By: Karissa Ketter, News Writer
TransLink is partnering with Shaw Communications Inc. to add free WiFi for all passengers in select areas. During the first week of October, WiFi was added to six RapidBuses, on three SkyTrains, at Edmonds Station, and at Carvolth Exchange, according to TransLink’s media release.
“This is the beginning of a system-wide rollout that will provide free WiFi for TransLink
customers on all buses, SeaBuses, SkyTrains, transit stations, and major transit hubs,” said TransLink. They plan to have WiFi installed system-wide by 2026.
WiFi is currently available for all on most SeaBus vessels and terminals.
According to Peace Arch News, WiFi on transit was supposed to be introduced in 2020 but was delayed due to complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2018, the then-CEO of TransLink Kevin Desmond said to CBC News, “The Wi-Fi project in and of itself is not meant to be the revenue generator for TransLink [ . . . ] So we’re not expecting to commercialize our customers’ access to the free network.”
Current TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn said in the media release, “Free WiFi means that our customers can use their transit time for leisure, work, or better connecting with family and friends without spending their money on data fees.”
Posters and signs will be placed in the areas where WiFi is currently available. It will also display instructions on how to connect during transit.
Customers who use the WiFi service can give their feedback to TransLink through their website. The feedback forum is asking for information on how easy it was to connect, the reliability of the network, the presence of any issues, and suggestions for improvements.
Katherine Emberly, president of business for Shaw Communications said in the media release, “Today’s announcement represents another milestone in our collective commitment to providing commuters with fast, seamless WiFi connectivity that they can enjoy for free across TransLink’s system.”
TransLink’s WiFi is compatible with most smartphones, tablets, and laptops. It is free to use regardless of the user’s current internet provider.