Free Wi-Fi is now available at almost all GO stations and bus terminals.
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
- Provide customers with free, high quality, and reliable internet
- Offer this service with minimal interruption to GO operations;
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
information about free Wi-Fi at Union Station, visit
Customer support is available through
Wi-Fisupport@torontounion.ca or call 416-363-Wi-Fi(9434).