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Metrolink To Install £1.7m Free Wifi Service

Trams will start to be fitted out with the latest wifi kit from early January 2015

Published on December 16th 2014.

Metrolink To Install £1.7m Free Wifi Service

METROLINK commuters have had a miserable time of late.

Trams will start to be fitted out with the latest wifi kit from early-January and all 94 trams should have the new wifi technology installed by Spring 2015.

Extensive improvement works at Victoria, Deansgate-Castlefield and throughout the city centre on the Second City Crossing line (2CC) have caused widespread disruption across the 57.5 mile tram network.

Now the service - which tranports 30 million passengers every year - is looking to give passengers something to smile about in 2015.

Earlier in the week Metrolink announced that due to the continued delays there would be no ticket price increase until August 2015.

Now Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) have announced a £1.7m investment, in partnership with Manchester and Salford City Councils and the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), to roll-out free wifi for all passengers across every Metrolink service next year.

Council leader, Sir Richard Leese, said the move was "key to achieving our ambitious target of making Manchester one of the world's leading digital cities."

Metrolink tram at MediaCityUkMetrolink tram at MediaCityUk

Trams will start to be fitted out with the latest wifi kit from early-January and all 94 trams should have the new wifi technology installed by Spring 2015.

The city centre's free Metroshuttle bus service will also have free wifi installed across their fleet of 20 buses.

A spokesperson for TfGM told Confidential that although all trams would offer wifi on board, there are currently no plans to install the service at Metrolink tram stops.

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee said: “This is great news and will benefit the millions of people who travel on Metrolink’s trams and Metroshuttle’s buses each year.

“We live in a digital age and people want to make the best use of their travelling time – quick and simple access to digital technology is key to this.

“Greater Manchester is leading the way in the growing provision of wifi services on public transport, which in turn takes us one step close to our aim of being a top 20 digital city region by 2020.”

The news follows the Council's announcement in August 2014 that they were to extend free wifi services across 80 city centre on-street points.


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12 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

DarrenDecember 16th 2014.

We also live in a city with a very young population with vibrant night life, so why doesn't the system run until 2/3am?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 16th 2014.

The fares would go up and there'd be even more drunks and losers than there are at midnight. I'd rather those people throw up in a taxi than on a tram.

DarrenDecember 16th 2014.

And I'm sure thousands of people, myself included, would prefer to just walk onto the met then fight for a taxi at 2/3am after a night out.

GimboidDecember 16th 2014.

I can see the value of onboard wifi on the London Underground and on mainline rail. Perhaps I'm being ignorant, but I can't see this being very useful on Metrolink, considering almost all of the network is in built up areas and is on the surface, meaning that (in my experience) you almost always get a decent mobile signal. It might be helpful for people working on laptops, but without tables how often are people going to be doing that?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Calum McGDecember 16th 2014.

Good wifi is faster than my 3G, so I'm interested in this.

AnonymousDecember 16th 2014.

Saves on data too, though it's not often I overshoot my allowance.

AnonymousDecember 17th 2014.

@CALUM MCG, the metrolink wifi will run off 3g itself, so wont be any quicker than your own.

AnonymousDecember 16th 2014.

Generic Moan

James CunninghamDecember 16th 2014.

Good to see continuing investment! The hours thing intrigued me.. with the London Underground about to run through the night.. surely Metrolink could deliver later services?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 19th 2014.

Places all over Europe have light rail/underground systems that run into the early hours, and in some cases 24 hours a day. I've often wondered why people have to leg it at 12am to catch the last tram home in MCR, but you can stagger out of a bar/club in Europe and get home any time of the night without any fuss. The Met should run until 3am minimum imo.

Eve RichardsDecember 19th 2014.

Just make the trams work regularly in the ice and run regularly.

AnonymousDecember 20th 2014.

Perhaps getting the network running efficiently, stopping the silly service problems and reducing fares would be a good start instead of vanity projects.

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