£7.4m scheme to fit free Wi-Fi on buses in Hampshire

Daily Echo: £7.4m scheme to fit free Wi-Fi on buses £7.4m scheme to fit free Wi-Fi on buses

HUNDREDS of buses in south Hampshire are being fitted with free wireless Internet this month under a £7.4m scheme to boost the local economy and cut emissions.

Passengers with Internet-enabled smartphones, tablets or laptop computers will be able to read emails, shop online, or catch-up with work as they travel.

Wi-Fi is being fitted to the majority of buses in Southampton , Eastleigh , Winchester , Test Valley, Eastleigh and the New Forest by the end of the month.

They include First, Stagecoach South, UniLink, Bluestar , Wilts and Dorset, and Black Velvet buses.

As previously reported, the Department of Transport has awarded £4.5m towards the scheme after a joint bid by Southampton, Portsmouth and Hampshire councils.

The council partnership, called Transport for South Hampshire, aims to improve the quality of bus travel in the county, increase bus usage by eight per cent to cut congestion, and reduce carbon emissions by 4,205 tonnes. Bus companies are putting £2.1m into the scheme.

Chairman of Transport for South Hampshire, councillor Mel Kendal, said free Wi-Fi was one of a range of initiatives being worked on with bus operators.

He said improved bus travel would help to reduce congestion and grow the local economy.

Councillor Asa Thorpe, Southampton City Council’s cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “As if the environmental argument for public transport wasn’t compelling enough, now passengers can use local buses as a mobile office while they travel.

“This new service should lead to a good uptake of people wanting to travel smarter and take the bus in Southampton and across Hampshire.”

Nearly 140 buses will be refurbished under the scheme with new upholstery, 500 will get display screens showing the next stops and new LED lighting, and Smartphone apps giving bus timetable information will also be launched.

Comments (37)

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3:34pm Thu 9 Aug 12

wizard says...

What would really help is if they reduced the bus fares! Then maybe you would get people wanting to take the bus!
What would really help is if they reduced the bus fares! Then maybe you would get people wanting to take the bus! wizard

3:38pm Thu 9 Aug 12

Boatman says...

What a disgraceful misuse of taxpayers' money!
What a disgraceful misuse of taxpayers' money! Boatman

3:41pm Thu 9 Aug 12

Dresnez says...

I thought Britain was broke! Will the funds be coming from the Councillors wages. Like I said they waste tax payers money with their vanity schemes. Are these buses private or are they state nationalised industries. Still I expect they will make the necessary savings by taking away pensioners bus pass.
I thought Britain was broke! Will the funds be coming from the Councillors wages. Like I said they waste tax payers money with their vanity schemes. Are these buses private or are they state nationalised industries. Still I expect they will make the necessary savings by taking away pensioners bus pass. Dresnez

3:54pm Thu 9 Aug 12

mtdiablo says...

You guys really didn't read the article did you? The scheme was won and is being funded by the Department of Transport. Can't you just accept a good thing and be done with it?
You guys really didn't read the article did you? The scheme was won and is being funded by the Department of Transport. Can't you just accept a good thing and be done with it? mtdiablo

3:56pm Thu 9 Aug 12

Boatman says...

mtdiablo wrote:
You guys really didn't read the article did you? The scheme was won and is being funded by the Department of Transport. Can't you just accept a good thing and be done with it?
Still taxpayers' money the Secretary of State is not paying for it out of his own pocket! What contribution will this make to reducing the budget deficit?
[quote][p][bold]mtdiablo[/bold] wrote: You guys really didn't read the article did you? The scheme was won and is being funded by the Department of Transport. Can't you just accept a good thing and be done with it?[/p][/quote]Still taxpayers' money the Secretary of State is not paying for it out of his own pocket! What contribution will this make to reducing the budget deficit? Boatman

3:59pm Thu 9 Aug 12

Dresnez says...

