New style of connectivity on the Metro Vancouver public transport system is about improving a new type of frequency on buses, trains and ferries.
TransLink announced this afternoon that he was launching free Wi-Fi across the entire public transport system.
This is made possible by a new innovative private partnership with Shaw, and this is the first type of type in Canada.
This will be launched in 2020, although the first test based service will start next year. The free service will be expanded gradually across the entire public transport network, with a goal to complete the entire system by 2025.
The introduction of free Wi-Fi starts with SkyTrain and buses, and will eventually be implemented on West Coast Express, community shuttle buses, and HandyDart.
It requires a multi-year timetable for delivery as TransLink and Shaw needs to calculate and test the specific equipment requirements for different models of vehicles, including over 2,000 buses and hundreds of train cars, to ensure that quality service provided. For example, the buses expressed by the 99 B-high traffic Line will probably require more Wi-Fi infrastructure.
Since 2016, Shaw has been providing free Wi-Fi at both SeaBus terminals and on a SeaBus ferry, and this new contract expands significantly on that partnership.
The cost of installing and operating the entire Wi-Fi infrastructure will be included by Shaw at no cost to TransLink.
In fact, the public authority of way may be able to receive some revenue from Shaw in exchange for its service. But TransLink's revenue is not the top priority of this new service, as the focus of the project is to provide large passenger amenity.
"This will have a huge impact on customer experience," said Kevin Desmond, CEO of TransLink. "We've been working on this for several years, and we have been looking for a model to bring this that would bring the new customers' amenity to our system on the bottom, or, in fact, in this case, at no cost, to the taxpayer and transit drivers. "
Regular transport riders will not have to use their cell data now to access the internet and apps on the web. It will be Shaw Go Wi-Fi extension to Shaw customers, and for everyone else they will use the TransLink network operated by Shaw.
Free Wi-Fi on public transport will also help improve the tourism experience in the city. Ty Speer, CEO and Vancouver Tourist President said that 43% of visitors to Vancouver used the public transfer system during their stay.
"We have a city that is so easy to go around … but we've really stopped the visitor experience, like when they (their) tourists turn their phones forward, they are connected as anyone else and they want to plan their experience, do more, learn more, and buy more, but it is blocked with potential cell charging or a green home festival in their home country. "
"And now, I believe we can unlock that … it really energizes our visitor experience. It will add quality to our visitor experience. It will add the opportunity For all those visitors do more, and it means that more businesses in the hospitality sector will have more customers, more revenue and more job opportunities. "
More to come …