SINGAPORE - Free Wi-Fi will be available at all train stations and bus interchanges by 2020, allowing commuters to stay connected while waiting for their trains and buses.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced on Monday that after a successful pilot at 33 MRT stations, it will now extend the Wi-Fi service to all train stations, including those on the LRT network, in five years' time.
Bus commuters will not be left out too, as the LTA also plans to provide free Wi-Fi at 30 bus interchanges and terminals by then.
The free service, which taps on the Wireless@SG broadband network, has been progressively implemented at MRT stations since August 2014.
It is now available at 33 MRT stations under the pilot, with the latest five stations - Buangkok, Kovan, Little India, Paya Lebar and Potong Pasir - being equipped with the service from Monday.
The trial costs about $7.9 million, an LTA spokesman said.
Mrs Rosina Howe-Teo - LTA's group director for innovation and infocomm technology- said free Wi-Fi "enhances the commuting experience by providing an 'always connected' journey for commuters who need to check their e-mails or read the news during their commutes".
The scheme will be expanded to another 90 MRT stations on the North-South Line, East-West Line, Circle Line and Downtown Line, as well as the 43 LRT stations on the Bukit Panjang, Sengkang and Punggol LRT systems.
Commuters will know which stations have free Wi-Fi on the platforms through advertisement posters and decals.
According to LTA, the free service is accessed around 700,000 times every day - a four-fold increase since its launch at City Hall, Orchard and Raffles Place stations in August 2014.
"We are very encouraged by the growing usage of the Wi-Fi service at MRT nodes," Mrs Howe-Teo said.
She added: "LTA can also use the data to generate useful insights on crowd behaviour and improve the delivery of our public transport services."
For example, the LTA can improve the design layout of MRT stations and determine where to place seats, through studying commuter density and movements.
Commuters like 23-year-old Li Weihui said the free Wi-Fi service has been a boon as it also helps her save on data charges.
"I use the Wi-Fi mainly to surf the Internet or check for directions using the phone's map (app). The speed is surprisingly good - it loads as fast as my own data connection," added the IT consultant.