A sponsored wi-fi service will be trialled on 50 public buses in Sydney, with potential for the technology to be fitted to 1000 buses by the end of the year.
The service is being supplied and operated by APN Outdoor. Called ‘Catch’, it operates as an “app” within a mobile browser and offers content from Sky News, Foxtel and the web, as well as internet service.
“We are always looking for ways to improve the customer experience across all public transport services, particularly when it comes to providing reliability and convenience,” NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said in a statement.
“This trial will help us understand how reliable the technology is and how our customers would use it.”
To pay for the service, Catch serves users “personalised offers” from commercial partners. The service’s terms state it collects “location data (tracking) about you and other data about you and your device (phone or tablet etc).”
“We may disclose your personal information to third parties, such as our contractors, advertisers, competition organisers, service providers, [and] marketing providers who provide marketing, social media and other data about you to us.
“Do not use the wi-fi service if you do not agree to us collecting location data (tracking) and other data about you,” it advises.
A screengrab from the T&C's for the Catch service.
Further comment was being sought from a Ministerial spokesperson at the time of publication.
In addition to bus passengers being able to use Catch, digital displays in buses will begin to show advertisements and news, as well as CCTV footage.
Transport users are already able to access free wi-fi from Central Station in Sydney as well as on Sydney Ferries via different technology services.