Passers-by and commuters making use of the public transport interchange (PTI) in Mitchells Plain now have access to free wireless internet (Wi-Fi) at this facility on the corner of AZ Berman and Wespoort Drive. Read more below:
The PTI in Mitchells Plain is the first public transport facility in the city to benefit from the roll-out of free wireless internet by Transport for Cape Town (TCT), the City of Cape Town’s transport authority.
‘The 21st century is all about connectivity and access to information. We are extremely excited about this project, which provides commuters passing through the PTI with up to 100 MB of free data per day. Using their smartphones and other devices, commuters can access the free Wi-Fi through the AlwaysOn portal. Those waiting for public transport can use the time to read their e-mail, do research, or catch up on breaking news. This is the ideal opportunity for students and learners to put to good use the free access to the internet,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.
The roll-out of free Wi-Fi at this PTI serves a dual purpose.
‘This pilot project enables TCT to gain priceless insight into the number of commuters making use of the PTI, their habits and movements, and the amount of time they spend at the facility on a daily basis. Meaning, we will use the free internet service as a tool to monitor public transport passenger movements at the PTI in Mitchells Plain. This way we will get a much better understanding of how commuters use the public transport services offered at the PTI. We will use this data to improve our facilities and services and to better plan for future demand,’ said Councillor Herron.Those wanting to log on to the network will be required to give permission to have their smartphones and devices monitored as they move through the PTI.
‘I want to add that commuters do not need to be concerned about their privacy. The monitoring of their smartphones and devices is limited to movements through the PTI only. We will not have access to the private information on their devices,’ said Councillor Herron.
The monitoring will stop once a commuter moves beyond the PTI’s borders and they are no longer connected to the free Wi-Fi.
‘The City of Cape Town is the first municipality in South Africa to use this type of technology, normally used to monitor consumer movements in the retail industry, for public transport planning purposes. Thus, not only are we empowering our residents through free access to information, we are also using the very same technology to empower ourselves to better plan ahead for the future,’ said Councillor Herron.
The Mitchells Plain PTI counts among one of the major public transport facilities in the city.
‘We have budgeted approximately R4,7 million for this pilot project, which also includes the back-end infrastructure and systems development. It will be a true test of the technology, given the size of the PTI and the number of commuters making use of the facility,’ said Councillor Herron.
The success of the pilot project will determine further roll-outs at PTIs across the city.
‘We would like to roll out free Wi-Fi at the Cape Town Station Deck in the central business district, the Joe Gqabi PTI in Philippi, and the Bellville PTI in the next financial year. All three of these public transport interchanges are due for major infrastructure upgrades and, ideally, we would like to include the provision of wireless internet in the tender specifications,’ said Councillor Herron.