Vancouver Moves Closer to Free WiFi on All Public Transport

(20 Oct 2021, BWCS Staff)

The City of Vancouver is on track to be one of the first cities in the world to offer free WiFi connections to passengers on all modes of its transit services. Translink, Metro Vancouver’s transportation authority responsible for transporting travellers across 21 municipalities, said this week that it has launched free WiFi for customers on six RapidBuses and on three SkyTrains, at Edmonds Station, and at Carvolth Exchange.

The move by Translink and its partners Shaw Communications, marks the start of a system-wide rollout that should be complete by 2026. Eventually, the service will cover all the buses, SkyTrains and ferries (SeaBus) as they criss-cross the 1,800 square kilometres of Metro Vancouver. SkyTrain alone has a daily ridership of some 490,000 people on its three lines - despite its name, 6km of SkyTrain’s 80km of track runs underground. 

TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn commented “We know that free WiFi is something our customers want, and I’m so excited to start delivering this important feature to elevate the customer experience. Free WiFi means that our customers can use their transit time for leisure, work, or better connecting with family and friends without spending their money on data fees.”

This rollout will first prioritize activating WiFi on RapidBuses, SkyTrains, and 60-foot articulated buses to provide WiFi on the vehicles serving the most customers. TransLink and Shaw will then continue to install WiFi on vehicles until the whole fleet is equipped. Free Shaw WiFi is already available on board SeaBuses and in SeaBus terminals for customers as part of a previous rollout from TransLink and Shaw.

Under the terms of the deal struck with Shaw Communications Inc. (“Shaw”), the addition of WiFi on board will come at no added cost to Translink or its customers, and Shaw will install and operate the WiFi system. WiFi has been available since 2016 at SeaBus terminals and on SeaBus ferries through a similar agreement with Shaw.

Track-side connectivity and on-board WiFi provision will be the main subjects of BWCS’s WiFi on Trains Conference in London on the 16th and 17th of November.

The full list of speakers at this year’s Conference is available here … where you can also sign up for our Free WiFi on Trains News Service.

The 2021 conference (  ) is sponsored by Icomera, Nomad Digital, RADWIN, BAI Communications, Westermo and GlobalReach Technology.


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