Toyota Provides Free Public Wi-Fi at Six City Parks in Los Angeles, Four State Parks in New York, and One State Park in New Jersey
Public-Private Partnership Provides Millions of Visitors Opportunity to Connect at Select Parks
LOS ANGELES -- August 14, 2014: – The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks today announced that, thanks to Toyota and American Park Network, free public Wi-Fi is now available at six popular Los Angeles parks and beaches. This comes on the heels of a similar announcement last week by authorities in New York State of a program in four highly-visited parks there, as well as one in New Jersey.
The free service, called Oh, Ranger! Wi-Fi™, is part of a pilot program made possible through the generous support of the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid. All of the equipment, including installation, is being provided at no cost to taxpayers as a function of this public-private partnership between the Parks Departments, Toyota and American Park Network.
This program represents the first time Wi-Fi has been installed in Los Angeles city parks and is a small but meaningful step towards providing free, universal access to wireless broadband throughout all of Los Angeles.
Oh, Ranger! Wi-Fi™ is currently available at six of the most iconic, highly visited city parks throughout Los Angeles. Locations include the Griffith Observatory and the tremendously popular Venice Beach, which alone receives an estimated 16 million visitors annually. The parks that are participating in the first phase of this pilot program are: Venice Beach, Pershing Square, Griffith Observatory, Cabrillo Beach, Echo Park Lake and Reseda Park.
In New York, free Wi-Fi is now available to the public in Niagara Falls, Jones Beach, Saratoga Spa and East River State Parks. Collectively, the four parks welcome more than 18 million visitors each year, and account for thirty percent of total visitation across the New York State Park system. Meanwhile, the service is also available at Liberty State Park in New Jersey.
Latest research indicates that smart devices are being relied on more than ever, which is growing the demand for Wi-Fi availability in public areas. Last year the International Data Corporation (IDC) in collaboration with Facebook issued a study on smartphone usage and identified that 79% of 18-44 year olds have smartphones with them 22 hours a day. In a separate survey conducted by Hotel Chatter, 94% of people cited Wi-Fi as the most important amenity when booking in the hospitality and lodging industry.
“We’re thrilled to partner with American Park Network and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks to help make Oh, Ranger! Wi-Fi™ a reality for the visitors who attend these six tremendously popular parks here in Los Angeles,” said Dionne Colvin-Lovely, National Director, Traditional and Digital Media, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. “Supporting the needs of parks and their visitors is a perfect fit for the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, we particularly welcome the opportunity to make a difference, here, in our own backyard, by improving the park going experience for Angelenos throughout the city.”
Visitors at the participating parks will be able to access the Wi-Fi in two easy steps. Users simply select “Oh, Ranger! Wi-Fi™” under available Wi-Fi networks on their smart device, then accept the standard terms and conditions, and they’ll be on their way to free Internet access.
“It’s really rewarding to work with such collaborative partners as Toyota and LA Parks,” said Mark Saferstein, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief at American Park Network. “It’s rare to have a chance to positively impact the lives of so many people. We feel great about providing a new service that will make our parks even more accessible to the next generation of custodians who will care for these special places.”