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Mitchells Plain Commuters Get Free Connectivity
Home is where Wi-Fi connects automatically.
Last Updated: 15 December 2016
Cape Town is getting on with building the most digitally connected city in Africa. The City to date has installed 363 free Wi-Fi zones that are spread across the metro.
Mitchells Plain has become part of this Municipal initiative. The suburb’s Public Transport Interchange (PTI) 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 fear of missing out on information is growing among the population, and what better way to get it than by being constantly connected? The City’s Mayoral Committee Member, Councillor Brett Herron, expressed his excitement for this venture, which provides travellers passing through the PTI with 100MB 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,” he explained.
Councillor Brett Herron, Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, City of Cape Town
Students may use this as an ideal opportunity for a quick study session while patiently waiting for the public transport.The City of Cape Town will ensure that marginalised communities are no longer deprived of accessing the worldwide web. The City is, therefore, investing in connecting all of the City-owned facilities and buildings to its strong broadband network.
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 at this 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,” said Councillor Herron.
Cape Town’s municipality is the first in South Africa to use this type of technology, which is 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,” said Councillor Herron.
The City has budgeted approximately R4.7 million towards the project. This also includes the back-end infrastructure and systems development. The Mitchells Plain PTI is one of the major public transport facilities in the city with thousands of residents using the services daily.
The success of the pilot project will determine further roll-outs at Public Transport Interchanges across the city.
By Garth Prins
Source Credit: City of Cape Town
Image Credit: IOL
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