Laissez Faire free markets means that government does not interfere with the free market. If you cannot make your business pay you go bust. How dare the conservatives spend tax payers money to support private enterprise!

The conservatives the party of low taxation.
Laissez Faire free markets means that government does not interfere with the free market. If you cannot make your business pay you go bust. How dare the conservatives spend tax payers money to support private enterprise! The conservatives the party of low taxation. Dresnez

4:00pm Thu 9 Aug 12

Lone Ranger. says...

Boatman wrote:
mtdiablo wrote:
You guys really didn't read the article did you? The scheme was won and is being funded by the Department of Transport. Can't you just accept a good thing and be done with it?
Still taxpayers' money the Secretary of State is not paying for it out of his own pocket! What contribution will this make to reducing the budget deficit?
Budget deficit ???????
.
Dont worry about that .... we are borrowing RECORD amounts which will help ensure that this Government will add even more years of debt to this country
[quote][p][bold]Boatman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mtdiablo[/bold] wrote: You guys really didn't read the article did you? The scheme was won and is being funded by the Department of Transport. Can't you just accept a good thing and be done with it?[/p][/quote]Still taxpayers' money the Secretary of State is not paying for it out of his own pocket! What contribution will this make to reducing the budget deficit?[/p][/quote]Budget deficit ??????? . Dont worry about that .... we are borrowing RECORD amounts which will help ensure that this Government will add even more years of debt to this country Lone Ranger.

4:02pm Thu 9 Aug 12

mtdiablo says...

Why do we NEED to reduce the budget deficit? We SHOULD be increasing spending, as that is the only proven way to get out of a depression like the one we have in. Did you learn nothing from the Great Depression? FDR's massive spending (admittedly partly thanks to WW2) pulled America from the brink. Investing in our infrastructure is exactly what the government should be doing. The current craze of deficit reduction is causing more problems than it's solving.
Why do we NEED to reduce the budget deficit? We SHOULD be increasing spending, as that is the only proven way to get out of a depression like the one we have in. Did you learn nothing from the Great Depression? FDR's massive spending (admittedly partly thanks to WW2) pulled America from the brink. Investing in our infrastructure is exactly what the government should be doing. The current craze of deficit reduction is causing more problems than it's solving. mtdiablo

4:08pm Thu 9 Aug 12

ajw1986 says...

Reduce the bus fares and run on time, that'll nicely take up the new money and get results we ALL want.
Reduce the bus fares and run on time, that'll nicely take up the new money and get results we ALL want. ajw1986

4:08pm Thu 9 Aug 12

cantthinkofone says...

mtdiablo wrote:
You guys really didn't read the article did you? The scheme was won and is being funded by the Department of Transport. Can't you just accept a good thing and be done with it?
What? Where exactly do you think the Department of Transport money comes from?!?

Blimey... spEak You're bRanes medal contender there.
[quote][p][bold]mtdiablo[/bold] wrote: You guys really didn't read the article did you? The scheme was won and is being funded by the Department of Transport. Can't you just accept a good thing and be done with it?[/p][/quote]What? Where exactly do you think the Department of Transport money comes from?!? Blimey... spEak You're bRanes medal contender there. cantthinkofone

4:10pm Thu 9 Aug 12

mtdiablo says...

That wasn't my point. The Department of Transport allocates funds for (shock!) improving transport. They're not wasting it by this are they? In fact, they're doing exactly what they're meant to do.
That wasn't my point. The Department of Transport allocates funds for (shock!) improving transport. They're not wasting it by this are they? In fact, they're doing exactly what they're meant to do. mtdiablo

4:15pm Thu 9 Aug 12

Ginger_cyclist says...

