The City of Cape Town is once again taking innovative steps in a bid to become the first digital city in Africa. We are pleased to announce that we have engaged in a project to expand the availability of internet access to the public through the provision of Wi-Fi on all MyCiTi buses in the near future.

The City has issued a tender for a service provider to install and operate a Wi-Fi internet access service on all MyCiTi buses. Our vision is that passengers will be able to connect their own devices to the internet using the Wi-Fi provided on MyCiTi buses. We want the service to be available on every operating MyCiTi bus at all times whilst in service. Basic use of the service will be free. This means that each passenger will have use of a limited amount of data for a limited amount of time each day at no charge. The minimum no charge data allowance per day per passenger will no be less than 50 MB.

We anticipate that the tender process will be completed in the latter part of the year. Thereafter, it is our hope that the successful service provider will operate the Wi-Fi access service on a pilot basis for six months, after which Wi-Fi will progressively become available on all MyCiTi routes and buses over the following six months.

The fundamental motivation is solid evidence from many sources worldwide that there is a definite positive correlation between the availability of internet access and the social and economic upliftment of communities. Internet access and digital literacy are widely recognised as enablers of economic participation and improved educational outcomes.

This initiative also forms part of our efforts to incentivise residents to get out of their cars and into MyCiTi buses. The availability of Wi-Fi internet access on MyCiTi buses is expected to improve the attractiveness of the public transport system to commuters by enabling them to be productive while traveling (e.g. sending e-mails, reading the news, communicating, and engaging in work and online social activities).

Transport for Cape Town (TCT) currently manages approximately 300 MyCiTi buses, and another 80 buses are being introduced during 2015. TCT manages three trunk routes with 35 stations, serviced by 22 feeder routes with 322 stops.

We look forward to improving the service through the provision of Wi-Fi for the 75 000 individual passenger trips which take place each week day.