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RVTD adds free Wi-Fi for bus riders

People wait to catch the bus at the Rogue Valley Transportation District depot on South Front Street in Medford. [File photo / Mail Tribune]
Don’t ask bus drivers for tech support, however

Rogue Valley Transportation District has rolled out a new service intended to help riders save cellphone data and make their commutes more productive.

Free Wi-Fi service is now available on all fixed-route bus lines, according to a news release Wednesday from the transportation district, but riders should be prepared to sort out their own tech issues and may want make sure they have headphones before boarding.

Riders will find the network under the name “RVTD_PublicWifi,” according to the release.

The mobile hot spot on RVTD buses is best used for simple online tasks, according to a website for the new program at rvtd.org/wifi.The network should be treated as unsecured and public, and the hot spot draws from the same cellular networks as phone data plans, so the service may be limited in areas with a poor signal.

According to the list of “tips and rules” for the new service, riders are ordered not to ask bus drivers for help connecting to the free Wi-Fi network, and to use earbuds or headphones when playing streaming audio or video on their devices.

“Enjoy the free Wi-Fi service, but don’t forget your stop,” the tips and rules list states.

If a phone, laptop or other device has difficulty connecting, RVTD recommends shutting down the device and restarting.

Further, RVTD recommends riders wait until after the bus has left the Front Street station before logging on because every bus has the same network name, and riders risk connecting to the wrong terminal.

While RVTD can’t offer direct technical support, riders can alert the transportation district of consistent difficulties accessing the service through an online form at rvtd.org/about/contact-us.