WiFi turns bus ride into study hall

Wi-fi fi Turns Arizona Bus Ride Into a Rolling Study Hall, reports the New York Times.

Students endure hundreds of hours on yellow buses each year getting to and from school in this desert exurb of Tucson, and stir-crazy teenagers break the monotony by teasing, texting, flirting, shouting, climbing (over seats) and sometimes punching (seats or seatmates).

But on this chilly morning, as bus No. 92 rolls down a mountain highway just before dawn, high school students are quiet, typing on laptops.

Morning routines have been like this since the fall, when school officials mounted a mobile Internet router to bus No. 92’s sheet-metal frame, enabling students to surf the Web. The students call it the Internet Bus, and what began as a high-tech experiment has had an old-fashioned — and unexpected — result. Wi-Fi access has transformed what was often a boisterous bus ride into a rolling study hall, and behavioral problems have virtually disappeared.

The router costs $200; monthly Internet service is $60. Even if some students are playing games instead of doing homework, it’s not a bad deal.

My stepson commutes to his job at Google on a wi-fi-equipped bus. It’s a great way to extend the day.

About Joanne


  1. Cardinal Fang says:

    Can most people read while on a bus? I’d get so sick so fast if I tried it; am I such an outlier?

  2. I think this is a great idea and should even be adopted in more schools around the nation. I can remember as a high school student I constantly did homework on the bus on the way to and from school. My school happened to be 40 minutes away, and I worked after school not getting out until at least 9:00 pm. The extra hour or so that I had on the bus for socializing could have personally been used for more productive things like homework, or even checking my Facebook or Myspace on the bus so that I would not have to once I arrived at home.