Amtrak expands WiFi access; addresses filtering of gay sites

Posted by Troy Petenbrink
October 25, 2011 3:24 PM |

Amtrak(3).jpgAmtrak confirmed today that it is conducting a soft launch of free WiFi service on its Northeast Regional trains. Service is already available on its Acela trains, some regional trains on the west coast and at select stations. Amtrak is expect to provide a formal update next week about its expansion efforts.

Christina Leeds, a media representative for Amtrak, also acknowledged reports that some websites, such as the one for the Seattle Gay News, were being blocked by the third-party automated system that is employed by the organization to filter inapproriate content. However, Leeds explained that the system is not perfect and that passengers are given the option --  and "encouraged"  -- to report a site that they believe is being incorrectly blocked. 

In the case of the Seattle Gay News, www.sgn.org, Amtrak did receive notices that that particular site was being filtered, the site was reviewed and is now available.

Despite opposition from anti-gay groups such a the Family Research Institute, in recent years, Amtrak has been very active in marketing to the LGBT communities. It is a member of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association; operates a website design specifically for LGBT travelers, www.amtrakridewithpride.com; and has been a sponsors of many gay events, including Washington, D.C.'s Capital Pride.

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