You can now get your wi-fi fix for free on some MyCiTi buses as the pilot phase of the project was launched by the City of Cape Town on Monday June 13.
The 10 buses will alternate in covering the various MyCiTi routes, over the pilot phase of six months.
The on-board wi-fi access will provide each passenger with 50MB a day for free.
In a statement, mayor Patricia de Lille said: “Once the service has been tested on the various routes, the full roll-out will be expanded to all 380 buses, such as the trunk routes in Atlantis, Table View, Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha. Each passenger will receive 50MB per day to get connected and start working or do research while travelling to and from work. Once this allocation expires, users will be redirected to the homepage where they can either buy wi-fi vouchers or proceed back to using their own data.”
The tender to provide and manage the provision of wi-fi on MyCiTi buses was awarded to VAST Networks.
Ms De Lille added: “An exciting part of this service is a free VAST portal where commuters can browse a range of content such as news, sport, lifestyle and educational sites free of any data charges.”
Commenting on the launch of the roll-out, Mpumi Mtirara, a regular MyCiTi user, said: “I travel to and from work by MyCiTi, so this is awesome. It will save me so much on data costs, because there is very little to do on the bus ride but be online. So this is really great.”
Ms De Lille said: “As part of the pilot phase, commuters will also be able to log into the wi-fi at the Cape Town Metrorail station.”
This was done, Ms De Lille added, to “build an integrated transport system where we connect residents to various transport modes, networks and services.”
Ms De Lille added that the roll-out of wi-fi on MyCiTi buses was undertaken as an incentive for people to use public transport so that the number of private cars on the roads can be reduced.
“The availability of wi-fi internet access on MyCiTi buses is expected to improve the attractiveness of the public transport system to commuters by enabling them to be productive while travelling. Instead of becoming frustrated in traffic, motorists can get onto a MyCiTi bus, log onto the wi-fi, and start their work for the day – or simply just browse the internet while travelling to work,” Ms De Lille said.