As the public transit system for a major city we have been wondering why TransLink does not have a system of continuous public internet along the system, and why there are no washrooms, because it is a human need and everyone needs access to washrooms. We have been exploring those issues for some time in Price Tags.
TransLink has now announced that free access to internet service is coming, and will be offered on SkyTrain, the SeaBus and on transit.
As the Vancouver Sun noted there had been cut and paste internet service offered at SeaBus terminals and on the SeaBus, but service was not extended beyond these locations. Working with Shaw the idea is to provide uniform service across the transit network, with the proviso that such coverage will take six years to be completely implemented. And yes, you will be able to access the internet even if you are not a Shaw customer. Trials will start next year, and the complete internet coverage of the public transportation system is said to the first in Canada.
And to make matters even more comfortable and convenient, the TransLink Board of Directors has approved the development of a strategy to provide washrooms on the system “over the longer term”. As reported in the Daily Hive “The preferred method is to provide washroom facilities in partnership with third-party parties to maximize customer experience and maximize safety and security while also minimizing costs and risks.”
It’s no surprise that TransLink found that 72% of those surveyed said washrooms would make the transit experience better, with 20% actually admitting that they limited their trips around the need to use washroom facilities. And fully 25 percent said they’d use transit service more and longer if washroom access was provided.
An implementation strategy for washrooms will be developed in 2019, providing the missing link of washroom comfort and convenience. Coupled with universal internet coverage, TransLink is now becoming a system that is truly accessible and attractive for all users. It’s a pretty perfect Christmas wish fulfilment.