The company behind Toronto's subway internet wants to do way more than just help you surf: Financial Post

October 30, 2019 by School of Cities Staff

Geoff Zochodne of the Financial Post reports on BAI Communications Canada, which built and operates cellular and Wi-Fi networks across the Toronto Transit Commission’s underground system of subway stations. In May, the TTC and BAI signed a $420,000 contract (plus a combined monthly operating fee of around $35,000) to provide overcrowding notifications and count passengers, services the transit agency said it expects to start in November and January, respectively.

Such partnerships are not that unusual anymore, said Matti Siemiatycki, interim director of the University of Toronto’s School of Cities, an associate professor of geography & planning. The rise of all things digital has municipal governments turning to businesses for help in that particular area.

“The reason (for such arrangements) in many ways is governments don’t always have the expertise to provide those services, or they’re not core services,” Siemiatycki said. “And, in some cases, if they have a revenue stream, the government can find a way to provide the service without having to fund it themselves.”

Read the article in the Financial Post

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