TfL Trials Wi-Fi On London Buses

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Transport for London holds Wi-Fi trial in the hope of attracting a sponsor for a network-wide rollout of free wireless

Transport for London (TfL) has installed a free Wi-Fi network on two London buses as part of a trial that could see wireless connectivity rolled out to more routes in the capital.

Wi-Fi is now available on one bus serving route 12 between Dulwich and Oxford Circus and another serving the RV1 line, which operates between Covent Garden and Tower Hill.

TfL says if the trial is successful it could encourage sponsors for a wider deployment of the technology at no expense to passengers or taxpayers. The trial is one of a number of technological innovations marking ‘The Year of the Bus’, a celebration of the mode of transports contribution to London and the UK.

London bus Wi-Fi

Piccadilly circus london bus night art © Konstanttin ShutterstockOther trials include CCTV technology that can determine if there are any seats free on the upper deck of a bus and display them on a screen at the bottom of the stairs and passenger information screens that show real-time locations on a map, previous and next stops, estimated arrival times and details about nearby transport interchanges.

“London buses have always led the way with new technology on its network, benefiting the millions of passengers who make the most of the extensive network every day,” says Simon Reed, TfL’s Head of Technical Services Group. “Innovation is a key theme of the Year of the Bus and we have worked with our suppliers to find new and innovative ways to further improve the experience of our passengers.

“These trials will establish whether this technology provides genuine benefits to people on the move.”

Wi-Fi is already available at more than 140 London Underground stations through a deal with Virgin Media and at all London Overground stations thanks to a separate partnership with The Cloud.

There have been calls for mobile coverage on London’s subterranean railway network, but these have been rejected by TfL, which says it won’t install such equipment at the expense of taxpayers or passengers, adding that mobile operators have yet to come up with a self-financing solution.

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