Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Free Wi-Fi Pilot on 407 West and Waterloo/Mississauga GO Bus Routes

TORONTO: June 3, 2015 – Metrolinx is making it more convenient to take public transit by offering free Wi-Fi on select GO Buses as part of a six-month pilot project.

The service is being provided on 10 buses that generally operate on GO Transit’s Highway 407 West and Waterloo/Mississauga bus routes. Together, these routes serve customers in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Aberfoyle, Hamilton, Milton, Oakville, Mississauga, Bramalea and Vaughan, including stops at the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Guelph, McMaster University, Sheridan College and York University.

“Our unprecedented public transit investments are making transit a better choice for commuters,” said Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation.

“This is further proof of our government’s commitment to making the daily commute more convenient and the quality of life better for Ontario families.”

The pilot will allow staff to measure customer demand and determine technical requirements while giving passengers an opportunity to provide feedback on the service. It follows the rollout of free Wi-Fi across 36 GO stations and terminals — 14 in spring 2013, and another 22 this past February. The remaining 31 stations and terminals will come online during a third and final rollout later this year.

“We’re committed to making it easier to choose transit first,” said Bruce McCuaig, President and CEO of Metrolinx.

“Giving passengers another way to stay connected as they move from place to place makes GO Transit an even more attractive and convenient travel option.”

Customers can select the network name starting with “Free WiFi at GO” from their available networks to access the service, which is provided through a partnership with GO Transit’s advertising partner, IMA Outdoor, and its sponsors.

This project is part of Metrolinx’s plan to provide residents and businesses in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area with convenient and customer-friendly transit. Working through its divisions – GO Transit, PRESTO, and Union Pearson Express – Metrolinx is transforming the way the region moves.


outburst said...

My route's included. And I won't use it.
The idea of public WiFi was interesting a few years ago when mobile data was expensive and limited. Now, I think a lot of people have their own plans.
And frankly, I'm not using any public WiFi systems until I see a privacy statement because there's a very good chance that some of these orgs are monitoring your usage, on their networks.
No thanks, Metrolinx.

Bicky said...

"“We’re committed to making it easier to choose transit first,” said Bruce McCuaig, President and CEO of Metrolinx."

Really? Free Wi-Fi is going to get people trusting and using public transit on a regular basis?

How about making sure the switches/signals function properly consistently? That might be a higher priority than free wi-fi. Just sayin'.

C.J. Smith said...

Because this is easier and costs no $. The onus is on the supplier.

mark p said...

im in a minority that owns a smartphone but one that doesnt require data on my plan (they do exist, but lower end models) , so i use free wifi if i need it.... and find im fine with this.... i really dont need web access everywhere i go, and im not paying dearly for the privilege... hell i didnt event text until last year.....

outburst said...

Mark is this free WiFi going to influence your decision to use GO though? Seriously curious about your opinion.
My sense is that most of us are kind of meh about this.
There must be a cost to this, and in the grand scheme of things I would suspect that most us would rather see another bus on the route than free WiFi.
I have a data plan but I'm more likely to settle down with an old fashioned book than something web-intensive, but I'm also middle-aged and not entirely representative of the variety of commuters who filled out recent GO surveys.

George said...

GO will not be providing the wifi. A company will (don't know the name yet) and to use it you'll have to put up with ads when browsing.

My phone doesn't have a data plan either but since I never have the urge to be connected all the time, I'd use this service if I felt the urge to browse or check email while on the bus.

Anonymous said...

how about getting better signal coverage along the routes?

Anonymous said...

Anon, Talk to Rogers/Bell/Telus about that.

Anonymous said...

How about getting all the Power Outlet's working on the buses first.
Hardly any of the Double Decker's power outlets work, it's rather embarrassing.

Saul T Knutts

Ali Gator said...

Oh man ... You mean I have to travel with my volt meter again to check those electrical outlets?

Anonymous said...

1. You see their privacy statement every time you log on, and agree to the terms and conditions.

2. For train station wifi, the sponsor is Ritz Crackers. Presumably, Christie pays for the infrastructure.

Let's hope the onboard bus wifi works better than the at-station train wifi they're so proud of having expanded last February - none of the connections I've tested works! And the Metrolinx stated position is that wifi on GO Trais is impossible, despite it working fine on VIA trains and the new UP Train.

Anonymous said...

So VIA can manage it and GO offer it on platforms and certain GO buses. The TYC even offer it at certain subway stations
Let's catch up and just offer it on all GO Trains. It is more than possible.
Spend the money were riders want it.

George said...

You want free wifi on all trains now?

How much higher do you want your fares to go? Free wifi isn't free for Metrolinx. Someone has to pay for bandwidth, equipment, troubleshooting etc and especially personnel

The reality is that when a sponsor is found then and only then will it be given a trial. Sure the riders want it, so let's see how many of them want to pay for it through higher fares or higher taxes.

Just to be clear, Metrolinx does not provide any wifi at all. It's all sponsored and maintained by those sponsors.