The next time you're at a city depot waiting for a late bus, don't worry — just log on to the internet via your phone and browse away your irritation. Now, in a bid to benefit over five lakh passengers every day, the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) has decided to provide free Wi-Fi at its depots, terminals, ticketing areas and bus stands all over Pune, covering all major bus stops as well. In fact, the facility is expected to be made available in a fortnight, with the authorities already having handed over a no objection certificate (NOC) to a Mumbai-based agency to put the service in place.
According to transport officials, the free Wi-Fi is an attempt to be more consumer-friendly and encourage more professionals and college students to use public transport, rather than private vehicles.
City-based citizens' group Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Pratishthan and Mumbai-based Joister Info-Media Pvt Ltd have entered into an agreement with PMPML, for which the latter has flashed the green light. The company is to provide Wi-Fi facility next week onwards on an experimental basis, after which it will be launched all over the city.
PMPML chairman and managing director (CMD) Abhishek Krishna further explained, "The two entities will bear the entire responsibility of providing the free service for PMPML. We are not going to pay a single penny for it — we will just provide installation space for the equipment and power supply. We hope this will boost our income and attract more commuters, especially the young crowd."
Dilip Mohite, founder-president of Subhas Chandra Bose Pratishthan, said, "Commuters with smart phones can avail the facility by downloading a specified app from Google Play. PMPML has long been facing revenue issues — we hope this initiative helps get it more revenue. Our role will be to guide the company in installing equipment and making the public transport company more consumerfriendly."
Nikunj Kampani, CMD of Joister Info-Media, said, "We have received PMPML permission and will start work within 15 days. There is no revenue model right now — it will be a purely charity initiative. We plan to provide 2MBPS browsing speed considering the huge population of smartphone holders and educated class in the city. The full-fledged service is expected to be available from May."