Outdated Muni radios due for $60M upgrade

Muni’s current radio system — which was installed in the 1970s and will be inoperable by 2013 — is set for a $60 million upgrade.

On Tuesday, the Municipal Transit Authority will vote on authorizing a request for proposal (RFP) for contractors interested in installing a new communications system for the department’s 1,100-plus vehicles.

Muni’s current set of radios are no longer manufactured and lack the technological capability of many modern systems, according to department documents. Making matters worse, the Federal Communications Commission is expected to narrow Muni’s radio operating bandwidth in 2013, which will essentially render the current system obsolete.

Under the terms of the RFP, a contractor will have three years to install the new radio network. Of the $60 million — which will be provided by grants and local funding — $9 million will be used for design purposes, $36 million for procurement and $15 million for communications and testing.
 

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