Amtrak Makes Wireless Access Free on Acela

Amtrak says free wireless is now a standard service for everybody on its high-speed Acela Express trains. The announcement this week follows a three-month trial run, during which 20 Acela Express cars provided the service.

According to Amtrak, recent onboard surveys show about 115,000 Acela Express passengers per month logged on with the free AmtrakConnect access during the test period, or about 39 percent of ridership.

In addition, about 76 percent of those polled had a favorably strong opinion of both the service and overall system performance, Amtrak said.

"We've had tremendous positive passenger response to having Wi-Fi available onboard and keeping it free of charge will support increased ridership growth," said Matt Hardison, Amtrak Chief, Sales Distribution and Customer Service. He said upgrades to the existing service include increased bandwidth to allow for video files.

Plans are to expand the wireless service to other routes as well starting in the late fall, contingent on available funding.

Photo gilliamhome, flickr
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