City launches free Wi-Fi on buses pilot project

Winnipeg – Today, the City of Winnipeg launched a year-long pilot project which will provide free Wi-Fi to Winnipeg Transit passengers on 12 buses, on various routes throughout the city. 

Buses providing the service are clearly marked to indicate that Wi-Fi services are available. Transit tools such as NAVIGO, Telebus and WinnipegTransit.com will indicate Wi-Fi-enabled trips with a Wi-Fi icon.

“This pilot project is an important step to take to not only improve the quality of the service we provide transit riders, but also improve the overall function of the system,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “Being innovative in how we deliver services and apply innovative solutions should not end with transit, it needs to apply across all areas of the civic service and creating the standing policy committee for innovation has helped ensure creative and innovative thought is used to improve the quality and efficiency of the services we provide to Winnipeggers.”

“Providing innovative technology on public transit will improve customer service and enhance the customer experience by allowing riders to connect to Wi-Fi, free of charge,” said Councillor Cindy Gilroy, Chair of the Standing Policy Committee on Innovation. “This is one example of all the great work that is being put into innovative initiatives throughout the city.” 
No login or registration will be required to use the Wi-Fi, passengers can simply connect to WPGTransit and accept the Terms and Conditions.

The free Wi-Fi system includes security measures to filter user traffic to ensure City of Winnipeg infrastructure is not used for undesirable purposes. Throughout the pilot program, there will be consultation with bus operators and other Transit staff to determine how the technology could be used to improve safety and security for both bus operators and passengers. 

In addition to providing Wi-Fi services to passengers, Winnipeg Transit will also be studying what opportunities exist to use Wi-Fi technology to improve transit operations such as providing more frequent location updates from buses. 

At the conclusion of the pilot project, Winnipeg Transit will report back to the Standing Policy Committee on Innovation outlining non-identifiable usage patterns of public Wi-Fi users.

Funding for the $300,000 pilot project come from the 2016 Innovation Capital Fund and has no impact on Winnipeg Transit’s current operating budget.

For more information on the free Wi-Fi on buses pilot project, visit: http://winnipegtransit.com/en/rider-guide/wi-fi-on-buses---pilot-project/

Winnipeg Transit has 629 buses in its fleet operating on 93 routes at 5,176 bus stops across the city. In the last three years, the service has carried an average of 172,000 passengers every weekday representing an average of 49 million passengers each year.

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