GO Transit commuters may soon find more train and bus terminals equipped with free Wi-Fi.
Last April Metrolinx launched a pilot project to provide free WiFi Internet access at two Stations. Pickering and Clarkson were chosen as the first stations to test out the service for riders.
The pilot project comes at no extra cost to GO Transit or its riders. In fact, GO Transit could actually gain revenue from this project.
It’s the same as when you walk into Starbucks or anywhere else where there is free WiFi, it takes you to a splash page and a landing page.
Brian Rodkin, Chief Executive Officer for IMA Outdoor
GO Transit partnered up with an advertising company called IMA Outdoor, which is responsible for the installation of the service and its maintenance, said Vanessa Thomas, a spokesperson for Metrolinx.
“So in exchange the partner has the right to generate revenue from the WiFi customer portal through advertising. And then GO receives a small share of that,” she said.
GO Transit riders can get access to the Internet by connecting to “IMA WiFi at GO” and accepting the terms and conditions.
“It’s the same as when you walk into Starbucks or anywhere else where there is free WiFi, it takes you to a splash page and a landing page. And on those pages we would then sell advertising,” said Brian Rodkin the Chief Executive Officer for IMA Outdoor.
Rodkin explains the Wi-Fi is limited to the area within the station. It covers the majority of platforms, ticketing and waiting areas and has had overwhelmingly positive responses.
“I didn’t know they offered Wi-Fi. But I would probably use it while I’m waiting for my bus, had I known about it,” said Wageesha Fernando, a Humber College student in the Architectural Technology program who catches a GO bus at Yorkdale Station.
People will only get a maximum two hour window to use the internet, said Rodnik.
Despite having success with the project, both Metrolinx and IMA Outdoor said they’ve had to overcome roadblocks.
“Through our research we found when we’re looking at WiFi on our GO Trains, that there is technical and logistical challenges, especially on our trains and this makes Wi-Fi implementation expensive in terms of the initial investment,” said Thomas.
Metrolinx and IMA Outdoor are hoping to move forward with this project and are looking at ways to expand WiFi to all terminals and stations in the next phase.
Details and future timelines are expected to be released in the coming weeks. For a list of all the Train stations and bus terminals with WiFi visit GO Transit’s website.