BART will finally host the kind of seamless wifi service enjoyed by other major transit networks.
The board of directors is expected to vote Thursday to install a dependable network. The service will also improve cell service for Muni riders.
Boosting connectivity on BART, however, will take five years or more.
Eventually it should allow for mobile ticketing and personalized directions from within the station without using Google Maps or similar apps, a BART spokeswoman said.
"You'll actually know what escalator you're walking up and if that's the right place," said Alicia Trost. "It's just that really tailored, customized, step-by-step navigation."
The navigation feature will be precise enough to explain where to find restrooms or ticketing booths.
The city's Muni system is piggybacking on the contract. It will install cell service at the Sunset, Twin Peaks and Central subway tunnels.
More than 10 years ago, BART tried to get wifi across its train system. However, protracted problems with the vendor forced BART into court to free itself from the deal.