A lot of GO Transit news is about schedule and frequencies, but a new announcement from the Government of Ontario Wednesday morning was about the ride itself. Starting next year, GO Transit riders will be able to connect their devices to wifi while on their commutes, as Metrolinx is working to turn all 1,475 of their vehicles into hot spots.
“We’re excited to share this news with GO customers,” said Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA) Kinga Surma in a media statment. The announcement was made this morning at the Milton GO station.
“Our government is delivering on its promise to make life easier for people by giving them the opportunity to stay connected to family, friends and colleagues while travelling to work, school or appointments,” Surma added.
The Government of Ontario has signed a contract with Icomera Canada Inc. to install wireless internet in the GO Transit system’s 532 buses and 943 train coaches. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2020, but commuters should start noticing wifi availability on GO buses and trains starting sometime in the spring.
“More and more people depend on their phones to be able to work, study and keep in touch with friends and family during their daily commute,” said Milton MPP Parm Gill. “Bringing Wi-Fi to GO trains and buses will make traveling by GO a better, more convenient experience for people in Milton.”
“We know our customers want to stay connected to make the most of their journey time while traveling with us,” added Mark Childs, Chief Marketing Officer for Metrolinx. “That is why we are very excited to announce we will deliver Wi-Fi on our trains and buses. Our new partnership with Icomera is for great Wi-Fi and great on-board entertainment experiences. This is another exciting and important delivery for our customers.”
Incomera is considered an industry leader in providing wireless internet to transit systems in North America and Europe. They will not only provide the infrastructure and equipment to make the GO service wifi enabled, but Metrolinx will use Icomera’s onboard “infortainment” system as well. According to Icomera’s website, the system includes films, games, audiobooks, as well as news, weather and other information.
This is another in a series of announcements that the Provincial government has made lately about improving GO Transit service. New schedules went into effect yesterday that added three more trips to and from Toronto on the Kitchener Line, which, of course, passes through Guelph.