A UK news item posted today in UK caught our attention. It seems that aUK school bus company has recently installed WiFi for its travelers:
Young’uns equipped with iPhones, PSPs and netbooks with 3G dongles will get download speeds in excess of 2Mb/s, the company claimed.
“Well”, we thought. “Lucky blighters”!
But a quick surf around the net revealed that this revolution in thinking has in fact being going on for some time. AND that some quick witted transit companies around Europe installed WiFi into their buses and trains years ago! And these WiFi services are on transport that is not just for schoolies, but for business travelers and tourists as well.
Passenger Internet access on public transit is the fastest growing venue type for Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide, with 238% growth in the number of online sessions between H2 2006 and H2 2007. Europe was the fastest growing market with 142% growth during the same period (source: iPass, March 2008). Read More
In Europe, where PSP consoles are popular with adults and teens as well as younger people, and where the Go! network has been so widely established, these WiFi services stand to benefit a lot of PSP owners.
WiFi is hitting transit in Asia as well. Passengers on Japan’s super-fast bullet trains will be able to surf the Web while traveling at 270 kilometers per hour thanks to a new service that will start in March, 2009.
But, it would seem that US PSP owners are not so lucky!
Consider the surprise expressed by Woody Leonhard (windowssecrets) when he finds WiFi on a bus trip to Seattle recently! Does this show that WiFi on transport is not so common in the US? - or just not so commonly known?
Our team went searching to find the answer, however, and tracked down some of the bus and train services that offer WiFi to travelers in the US:
Greyhound also seemed like a good place to start. But, WIFI barely rates a mention on their US website. Our team sleuths, however, were not put off - and tracked down one Greyhound bus route that does offer WiFi. Greyhound has started a new “luxury” service called BoltBus which runs between Boston’s South Station and New York’s Penn Station - that offers more legroom, and AC adapters as well as WiFi.
Lets get all these hotspots on the grid! If you know of a transport operator who offers WiFi drop us a note in the comments section to the post!