If I wasn’t focused on bridging our community’s digital divide, I might be tempted to ignore the ridiculously high price Chapel Hill is paying for NextBus’ proprietary system, avoid the recalcitrance of some of our staff and forgo the hassle of trying to undo a “done deal”.

Yet, while alternatives exist, I can’t stand by as we waste a million dollar opportunity to advance the social, economic and operational goals of our town.

What alternatives? Portsmouth UK’s system, with bus stop Wifi hotspots, offers an attractive model for Chapel Hill.

What waste?

Imagine ubiquitous Wifi-MESH Internet connectivity spreading several hundred feet beyond each transit corridor – covering each Park-n-Ride.

For the same $949,025 we could blanket huge swaths of Town with a citizen-owned network.

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