Sep 13, 2010

Wireless buses

So Egged has finally put together their project they started working on a long time ago. At least a year or so.

I remember seeing the first stickers no Egged buses announcing free wifi, even though the buses did not have wifi, free or otherwise, about a year ago.

So now Egged has installed the first wifi systems on twenty intercity buses around the country.

The wifi will give access during bus rides to internet on laptops, mobile phones, various gadgets such as the iPad and iPod Touch and others.

Egged expects to finish the project on all 1500 intercity buses over the next few years, costing upwards of $2 million.

Sounds like a great plan, throwing Egged into the 21st century. And it will even give them a certain advantage over other forms of public transportation, such as the trains, unless the others get their act together in a similar way. In actuality it is a bit surprising how long this has taken.

All this depends on how quickly certain groups of people find out about this project and the type of access it will give to people.

In case you don't remember, Egged was recently pressured to cancel plans to put digital screens into certain bus lines that would have helped people with understanding routes and directions. Certain groups were nervous the screens would eventually be used to broadcast advertising, and who knows what kind of advertising, and therefore pressured Egged to cancel to project. Egged gave in and canceled the project.

With that history, I don't see how this project will succeed...hopefully it will just take too long for those groups to understand what this is all about, and by the time they do it will be too late.. yes, there are dangers in giving such access, but you can't stop progress. It might be time to start educating the public how to use wisely, safely, and properly, rather than automatically rejecting.


  1. why should these people care? it is not as if they have internet modems implanted in their eyes. as long as they don't have a laptop, they can't use the web.

    of course people can always object but this would really be stam.

  2. I would love this, I spend 2+ hours a day on a bus and am getting an Android phone soon which could take advantage.

    Too bad my bus is Afikim not egged

  3. interesting idea; in LA, we have tv screens on the bus, but im not sure if there's wifi or not.

  4. of course the internet-is-a-demon people should object. it means the guy next to you with a laptop can have free access to all kinds of junk. I wonder whether there will be a mute requirement for consideration of other passengers - cell phones are bad enough.

    but Rafi you're right it is very strange how internet is completely forbidden unless you need it for work at which point it's suddenly open and available with no prior training or coaching on surfing wisely.


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