$300k Wi-Fi trial for Tassie buses

The Tasmanian Greens Party has announced a $300,000 pilot of Wi-Fi on Launceston's Metro bus fleet.

The Tasmanian Greens Party has announced a $300,000 pilot of Wi-Fi on Launceston's Metro bus fleet.

The trial will last 18 months and will evaluate the viability of wireless technology on public transport in Tasmania.

Funded by the party, Greens Member for Bass Kim Booth MP said the trial would cover the costs of implementation on Launceston buses; however, partnership arrangements with private operators would be sought out to extend the trial to other transport services.

"We also propose to negotiate arrangements with the Launceston City Council to extend the trial to one of their Tiger Rail vehicles, with the council meeting half the installation costs," he said.

"Similarly we would enter into a partnership arrangement with private operators who provide school bus services from outlying regions into Launceston Schools ... again our proposal would see the operator meeting half the installation costs."

Partnerships also need to be developed with the University of Tasmania, the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and the Arts, and the private sector to monitor the trial and develop funding models for further expansion across the state.

Booth justified the selection of Launceston for the trial as part of an effort to encourage more innovation in the state's northern cities.

Public transport Wi-Fi access trials have also been trialled in other states, with South Australia launching its i-Commute project last August and Queensland announced in April last year plans to offer Wi-Fi on trains.

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