Free Wi-Fi On PT Coming


Passengers on Auckland’s public transport network will be able to enjoy free WI-FI access from tomorrow on board all NZ Bus LINK services and one of the trains running from Kingsland to Britomart.

And after six months it may be extended throughout more public transport.

This has been called for by AKT for over a year and will help attract patronage. All but 2 people on a  crowded  bus I took this morn were using their mobiles.

The launch is part of an Auckland Transport six month pilot which will operate with Auckland Council’s already established WI-FI zone. Patrons will be able to utilise the internet free of charge from bus or train to pavement.

All the way to KIngsland using free Wi Fi

Mark Lambert, Auckland Transport’s Public Transport Operations Manager says that bBeing able to access the internet via this new Wi-Fi service  means our customers and our visitors to the city can make more effective use of their commute time.

“On board, passengers with wireless enabled devices will automatically pick up the ‘Auckland WI-FI @ Tomizone’ network which will provide each individual with three free sessions of up to 30 minutes each day.

“Auckland Transport will evaluate the success of the Wi-Fi service prior to making it more widely available across the public transport network”, says Mr Lambert.

The WI-FI launch is the result of intensive research and development by Auckland Transport’s Information Technology team in collaboration with Auckland Council and Tomizone.

Some Public transport venues already getting free wi-fi during the Cup are:

  • Britomart station and adjourning area
  • Newmarket railway statiobn
  • Kingsland railway station
  • Morningiside railway station
  • Devonport wharf
  • Matiatia wharf Waiheke
  • Ferry terminal

Wellington’s Capital Connection has this facility and the recent discussion about a Waikato-Auckland commuter service also raised the need for people to be able to work on board for the long journey. But some US Metro commuter services go further and now provide Wi-Fi.
For example New Mexico’s Rail Runner commuter line serving Albuquerque and Santa Fe offered free WiFi service to its 4,500 riders.

New York’s rail authority has advertised for tenders from companies that want to offer Wi-Fi to the 300,000 daily commuters on the Long Island railroad line  and Metro-North lines, the nation’s busiest.

A 2007 study, conducted for the Illinois Department of Transportation at the direction of the legislature, concluded that providing broadband Internet access on Metra and Amtrak could “have positive impacts on traffic congestion, traffic safety, the economy, and other aspects of the quality of life Illinoisans enjoy.

San Francisco’s rail authority estimates 71% of its commuters carry a laptop, PDA or WiFi-capable device. Some Silicon Valley workers use the Altamont Commuter Express, which has provided WiFi since 2003 aboard its trains between Stockton and San Jose.

Boston’s rail service has extended WiFi on its trains and now runs at least two WiFi cars per train on its 13 lines. On the outside of the cars is an AT&T logo to designate it has the service.

A new high-speed private rail service for Italian cities will have satellite access, Wi-Fi, a cinema car, chef-made cuisine and Internet ticketing.




  1. Anthony says:

    How awesome is this? A baby step forward, but a step forward nonetheless.

  2. joust says:

    Interesting that San-Fran have it available. Its providing things like this that can attract hi-tech entrepreneurs to cities - make Auckland a cooler place to live, people move here and create clever new businesses.

    Hope the trial goes well and attracts people on to trains. Perfect opportunity with new EMUs on their way.

  3. Carl H says:

    This could be a game changer if carried through to the proposed Auckland-Hamilton train. It’s common on intercity trains in the UK.

  4. joust says:

    English trains have wifi available but its usually not free unless in 1st class…

  5. Commuter says:

    Since February, Sydney ferries have had free wi-fi.

  6. Stranded on the North Shore says:

    I think it’s good news, but I think there will be a lot of complaints… I used similar service on a nakedbus going south of Auckland, and by the time we were in Manukau, the available bandwidth was all gone, and everyone was getting timeouts and pages not loading. When it did work, it was quite heavily censored, with youtube being the first one to hit blocked… A brave move, NZ Bus / AT, let’s see how it folds out.

  7. Dave says:

    Wow - credit where it’s due. This is great forward thinking in Auckland. Great stuff.

  8. Paul in Sydney says:

    Some of Sydney’s major trains stations also have free wifi as part of a trial

  9. Brook says:

    Great idea, and about flaming time! Now let’s hope it gets rolled out to all trains


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