Wayside Wireless Services

In order to offer seamless Wi-Fi and cellphone connectivity while travelling on a train throughout our 131 miles of track, BART will need to install wireless transmitters along our track (wayside) that will broadcast a secure signal into our Fleet of the Future train cars. While Fleet of the Future train cars are Wi-Fi enabled, legacy BART cars are not.  

This project will be complete systemwide by 2025.  

The wayside wireless transmitters will come in the form of short, low-profile poles to be installed approximately every .5 mile along our tracks.  Some poles will be mounted to our aerial tracks and some will be installed to BART owned at-grade (ground level) property.  

Some poles will have Wi-Fi only and some will be for Wi-Fi and cellular carriers. 

The poles will also extend improved cellular service to those living in the surrounding area. BART can also incorporate lighting to the poles in the areas where improved lighting will benefit communities. 

Pole installation will begin fall 2021 and is scheduled to be completed by fall 2025.  

BART and our vendor are currently identifying the pilot location for the first four poles. Extensive community outreach will be held prior to installation in all areas. 

What neighbors can expect  

The poles come in a variety of neutral colors including shades gray, blue, green, and brown. The color will be selected to match the surrounding area. The poles have a stealth design with concealed antennas and equipment. They also offer customization options such as lighting elements for poles that are located near spaces where lighting would improve safety. 

Height dimensions of the poles: 

  • Height for poles at grade: Up to 39 feet above the BART tracks  
  • Height for poles adjacent to aerial tracks: approximately 22 to 25 feet above the track infrastructure 

Construction 

Installation of each pole will take about three days, plus time to install supporting infrastructure such as power and fiber to each pole.  

For at-grade poles, a drill rig will be used for foundation holes and a small crane or an aerial lift will be used for installation. A truck and back-hoe will also be used. If the work location can be accessed from outside the BART fence, work would be performed during normal business hours; otherwise, work would occur between midnight and 4 a.m. outside BART’s normal operating hours.