Wi-Fi on Washington D.C. Buses: Yes, Really!

Like death and taxes, it seems as though nobody in Washington D.C. can escape a bad commute — until now. Commuters who take the D.C. Circulator bus should stay tuned for a huge upgrade to their transit experience: Wi-Fi access and charging ports for the wireless devices we all know and love.

Image via Wikimedia Commons Used via CC 4.0 — Credit: MJW15

This week, Councilmember Brandon Todd (D-Ward 4) proposed the DC Circulator Tech-Friendly Feasibility Study Act of 2017. The proposal would direct the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) to study how feasible it would be to give Circulator buses tech upgrades such as Wi-Fi access.

Cities across the country have been rolling out similar wireless initiatives, and people are taking notice. “Access to technology is just as important to District residents and visitors as it is elsewhere, and it is time to usher the District’s transit service into the 21st century,” said Councilmember Todd.

“Having internet access and the ability to charge mobile devices,” Councilmember Todd continued, “will ensure that productivity remains high and will also make longer commutes easier and more enjoyable.” Wi-Fi and the unlicensed spectrum that it runs on lets commuters make the most of their time in transit — catching up on work emails, connecting with loved ones, learning something new, or simply enjoying the world of digital entertainment.

The plan is to start with a pilot program on select Circulator buses and then expand the power of Wi-Fi access to all Circulator buses and streetcars. As more innovative smart initiatives like this one continue to connect more of us to fast, reliable, and affordable Wi-Fi, we need to make sure that we have smart unlicenced spectrum policy to support growing network traffic.

Policymakers, tech innovators, and manufacturers all need to get on board and work together to ensure that more unlicensed spectrum is managed effectively and efficiently, and that more spectrum is made available for our Wi-Fi.

Click here to show your support for unlicensed spectrum, Wi-Fi, and making D.C. commutes better and smarter.