Penn Waiting Room Goes Wireless
MTA Long Island Rail Road customers waiting for their trains in the Penn Station ticketed waiting room can now turn on their laptops and get wireless access to the Internet.
Helena Williams, LIRR President said, “Many of our customers can be seen using their notebook computers as they wait for their trains. Going Wi-Fi in our Penn Station waiting room was the next logical step, providing a service many customers will certainly use.” She added, “Our website is now another accessible information center for these customers, when needed.”
Gerard Bringmann, Chairman of the Long Island Rail Road Commuter's Council said, "WiFi is becoming increasingly popular throughout NYC, being found these days in most coffee shops, bookstores, etc. So, bringing this feature to the LIRR waiting room is a nice little "extra" for our riders."
In order to access the Internet in the Penn Station waiting area, laptop computers must have a wireless network card that supports 802.11a or 802.11g/b. The SSID’s customers will be searching for are LIRR_HOTSPOT_11A (802.11a) or LIRR_HOTSPOT_11G (802.11g/b). The network access can accommodate up to 250 users at once in the waiting area. The waiting room is the only LIRR area at Penn Station that is Wi-Fi accessible.
The Internet connection at Penn Station is part of an overall enhanced communications effort to assist LIRR customers. For example, last year, six large, flat screen message boards were placed in service throughout the terminal displaying real time information about service disruptions. During normal service, the monitors provide customer information on planned service adjustments and special events. In addition, the LIRR plans to issue cell phones to more than 1,000 train crew members next month as part of the effort to provide commuters with up-to-date information on service disruptions that could impact their travel. Crew members will be able to receive text messages and voice communications from LIRR's newly-established Public Information Office concerning the latest train conditions.
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