mtdiablo wrote:
Why do we NEED to reduce the budget deficit? We SHOULD be increasing spending, as that is the only proven way to get out of a depression like the one we have in. Did you learn nothing from the Great Depression? FDR's massive spending (admittedly partly thanks to WW2) pulled America from the brink. Investing in our infrastructure is exactly what the government should be doing. The current craze of deficit reduction is causing more problems than it's solving.
I remember this from when it was on the history channel once, instead of trying to stop people spending in the great depression, they encouraged them to spend.
[quote][p][bold]mtdiablo[/bold] wrote: Why do we NEED to reduce the budget deficit? We SHOULD be increasing spending, as that is the only proven way to get out of a depression like the one we have in. Did you learn nothing from the Great Depression? FDR's massive spending (admittedly partly thanks to WW2) pulled America from the brink. Investing in our infrastructure is exactly what the government should be doing. The current craze of deficit reduction is causing more problems than it's solving.[/p][/quote]I remember this from when it was on the history channel once, instead of trying to stop people spending in the great depression, they encouraged them to spend. Ginger_cyclist

4:19pm Thu 9 Aug 12

userds5050 says...

mtdiablo wrote:
That wasn't my point. The Department of Transport allocates funds for (shock!) improving transport. They're not wasting it by this are they? In fact, they're doing exactly what they're meant to do.
I think the Department of Transport would be better off "improving transport" by subsidising fares rather than installing free wifi IMHO. Most folk with smart phones already have a data allowance and I've yet to see someone with their laptop or iPad out on the bus. If you seriously feel this is the best way the DoT can spend their money to improve services then good luck to you.
[quote][p][bold]mtdiablo[/bold] wrote: That wasn't my point. The Department of Transport allocates funds for (shock!) improving transport. They're not wasting it by this are they? In fact, they're doing exactly what they're meant to do.[/p][/quote]I think the Department of Transport would be better off "improving transport" by subsidising fares rather than installing free wifi IMHO. Most folk with smart phones already have a data allowance and I've yet to see someone with their laptop or iPad out on the bus. If you seriously feel this is the best way the DoT can spend their money to improve services then good luck to you. userds5050

4:23pm Thu 9 Aug 12

mtdiablo says...

I didn't say anything about this being the best way the DoT can spend their money. It's just one way. That's been allocated to them by our elected government. I wouldn't be surprised if they're looking at other ways. This scheme is a good thing and will improve the busses.

And just FIY, my dad is one of many who uses a tablet on a bus. If there wasn't a market they wouldn't do it.
I didn't say anything about this being the best way the DoT can spend their money. It's just one way. That's been allocated to them by our elected government. I wouldn't be surprised if they're looking at other ways. This scheme is a good thing and will improve the busses. And just FIY, my dad is one of many who uses a tablet on a bus. If there wasn't a market they wouldn't do it. mtdiablo

4:25pm Thu 9 Aug 12

localnews says...

wait for a fare rise now it won't be long
wait for a fare rise now it won't be long localnews

4:58pm Thu 9 Aug 12

Dresnez says...

All the school kids will love it.

Pavements down my street are all up and down and is a pain to walk up and down on if you have hip or knee problems, have a pram, and is a trip hazard.

Just because you have a budget does not mean you should spend it all for the sake of it and I object to subsidizing yet more private enterprise, something the tories are very good at, syphoning tax payers money into private concerns.

I do agree we ought to be investing in the infrastructure but not into private business for something that is hardly a necessity. How many other stupid schemes do they waste our money on? Is this why we have a largest deficit in 15 years? http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/business-19194
176
All the school kids will love it. Pavements down my street are all up and down and is a pain to walk up and down on if you have hip or knee problems, have a pram, and is a trip hazard. Just because you have a budget does not mean you should spend it all for the sake of it and I object to subsidizing yet more private enterprise, something the tories are very good at, syphoning tax payers money into private concerns. I do agree we ought to be investing in the infrastructure but not into private business for something that is hardly a necessity. How many other stupid schemes do they waste our money on? Is this why we have a largest deficit in 15 years? http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/business-19194 176 Dresnez

5:20pm Thu 9 Aug 12

Ginger_cyclist says...

