Bus commuters can now surf the internet while they ride in León, Guanajuato, making the city the first in Latin America and the fifth worldwide to offer free 4.5G Wi-Fi in its public transit network.
This first phase of Wi-Fi installation on more than 850 of the city’s municipal buses connects the city’s existing Wi-Fi offerings, which include 91 bus stations and substations.
The number of equipped buses represents half the city’s entire fleet of around 1,700. Nevertheless, the innovation puts León’s bus system on par with those in cities like Beijing, New York, and Seoul.
Guanajuato Governor Diego Sinhue said the new service gives León a world-class transportation system.
León Mayor Héctor López Santillana said city officials are offering free internet to encourage more riders to use the city’s online scheduling application, which they had determined many residents do not access because of cellular airtime costs.
“Now they will be connected at all times and will be able to know with precision at what hour their bus will arrive, making better use of their time by avoiding waiting and unnecessary lines,” he said.
The upgrade was part of an ongoing overhaul of the city’s public transit system in the last 2 1/2 years. Other new buses include 23 new environmentally friendly vehicles that feature handicapped and maternity seating, as well as surveillance cameras.
The Wi-Fi installations for the buses were provided by Mercedes-Benz, which supplied the new buses.
“It makes us proud to bear witness to a further step in mobility in Mexico, to the first integrated system that includes 100% connections to the internet aboard public transportation buses,” said Raúl Gonzalez of Mercedes-Benz. “It’s a pleasure to work with committed carriers who continue to invest in keeping citizens connected with the mobility and technology like in Leon, Guanajuato.”
Source: La Jornada (sp)