Wi-Fi a bad buy for RFTA
June 15, 2011
Have you seen the “Best Buy” commercial showing a man’s excitement as his 3-D TV is being delivered? His expression suddenly turns to dismay when he reads the ad on the side of the delivery truck promoting 4-D TV as his little girl dances around in a circle saying, “You bought the wrong TV, you bought the wrong TV.”
I believe that with advancements in technology like the Blackberry Playbook or the iPad, which can connect you to the Internet from anywhere, that RFTA’s intention to install Wi-Fi on their buses a waste of tax payer money.
Wi-Fi on public transportation goes back to 2004 when several major cities installed it on public transportation for those making the arduous commute from, say, Connecticut to New York City. I imagine even these commuters have replaced carrying their personal computers for a Playbook or iPad as soon as they got one from Best Buy.
As reported by The Aspen Times on Friday, June 10, 2011, “RFTA’s board of directors voted Thursday to spend $2.885 million on Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) components, conditional on receiving federal and state grants.”
I saw this type of system in Dublin at a bus stop where buses from different routes stopped. The electronic board was big and several lights in the board were out so it made it difficult for this tourist to read.
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Why does RFTA need ITS? I think residents/visitors of the Roaring Fork Valley are intelligent enough to read a posted schedule and understanding enough to realize that buses may be late in a snowstorm, or that another bus is coming to pick up passengers at a special event.
In these economically challenging times, are Wi-Fi and ITS really a smart thing to buy with precious taxpayer money? To me, RFTA is about to buy the wrong TV.