Wouldn’t people rather spend up to 90 minutes-a-day being entertained, informed, and getting things done rather than sitting passively – and bored – on a transit bus? That’s a bet the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MTVA) made, bringing free traveler WiFi onto its 160 buses in suburban Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Transportation is among the latest industries where free WiFi access – once a coffee house amenity – is becoming a customer expectation. Retail, restaurants, hospitality, medical, and other venues are finding that patrons choose easy and secure connectivity over locations that offer little or no guest WiFi service.

Besides MTVA buses, travelers use Cloud4Wi Volare in railway stations (Gruppo FS Italiane, Northern Rail, Les Travaux Publics, etc.), airports (Toscana Aeroporti), motorways and freeways (Autostrade Italiane and Anas), plus thousands of other global locations.

Cloud4Wi Volare saves money for passengers, who use free traveler WiFi to connect to the internet rather than using their mobile data plan. For WiFi-only devices, Cloud4Wi Volare provides a free wireless connection that would not be otherwise available at any price.

MVTA uses traveler WiFi to make riders happy

MTVA estimates that commuters spend an average of 30-40 minutes, each way, riding on its buses. The idea of onboard traveler WiFi came up during a “how to make riders happier” brainstorming session among transit executives. What at first seemed like a complicated project became straightforward, even easy, thanks to the partnership between Cisco Systems, Cradlepoint Inc., and Cloud4Wi.

Cisco access points are used at the system’s four bus stations. Cisco’s cloud-based hardware management makes the network easy to visualize and control. Cradlepoint offers unique hardware that allows mobile WiFi to be managed as a cost-efficient and secure solution.

Cloud4Wi Volare sits above the hardware and management to create a cloud-based, customized, friendly user experience for riders, who use social media accounts to log-on. Opt-in rider information allows the Tcreateransit Authority to understand its passengers better and communicate with them personally.

While the majority of MTVA riders access WiFi Internet during rush hour, the system operates up to 18-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.

Volare capabilities and hassle-free management sold MVTA

MTVA was impressed by the flexibility, functionality, and broad features of Cloud4Wi Volare. The agency sought a solution that passengers would find easy-to-use and be attractive to them, lest a lousy experience create an unwillingness to try anything the transit system might offer in the future.

The transit agency was attracted by how intuitive Cloud4Wi Volare was both for users and administrators, who considered roll-out to be much less of a hassle with Volare than other portal systems MTVA considered. Easy customization of login methods, features offered, Internet policies and management choices were other factors that worked strongly in Cloud4Wi’s favor.

The Cloud4Wi Volare platform is used globally in 80 countries by more than 65 million users every day. Cloud4Wi is proud to offer privacy features already compliant with the European Union’s 2018 General Data Privacy Regulation.

Cloud4Wi has published a success story describing the MVTA installation and the agency’s future plans. To get your free copy, click the button below.

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