Telus trying out free wifi on Translink buses in Vancouver

Free wifi buses vancouver

Image courtesy of Telus

After meeting many students in Vancouver, it’s pretty apparent that not everybody has a 3G-capable phone. Not only is it expensive, but it’s pretty easy to go over your limit when you’re watching YouTube or listening to 8tracks on your daily commute.

Telus is hoping to put an end to every commuters’ woes of having lack of internet on their bus ride by setting up a 6-month pilot to test out a free Wi-Fi service on three popular Translink buses, including the always-packed 99B-Line.

As Gillian Shaw wrote in a recent Vancouver Sun article, this is the first time free Wi-Fi has ever been offered on any public transit system in Western Canada. The technology works similarly to turning on a Wi-Fi hot spot on your mobile phone. Passengers on the buses are able to log into the Wi-Fi connections by connecting to “Telus Bus” as the network to use.

Free wifi on Vancouver buses

Image courtesy of j0sh (www.pixael.com) | Flickr.com

So far, along with the 99B-Line bus, free Wi-Fi is also on one bus that runs on route 351 from White Rock to Bridgeport Station in Richmond, and one that runs on route 555 from Langley to New Westminster.

Whether or not this service will become available as a feature on all buses in the future will depend on how the pilot works. But giving people free Wi-Fi, how could that be a problem for anyone!?

Currently the only other free wireless opportunities on transit is inside the Canada Line tunnel from Marine Drive to Waterfront Station. However, this wireless is only available for Telus, Rogers, and Bell Customers.

In the past, BC Translink has stated that offering free Wi-Fi on transit was a chief feature being explored to improve rider experience. In particular, West Coast express trains and the SeaBus terminals are two areas that could be equipped with free Wi-Fi capabilities.

What do you think about Telus offering free Wi-Fi on transit? Let us know in the comment section below!

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