Passengers in the Metro Vancouver area will soon be able to stay connected whenever they travel on a TransLink bus, SkyTrain or SeaBus.
According to a December 13th, 2018 media release, Calgary-based regional service provider Shaw Communications has partnered with Vancouver’s TransLink to bring free Wi-Fi to transit riders across the Metro Vancouver area beginning in 2020.
Shaw and TransLink said that they plan on running network trials in 2019, with the entire network expected to be completed by 2025.
Rollout will begin with buses and SkyTrains, with TransLink also aiming to eventually provide HandyDART, West Coast Express and community shuttle bus passengers with Wi-Fi.
“Every day, thousands of people use their transit commute to catch up on life and reach out to friends, family and colleagues – and having access to seamless connectivity is what makes this possible,” said Katherine Emberly, president of business, brand and communications at Shaw, in the same December 13th media release.
“Whether it’s through text, email or social media, these connections are at the heart of our business, and the Wi-Fi system will enable us to keep more riders in Metro Vancouver connected as they travel across the system.”
TransLink already has a similar partnership in place with Shaw. SeaBus terminals and SeaBus ferries have provided commuters with free Wi-Fi since 2016.
“TransLink and Shaw’s commitment to expand Wi-Fi across the transit system will enhance the personalized visitor experience for many travellers to our region who use public transportation,” said Ty Speer, CEO and resident of Tourism Vancouver, in the same December 13th media release.
“As we look to develop Vancouver into the most digitally connected city for visitors, the insights we’ll gain from the Wi-Fi network will be an important tool to help us effectively manage tourism in our destination.”
TransLink’s partnership with Shaw isn’t the only telecom agreement of its kind.
Metro Vancouver’s public transit agency also has a partnership with Toronto-based Rogers that allows Rogers and Fido customers to access wireless data across the entire SkyTrain system.