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WiFi Commuter Rail Connect

Based on the successful pilot program on the Framingham/Worcester Line, the MBTA is proud to offer its commuter rail customers first in the nation FREE WiFi service via the MBTA’s Commuter Rail Connect initiative. The current WiFi technology has been implemented in 258 Commuter Rail coaches with statistics from our vendor showing that more than 10,000 riders are connecting to the internet daily through their laptops, PDAs, and smart phones. In addition, the MBTA is in the process of expanding the use of the on-board WiFi system by using it as a maintenance tool to provide train malfunction data through a web browser system to accelerate the response of the Mechanical Department in correcting any malfunctions.

December 2016 Update: Upgrades to the system are on the way. The MBTA continues to work with InMotion, a wireless Wi-Fi service provider, to bring a captive/stand alone Wi-Fi system online for the Commuter Rail network. This new initiative will provide high speed broadband service to all customers across all Commuter Rail lines as well as the ferry system with throughput per train car on average of 20 Mbps at a minimum.  This includes South Station, North Station, and Back Bay Station which are expected to be online by the end of the year. For other parts of the commuter rail network, the project is in the permitting and design phases along the rail lines. This system will support all WiFi-enabled devices with customers experiencing uninterrupted service from the time they board until the time they arrive at their destination as well as while waiting in larger stations.

We hope you enjoy this FREE service. 

Here′s how it works:

• When boarding, look for the MBTA WiFi logo posted on WiFi-enabled coaches.
• When you see the bandwidth symbol on your screen, click on it and you′ll come to our T WiFi Commuter Rail Connect page. Review the stated terms and click “I Agree” (or “Connect”) for internet access.
• Note: Due to the nature of WiFi service, signal strengths may vary and fluctuate and service interruptions may occur.
• WiFi service works best when utilizing basic Internet browsing, including accessing e-mail accounts.
• Our WiFi offers limited bandwidth that is shared among all the users aboard your train car. Please remember to be courteous to our fellow Internet users by limiting your use of streaming audio and video.
• Please be respectful of other customers and refrain from viewing inappropriate content. As a customer courtesy, we ask that you turn off any audible sound or use headphones.
• WiFi Security and Privacy: Our Commuter Rail Connect WiFi has limited bandwidth that is shared among all users on your train. As with any WiFi source, please take extra precautions on what information and transactions you perform.
• For inquiries, comments, or suggestions, please contact us here and choose 'WiFi Commuter Rail' in the drop-down menu.

Frequently asked questions:

Q: How do I connect?
A: Once you see that you are acquiring a wireless signal on your device, click it to connect to the T WiFi Commuter Rail Connect page. If you don′t automatically connect, make sure your laptop or wireless device is WiFi-enabled. Some laptops may have different procedures for connecting to a WiFi network. Please consult the Help functions on your computer or the manufacturer’s instructions. Some laptops may have firewalls that prevent connection.

Q: Why does WiFi service sometimes fade in and out?
 Due to the characteristics of the cellular network, there may be locations where service is intermittent or unavailable. WiFi is solely dependent on the strength of the cellular signal in that area. This is the same effect as when a person experiences a dropped call on a cell phone when hitting a dead zone.

Q: On which lines will the WiFi coaches be available?
A:  Because of the many complicating factors in running a railroad, the WiFi-enabled coaches are put into service on lines solely based on operational needs. 

Q: Does T WiFi Commuter Rail Connect offer virus protection and security?
A: No, we do not. It is the customer’s responsibility to prepare a laptop or wireless internet device for secure internet usage. The MBTA is not responsible for any damages or security breaches.

Q: Can I download large files?
 We recommend that you use T WiFi Commuter Rail Connect for simple web services. Downloading or e-mailing large file attachments may result in the loss of the file.


News: July 24, 2014 - New Wifi System for Commuter Rail