Wi-Fi on the GO

Wi-Fi at select GO stations

Free Wi-Fi is now available at almost all GO stations and bus terminals.

GO continues to explore ways to provide Wi-Fi technology to customers while on the GO system as part of our Passenger Charter promise of keeping customers in the know, and in response to the high number of customer requests for this service.


Background

In early 2012, we committed to exploring the possibility of providing Wi-Fi at our stations and terminals and on our trains and buses. We have taken this commitment seriously and have examined several options. Based on customer feedback, our three objectives for this project include:

  • Provide customers with free, high quality, and reliable internet access;
  • Offer this service with minimal interruption to GO operations; and
  • Ensure this service has a sustainable cost-recovery model (i.e. the cost of providing Wi-Fi will not increase capital or operating expenses for GO).

 As we have found technical and logistical constraints for the implementation of Wi-Fi, on GO Trains in particular, which make these objectives difficult to achieve, we are taking a phased approach to introducing Wi-Fi on our system.

Wi-Fi at GO Stations and Bus Terminals

Free Wi-Fi is now available at more GO stations and bus terminals

Through IMA Outdoor, one of our advertising partners, free Wi-Fi is now available at most GO stations and bus terminals.

Simply select “Free Wi-Fi at GO by IMA” from the network options on your mobile device, and read and accept the terms and conditions.

Free Wi-Fi is coming soon to Etobicoke North and West Harbour GO Stations – we will let you know when it is available. Wi-Fi will also be available at Guelph GO Station when construction at the station is completed within the next year.

Free Wi-Fi is available at the York University Bus Loop. Wi-Fi access can’t be provided on the platform since there isn’t an electrical room, which is needed to accommodate the hardware to support this service.

Wi-Fi on GO Trains

Substantial Infrastructure Changes

Wi-Fi on trains relies on cellular modems that use the same networks as smart phones. While coverage of the cellular network is fairly strong along our rail corridors, accommodating the volume of passengers during rush hour requires an increased numbers of Wi-Fi access points, cellular modems, and other infrastructure on the train, which can be very complicated and expensive.

Low Quality Service

Even with a significant dedication of resources, it may not be the high-quality customer service experience we look to provide. The Wi-Fi signal could be poor and slow with frequent disconnections, and it would be difficult for us to provide technical support.

Installation & Maintenance Challenges

The logistics of installing and supporting Wi-Fi could also prove challenging. We currently operate 586 train coaches at a highly specialized facility, which is operated jointly by our partner Bombardier. Installing Wi-Fi equipment on our rail coaches could interfere with the routine maintenance and repair of the train fleet. In order to meet our objective of minimizing impact on GO operations, an installation schedule for Wi-Fi could take up to two years to fully implement across the fleet. It could also result in an inconsistent experience for customers.

Technological Evolution

At the rate in which mobile internet technologies are developing, the equipment installed on trains could be out-of-date by the time they are fully phased in.

No Supporting Business Model

We consulted industry experts and examined media coverage on other transit agencies that have implemented Wi-Fi programs. From this research, it was difficult to identify any other transit agency in North America that has provided reliable and high-quality Wi-Fi on trains with a sustainable, cost-recovery business model and at no cost to the customer. This has led to many other transit agencies spending a significant amount of money on on-board Wi-Fi networks that still often fail to meet customer expectations.

Future Plans

We continue to explore ways to provide Wi-Fi technology while on the GO system as part of our Passenger Charter promise of keeping customers in the know.

Providing internet connectivity across such a vast system and on moving vehicles is complex, so we’re taking a phased approach to help ensure the quality of service that GO customers would expect. 

Watch for updates on expanded Wi-Fi on GO Transit.

Wi-Fi testing on GO Buses

On May 31, the pilot project that provides free Wi-Fi on select GO Buses ended.

We are reviewing the results of the pilot to determine the future direction for Wi-Fi on our buses.

Thank you for participating in the pilot and providing us with your feedback as we tested this service.

 

Wi-Fi at Union Station

While you wait for your train, you can access free Wi-Fi in the York Concourse and the York West and East Teamways at Union Station.

It’s easy. Select the “_Union-TD Wi-Fi” network on your mobile device to log on for a seamless connection throughout the station. 

For more information about free Wi-Fi at Union Station, visit baicanada.com

Customer support is available through Wi-Fisupport@torontounion.ca or call 416-363-Wi-Fi(9434).