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Greens call for investigating free WiFi on trains

Gareth Hughes MP
Gareth Hughes MP
gareth [dot] hughes [at] parliament [dot] govt [dot] nz (Email)
Providing train users with a WiFi service was a no-brainer.

The Green Party has called on Auckland Transport and Greater Wellington Regional Council to investigate providing free WiFi internet on trains and at stations in Auckland and Wellington.

Green Party transport and IT spokesperson Gareth Hughes said providing train users with a WiFi service was a no-brainer.

"We've estimated the cost to be well under $1 million a year for both regions, which is quite small in the context of transport projects.

"It would make it even more attractive and practical to take the train if people are able to communicate and work while waiting at the station or on the train itself. There could be huge productivity benefits for the region.

"The idea is very popular with commuters. We conducted surveys of 100 people each at Britomart and Wellington stations. More than three quarters of the Wellingtonians and over 90 percent of Aucklanders surveyed were highly supportive of the idea.

"Over half of the commuters in each city said they would be even more likely to take the train if such a service was provided," said Mr Hughes.

Wellington Regional Councillor Paul Bruce said it was time to move public transport up a few grades to make it the premier transport mode of convenience.

"WiFi, real time information and integrated ticketing could give real comfort to those transferring over, and any savings on deferred costs of new motorways planned by the National Government would pay for these public transport improvements many times over."

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