6HWbNHN-show-poster2x3-c7tgE2Y.png

Artbound

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
HvlSxHY-show-poster2x3-4ik43uV.png

Earth Focus

Start watching
5LQmQJY-show-poster2x3-MRWBpAK.jpg

Reporter Roundup

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

Wireless Internet Now Aboard California Amtrak Trains

Support Provided By
A sticker advertising Amtrak's new wireless internet service aboard the Pacific Surfilner in Santa Barbara County | Photo by Zach Behrens/KCET

Wireless internet. It has been the most requested feature for years, and last week - on Cyber Monday, no less - it arrived on three California Amtrak lines. In Southern California that means the 350-mile Pacific Surfliner, the second busiest route in the nation, has some happier riders.

The route with major stops in San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo can take more than eight hours end to end (luckily, there's lots of ocean views). Officials are now hoping the free WiFi service entices more people to hop aboard.

"Adding another great onboard amenity like Wi-Fi makes travel by train even more attractive," said Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority Managing Director David Kutrosky. "Our customers can now make their travel mode choice based on which mode is more productive or entertaining, soon making these trains the preferred means of interregional travel."

The three Wi-Fi-enabled routes, including the Capitol Corridor (Bay Area to Sacramento) and San Joaquin (Sacramento-Oakland-Bakersfield), carry 20 percent of Amtrak passengers nationwide. During the last fiscal year, more than 5.5 million passengers rode the routes, a 7.5 percent increase from the previous year, according to Amtrak. The routes are supported by the state, but operated by Amtrak.

The service called AmtrakConnect uses bandwidth via cellular towers along the routes, meaning speeds can sometimes be slow and may even drop out. Downloading files larger than 10MB and streaming video have been blocked to help maximize bandwidth, and some sites with "objectionable content" have been blocked.

California is served by a number of company-owned Amtrak trains but only one, the Coast Starlight between Los Angeles and Seattle, carries WiFi. Other lines serving the state are the California Zephyr (Bay Area to Chicago), Southwest Chief (L.A to Chicago) and Sunset Limited (L.A. to New Orleans).

Support Provided By
Read More
A group of mules lined up and reined together gallop down a commercial street. Spectators watch on the sides of the road and a mountain landscape fills the background.

Y luego hubo dos: Inyo y Merced atrapados en el nivel más estricto

Al no poder cumplir con los criterios estatales de infección por COVID-19, los condados de Merced e Inyo aún no pueden reabrir la mayoría de las empresas. El estatus de los condados amenaza un gran evento del Día de los Caídos en Bishop, por lo que la ciudad ha pedido al estado que reconsidere los requisitos de su condado rural.
A group of mules lined up and reined together gallop down a commercial street. Spectators watch on the sides of the road and a mountain landscape fills the background.

And Then There Were Two: Inyo and Merced Stuck in Strictest Tier

Unable to meet state COVID-19 infection criteria, Merced and Inyo counties still can’t reopen most businesses. The status threatens a big Memorial Day event in Bishop, so the town has asked the state to reconsider its rural county requirements.
Maria Gutierrez teaching LAUSD preschoolers from the virtual classroom she's created in her home.

Preparing to Go Back to Preschool in A Pandemic: 'Fun, but in A Different Way'

With kids under 5 returning to the classroom — some in person for the first time — get ready for Big Feelings from adults and little ones alike.