Osgoode, St. Patrick, St. Andrew, Union, King, Queen, Dundas, College, and Wellesley. WIND did note in an email to our source that they are continuing to work on expanding the number of stations with wireless service. Ken Ranger said last month in a statement that the TCONNECT Wi-Fi infrastructure is in place for each of TTC's downtown subway stations, but they have plans to have the wireless service at all 65 stations in 2017.
It was just a couple of months ago that we reported that TTC was revving up its technology with the onset of Canada and Toronto hosting the Pan Am Games. Whenever a world event is being held in your city, you want visitors and plenty of them to be able to move through the city as smoothly and as modernly as possible. TTC, which has always been behind the times, introduced a new app called the TTCconnect so that riders can purchase an E-Ticket and quickly enter or exit the subway. They had Single Day Passes and a Group Pass with the ticket displaying on your smartphone.
It is nice to see that TTC is moving forward in modernizing their ticketing system and adding Wi-Fi to the stations. The day of the smartphone and e-pay are here, and transportation systems need to be in the forefront of technology as workers and visitors need a swift ride around town. It is also nice to see an entrant, such as WIND Mobile, handling this project and not one of the Big Three.