TransLink and Shaw have announced they are working together to bring free Wi-Fi to transit customers in Metro Vancouver, starting in 2020.
“We have half-a-million people ride our system every day, and when we ask them what they’d like to see on transit, Wi-Fi is one of the most frequent requests,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond, in a press release.
Free public Wi-Fi will start deploying in 2020, with trials beginning in 2019. All TransLink riders, regardless of whether they are Shaw customers, will get free Wi-Fi connectivity aboard any bus, SkyTrain or SeaBus.
“We’re proud to be the first transit authority in Canada to offer this free Wi-Fi service and we’re doing it at no cost to our customers or taxpayers,” added Desmond.
Free Wi-Fi will “come at no cost to TransLink or its customers,” explains the transit company, noting the system will be installed and operated by Shaw. The expansion builds on the existing TransLink-Shaw partnership which has had free Wi-Fi at SeaBus terminals and SeaBus ferries since 2016.
“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, Business, Brand and Communications, Shaw Communications, in a press release.
The first Wi-Fi rollout will begin with SkyTrain and buses. TransLink says they expect the entire Wi-Fi rollout across their network finished by 2025. Other services are expected to eventually gain free Wi-Fi, including HandyDART, West Coast Express and community shuttle buses.