So now drivers can sit behind buses and not moan about it because they can send emails while driving by using the buses as rolling hotspots? I hope people don't but I bet some stupid arse will and cause a crash, probably why national express removed the adverts on the back of their coaches that said "Follow me, i'm a free WI-FI hotspot".
So now drivers can sit behind buses and not moan about it because they can send emails while driving by using the buses as rolling hotspots? I hope people don't but I bet some stupid arse will and cause a crash, probably why national express removed the adverts on the back of their coaches that said "Follow me, i'm a free WI-FI hotspot". Ginger_cyclist

5:35pm Thu 9 Aug 12

userds5050 says...

mtdiablo wrote:
I didn't say anything about this being the best way the DoT can spend their money. It's just one way. That's been allocated to them by our elected government. I wouldn't be surprised if they're looking at other ways. This scheme is a good thing and will improve the busses.

And just FIY, my dad is one of many who uses a tablet on a bus. If there wasn't a market they wouldn't do it.
Are you sure he didn't say he takes his tablets on the bus?
[quote][p][bold]mtdiablo[/bold] wrote: I didn't say anything about this being the best way the DoT can spend their money. It's just one way. That's been allocated to them by our elected government. I wouldn't be surprised if they're looking at other ways. This scheme is a good thing and will improve the busses. And just FIY, my dad is one of many who uses a tablet on a bus. If there wasn't a market they wouldn't do it.[/p][/quote]Are you sure he didn't say he takes his tablets on the bus? userds5050

7:10pm Thu 9 Aug 12

Northamboy says...

Why do people want wi-fi on buses? What's the point?
Why do people want wi-fi on buses? What's the point? Northamboy

7:56pm Thu 9 Aug 12

Markmag says...

It does seem a bit odd that this sort of scheme is happening while in the same time frame the fuel subsidy to bus companies has been cut, and local councils have been forced to cut back on subsidising routes. Joined up Conservative thinking?
It does seem a bit odd that this sort of scheme is happening while in the same time frame the fuel subsidy to bus companies has been cut, and local councils have been forced to cut back on subsidising routes. Joined up Conservative thinking? Markmag

8:34pm Thu 9 Aug 12

Paramjit Bahia says...

More people will be encouraged to travel by bus if these things ran on time and fares are not expensive.

This scheme is clever way of pushing public money into private enterprise.
More people will be encouraged to travel by bus if these things ran on time and fares are not expensive. This scheme is clever way of pushing public money into private enterprise. Paramjit Bahia

9:16pm Thu 9 Aug 12

Lord Ikea says...

Do you think that the government gives away free WiFi just for the fun of the population? Obviously there is a flip side which is along with mobile phones and CCTV it is another way of tracking people. But of course if you have done nuffing wrong you have nuffing to worry about do you. GCHQ has the ability to record every text and Email and post on Twitter or Facebook within micro seconds of it being sent. Just smile for the camera Big Brother knows you are there.
Do you think that the government gives away free WiFi just for the fun of the population? Obviously there is a flip side which is along with mobile phones and CCTV it is another way of tracking people. But of course if you have done nuffing wrong you have nuffing to worry about do you. GCHQ has the ability to record every text and Email and post on Twitter or Facebook within micro seconds of it being sent. Just smile for the camera Big Brother knows you are there. Lord Ikea

10:04pm Thu 9 Aug 12

derek james says...

a gimmick as much use as the new gosport-fareham bus, never seen more than 3 people on it
a gimmick as much use as the new gosport-fareham bus, never seen more than 3 people on it derek james

10:35pm Thu 9 Aug 12

CookieCutter2 says...

