Free Wi-Fi is just the beginning and transport authorities could be doing much more with it to improve the service and customer satisfaction, according to global Wi-Fi technology company, Ruckus Wireless.
The company’s A/NZ managing director, Pat Devlin, said the company will soon be working closely with transport networks worldwide that will soon take advantage of location based services and Wi-Fi analytics to improve services for commuters.
This announcement comes off the back of the news that the Public Transport Authority in Western Australia is looking to deploy Wi-Fi on trains.
“The news that the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia is looking to upgrade its transport network to provide commuters with free Wi-Fi should be music to their ears. Free Wi-Fi is just the beginning,” he said.
Devlin claimed Wi-Fi analytics and location based services can vastly improve what the network can achieve as the technology can analyse the number of passengers passing through the station, work out average wait times, as well as provide real-time and historical crowd patterns.
He said this information is vital and can help public transport authorities better assess its transport needs, improve efficiencies, as well as commuter satisfaction.
“For example, by using Wi-Fi analytics, transport authorities can ascertain what route is over capacity and which ones are way under capacity, as well as peak times for these routes. With this information at their fingertips, they can adjust the schedules in real-time to suit demand to drive better capacity management, average wait times and transport deployment.”
These capabilities are already being used in London, with Transport for London using Wi-Fi to track its ferries along the River Thames and Virgin Media having deployed Wi-Fi throughout the London Underground to capture useful information on passenger journeys.
According to Devlin, Australian public transport authorities could be doing the same to improve service and public satisfaction but are only just taking their first steps.
“There are many advantages of coupling transport with Wi-Fi and analytics. The opportunities are limitless. Wi-Fi, transport and location based services will make commuters happier, help government with city planning, provide safety and security alerts and offer a new revenue streams.
“So transport authorities could be doing more than just offering commuters free Wi-Fi, they should be looking to make their public transport networks smart using Wi-Fi,” he said.