Is BART’s Fremont station just a test location and will BART roll out Wifi at their other locations soon?

If you want Wifi service at your local Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station, you need to use your own data. But, according to one BART passenger at their Fremont station in a post on the B.A.R.T Rants and Raves Facebook Group earlier today (Feb 22, 2021) he was able to access Wifi after signing in through their guest portal.

Check out a screenshot of the sign-in screen below.

As of this writing, it looks like Fremont’s the only station with Wifi. I’ll update this blog post accordingly if BART rolls out Wifi service at their other stations.

Embed from Getty Images

This latest development is in line with a Board approved project back in January 9, 2020 that aims to “deliver WiFi at Bart and cellular upgrades.”

Part two of their four-part plan included,

The second project will install new wireless technology, including both WiFi and Bluetooth, in all BART stations, covering both the paid and free areas.  Besides offering WiFi, riders will experience less buffering, better streaming, faster load times and better wayfinding in the stations.  This project is scheduled to complete all stations within four years.

Part three includes extending WiFi to trains.

Better improve overall quality of the ridership experience.

Passengers without data plans or those who are trying to save data will be able to access train statuses in real-time, confirming delays and easing commuter stress knowing other trains are arriving soon.

After leaving stations, passengers can more easily coordinate ride share trips, check traffic conditions, and take care of other non-transportation related business before making their respective next trips.

Using Public Wifi opens up users to both digital and physical threats.

If you don’t already have good public Wifi habits, this article from Kaspersky is a good place to start. Before using public Wifi, it’s a good idea to have a secure VPN installed on your phone. If you choose not to, be aware of what data you send over public networks. At the very least, use a secure browser, like Google Chrome, which will warn you before you access an unsecure network (not HTTPS) over a public wifi network.

Also, now that you’re browsing the internet, you’ve let your guard down, exposing yourself to theft, harassment, and possible physical attack. Be aware of your surroundings, secure your belongings to your person, and, if you can, only browse if it’s absolutely necessary.

Overall, Public Wifi at BART will be a net positive and should make commuting that much easier.

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