£7.4 million pounds to fit buses with WIFI. How ridiculous! But i guess they think that by installing wifi they can justify increasing the fares and increase ridership too. How pathetically naive. I travel on the buses because i need to get from A to B not to increase my days in unpaid labour. I can't see my bosses increasing my pay to ride the buses working or should i say jostling along poorly paved roads where even the bus windows shut every time the go over a bump in the hard top.
£7.4 million pounds to fit buses with WIFI. How ridiculous! But i guess they think that by installing wifi they can justify increasing the fares and increase ridership too. How pathetically naive. I travel on the buses because i need to get from A to B not to increase my days in unpaid labour. I can't see my bosses increasing my pay to ride the buses working or should i say jostling along poorly paved roads where even the bus windows shut every time the go over a bump in the hard top. CookieCutter2

11:09pm Thu 9 Aug 12

solomum says...

mtdiablo wrote:
You guys really didn't read the article did you? The scheme was won and is being funded by the Department of Transport. Can't you just accept a good thing and be done with it?
You really didn't read the article did you? Bus companies are putting 2.1million into the scheme. That money would be much better used on improving the service. Start by employing friendly bus drivers and increase some of the services to include at least early evenings and sundays.
[quote][p][bold]mtdiablo[/bold] wrote: You guys really didn't read the article did you? The scheme was won and is being funded by the Department of Transport. Can't you just accept a good thing and be done with it?[/p][/quote]You really didn't read the article did you? Bus companies are putting 2.1million into the scheme. That money would be much better used on improving the service. Start by employing friendly bus drivers and increase some of the services to include at least early evenings and sundays. solomum

6:34am Fri 10 Aug 12

bigal007 says...

blue star bus have it on there buses and they are better drivers than first they are more happy and say thank you unlike first bus
blue star bus have it on there buses and they are better drivers than first they are more happy and say thank you unlike first bus bigal007

6:58am Fri 10 Aug 12

userds5050 says...

bigal007 wrote:
blue star bus have it on there buses and they are better drivers than first they are more happy and say thank you unlike first bus
You wait for wifi on the bus and then three come along. Typical.
[quote][p][bold]bigal007[/bold] wrote: blue star bus have it on there buses and they are better drivers than first they are more happy and say thank you unlike first bus[/p][/quote]You wait for wifi on the bus and then three come along. Typical. userds5050

7:10am Fri 10 Aug 12

bigal007 says...

why dont they spend the money on getting new busses as the onces in southampton are so bad
why dont they spend the money on getting new busses as the onces in southampton are so bad bigal007

9:34am Fri 10 Aug 12

Ginger_cyclist says...

bigal007 wrote:
why dont they spend the money on getting new busses as the onces in southampton are so bad
All of them apart from blue star should do that though they could do with making the free shuttle bus that goes between the station and the docks bigger and more regular, no matter what time it is, when I see it, people are packed onto it like sardines but all their other buses are fine, I don't always go to town by bus but when I do, it's always a bluestar Mercedes.
[quote][p][bold]bigal007[/bold] wrote: why dont they spend the money on getting new busses as the onces in southampton are so bad[/p][/quote]All of them apart from blue star should do that though they could do with making the free shuttle bus that goes between the station and the docks bigger and more regular, no matter what time it is, when I see it, people are packed onto it like sardines but all their other buses are fine, I don't always go to town by bus but when I do, it's always a bluestar Mercedes. Ginger_cyclist

9:45am Fri 10 Aug 12

Chris8160 says...

The money would be far better spent on restoring the services that were cut earlier in the year. But it is not so sexy to put Sunday buses back. And yes, I know it comes from a different budget - but it is all OUR money.
The money would be far better spent on restoring the services that were cut earlier in the year. But it is not so sexy to put Sunday buses back. And yes, I know it comes from a different budget - but it is all OUR money. Chris8160

10:31am Fri 10 Aug 12

Huffter says...

Just trying to work out how a £7.4 million scheme to fit free wi-fi on buses will cut emissions?
Just trying to work out how a £7.4 million scheme to fit free wi-fi on buses will cut emissions? Huffter

10:49am Fri 10 Aug 12

Might SS says...

what we need is cleaner and cheaper buses - not the ability to use Wi-fi on a 10 minute bus ride. Clean the insides, bring down the prices and maybe I'll not use the car to get around which is now cheaper than the bus !!
what we need is cleaner and cheaper buses - not the ability to use Wi-fi on a 10 minute bus ride. Clean the insides, bring down the prices and maybe I'll not use the car to get around which is now cheaper than the bus !! Might SS

1:29pm Fri 10 Aug 12

Shoong says...

