Transport for London will be trialling free WiFi services on two London bus routes.
Commuters traveling to Oxford Circus from Dulwich on the number 12 service, and Tower Hill to Covent Garden on the RV1, will be able to get online – and if the free WiFi trial proves to be successful, TfL will seek out sponsors to pay for the service on all routes.
TfL has also introduced a new feature on the 141 bus, which operates between Palmers Green and London Bridge, to let travelers know which seats are free on the top deck using information from the onboard CCTV system.
Simon Reed, TfL’s head of technical services group, said: “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.
“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.”
Passengers on the number 12, RV1, and route 360 between Albert hall and Elephant & Castle will also be able to see enhanced information screens that will provide passengers with more information on the route, including the previous and next stations.
Those who have unlimited data on their mobile contracts won’t be too fussed about free WiFi on buses, but it could be a lifesaver for tourists and millions of pay-as-you-go mobile users.
TfL introduced WiFi on tube services in 2012 with Virgin Media, although it’s only available in stations rather than on the tubes themselves. The free WiFi can be accessed by mobile phone customers using Virgin Media, EE, T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2 and Three.
Last year, TfL partnered with Sky’s The Cloud to provide free WiFi at more than 50 stations on London Overground.