Almost all public transport to be equipped with free Wi-Fi by 2013

29 Aug 2012

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, TD, has declared that free Wi-Fi will be available on almost all public transport services by 2013.

Plans to provide Wi-Fi on DART and Dublin commuter rail services will be implemented this autumn, while 80 new Dublin buses will be equipped with Wi-Fi by Christmas. Wi-Fi has also been tested on two Luas trams and is expected to be available across the service before the year is out.

Free Wi-Fi is already available on all Iarnród Éireann Intercity trains and most of the Bus Éireann fleet, and 10 buses on the No 16 route have been trialling the service for Dublin Bus with positive results. In 2013, Dublin Bus will consider rolling this out to the entire fleet.

“We need to ensure that public transport remains an attractive and competitive option for passengers. Free internet access gives public transport a significant edge over the car, and is already proving popular with passengers where provided,” said the Minister, explaining the reasons behind the development.

Minister Varadkar also intends to boost tourism by providing Wi-Fi in tourist offices across the country. “Tourists rely increasingly on the internet when travelling, using their smartphones or tablets to conduct their research on the move. In order for Ireland to compete as a tourism destination, we must offer 21st century services to 21st century tourists.”

Luas image via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.