WA Labor promises free Wi-Fi for Perth trains

If it wins the next state election, the Western Australia Labor Party has promised AU$1 million to fund a trial of free Wi-Fi for Perth trains.

The Western Australian opposition has said that it will put up AU$1 million for the installation of free Wi-Fi on Perth trains if it wins the next election.

WA Labor Leader Mark McGowan said yesterday that 10 trains in Perth would be equipped with free Wi-Fi over the next three years in preparation for the rollout of Labor's planned new Metronet trains. "Any new trains ordered would also be installed with Wi-Fi capability, with the intention of improving or expanding it throughout the entire Metronet rail network," he said in a statement.

"Metronet will not only connect the suburbs, but it will also connect Perth commuters to the world. Free Wi-Fi is a further tool to attract commuters out of their cars and onto Perth's new transport network."

McGowan said that the Wi-Fi trial would be used to iron out any problems and determine what sort of demand there was for the service from commuters before the launch of Metronet.

"This free Wi-Fi trial will identify the level of demand and any improvements required to ensure the successful roll-out of free Wi-Fi across Metronet."

Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett had previously dismissed WA Labor's Metronet plans, stating that without costing, there is a major funding black hole associated with the plan.

Western Australian residents go to the polls on March 9.

Queensland Rail launched free Wi-Fi on its services in August, and Bombadier signed a AU$207 million deal with Victorian rail company V/Line last November. Bombardier said that the new carriages it will be supplying could be equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity when it is launched in 2016.