Might SS wrote:
what we need is cleaner and cheaper buses - not the ability to use Wi-fi on a 10 minute bus ride. Clean the insides, bring down the prices and maybe I'll not use the car to get around which is now cheaper than the bus !!
Yeh, yeh, when it comes to the crunch you're jumping in that car everytime.
[quote][p][bold]Might SS[/bold] wrote: what we need is cleaner and cheaper buses - not the ability to use Wi-fi on a 10 minute bus ride. Clean the insides, bring down the prices and maybe I'll not use the car to get around which is now cheaper than the bus !![/p][/quote]Yeh, yeh, when it comes to the crunch you're jumping in that car everytime. Shoong

2:28pm Fri 10 Aug 12

Zeo says...

Rolling Wi-Fi spots for me in my car, my trip through Shirley and town every morning will be fun with out having to sit on the bus!!!
Rolling Wi-Fi spots for me in my car, my trip through Shirley and town every morning will be fun with out having to sit on the bus!!! Zeo

4:12pm Fri 10 Aug 12

Ginger_cyclist says...

Zeo wrote:
Rolling Wi-Fi spots for me in my car, my trip through Shirley and town every morning will be fun with out having to sit on the bus!!!
I hope that's sarcasm and not being serious, if you're serious then you need some help.
[quote][p][bold]Zeo[/bold] wrote: Rolling Wi-Fi spots for me in my car, my trip through Shirley and town every morning will be fun with out having to sit on the bus!!![/p][/quote]I hope that's sarcasm and not being serious, if you're serious then you need some help. Ginger_cyclist

4:20pm Fri 10 Aug 12

bazzeroz says...

Pathetic use of money. Haven't we got enough chavs on the buses shouting and swearing into their (top of the range) mobiles? Now they'll be asking how to spell the words! Yes but, no but, yes but, no. So proud to be British, aint you?
Pathetic use of money. Haven't we got enough chavs on the buses shouting and swearing into their (top of the range) mobiles? Now they'll be asking how to spell the words! Yes but, no but, yes but, no. So proud to be British, aint you? bazzeroz

8:30pm Tue 14 Aug 12

mikeynevitt says...

I find this article somewhat misleading.

The scheme is not JUST to fit Wi-Fi to buses across South Hampshire, it is also being spent to refurbish buses, add 'next stop' screens and spoken audio, fitting LED lights which are brighter and kinder to the environment and creating smartphone apps to encourage more people to use public transport.

This scheme will mean BRAND NEW interiors of buses that will be completely clean. It will make bus travel a much more pleasant experience for all.

This isn't a waste of money, it is an investment to encourage more people to use buses in our area which will cut pollution and traffic delays (everyone moans about traffic in Southampton - try using the bus now!)

It's a shame that the Echo only put these points at the end of the article causing people to fire up and post angry comments without getting all of the facts first. Very misleading as this money is not just being spent on Wi-Fi - it's an added bonus.
I find this article somewhat misleading. The scheme is not JUST to fit Wi-Fi to buses across South Hampshire, it is also being spent to refurbish buses, add 'next stop' screens and spoken audio, fitting LED lights which are brighter and kinder to the environment and creating smartphone apps to encourage more people to use public transport. This scheme will mean BRAND NEW interiors of buses that will be completely clean. It will make bus travel a much more pleasant experience for all. This isn't a waste of money, it is an investment to encourage more people to use buses in our area which will cut pollution and traffic delays (everyone moans about traffic in Southampton - try using the bus now!) It's a shame that the Echo only put these points at the end of the article causing people to fire up and post angry comments without getting all of the facts first. Very misleading as this money is not just being spent on Wi-Fi - it's an added bonus. mikeynevitt

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