Capitol Corridor and BART Release Request for Information – Development of Mobile Wireless Network
BART and Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority Release Request for Information (RFI) to Develop a Network for Providing Passengers and Train Operators with Wireless Broadband Connections While Moving at Full Speed on Passenger Trains.
Oakland, CA (March 31, 2006) – BART/Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCPJA), the operators of the Capitol Corridor commuter train, are asking the telecommunications industry to help them take the next big step in providing mobile broadband services, including Internet, email, Virtual Private Network (VPN) access, video downloads and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to their riders’ laptops, PDAs and cell phones, while the Capitol Corridor train is moving at full speed between Auburn and San Jose. Results of the initial technical trials will lead toward procurement of a system-wide network, a process that is being watched by passenger rail providers around the world.
CCJPA wants to establish technical trials that will demonstrate the technical feasibility and cost-effectiveness of a broadband network along the railway that can support bandwidth-intensive, real-time applications. Wi-Fi will provide connectivity within the train to riders, train staff and remote devices. Wi-Fi traffic will be backhauled to base stations along the tracks, or to satellites. CCJPA has adopted a technology-neutral approach for the backhaul connection and welcomes proposals that are based on different technologies.
The RFI invites national and international wireless carriers, equipment vendors, system integrators, enterprise solution providers and other members of the telecommunications community to submit proposals. CCJPA will evaluate submittals, select three of best proposals, and allow the winners to install their own networks and equipment, at their own expense, along sections of the test track, the Capitol Corridor’s 171 miles of right-of-way. CCJPA will supply rail cars for the equipment, room in the various stations for more equipment and collaborate with the winners to ensure that their needs for the technical trials are met. Winners must set up networks that cover at least three contiguous stations unless using a satellite solution. The trials are expected to last six months.
Some of the services that the broadband network will support are:
- Web browsing
- Email access
- VPN access to corporate networks
- File upload and download
- VoIP to place and receive voice calls over the Internet
- High-speed video and audio streaming
- Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) surveillance and monitoring to ensure safety on trains
- Electronic ticketing and management of passenger information
- Transmission of train diagnostic information.
At the end of the process, the CCJPA will use the trial results to form the basis for a competitive bid process (slated for the first quarter of 2007) to build a state-of-the-art network that serves the entire Capitol Corridor. Major transit agencies throughout California and the United States have already contacted CCJPA, and will be monitoring closely the progress of the technical tests.
Eugene Skoropowski, the CCJPA Managing Director, says, “We believe this is a real opportunity for the CCJPA. There can be incredible benefits from this type of broadband mobile networkÃ–for our riders, our train operations and also for many of the communities and people who live along the Capitol Corridor right-of-way.”
General Project Inquiries
Contact: Kingston Cole
Kingston Cole & Associates, Consultants to the CCJPA
1+ (415) 455-0800
Contact: Monica Paolini
Senza Fili Consulting, Consultants to the CCJPA
1+ (425) 657-4991