End of free Wi-Fi on NX buses

It might be likely that many passengers are unaware of this already, but NX Bus are no longer offering free Wi-Fi on its buses.

According to NX Bus, despite having 600,000 passengers using their services every day, only 1% of them make any use of the onboard free Wi-Fi service.

Well of course, not all of their vehicles have the required equipment installed, so it’s not clear whether the quoted passengers figure relates to those using the Platinum-spec vehicles, or as a whole, which could distort things.

But either way, there aren’t enough people using it to justify the cost.

But it’s free?

If you don’t know this already, you might find it hard to believe that nothing is ever truly ‘free’!

Yes, the Wi-Fi service might be free for bus passengers to use, however it still costs the bus operators money to provide. If hardly anyone uses it, then it is not worth the cost of providing it as an ‘added-value extra’.

Why don’t people use it?

Any form of ‘free’ service usually comes with limitations and restrictions. As I wrote about this previously, most people with mobile phones have contracts that include some very generous data allowances now, and many people have 4G or 5G devices with fast mobile internet capability.

I regularly travel on buses that never had any wi-fi capability, yet I observe many passengers using their phones to watch videos.

So clearly to me, a ‘free’ wi-fi service that is limited and restricted, is not that much use to many people anyway, hence why people don’t bother with it.

‘Gimmick’ or ‘value-added extra’?

At the time, some marketing bod clearly thought that the idea of offering a free wi-fi service on buses was a ‘great way’ to attract people out of their cars and onto buses instead.

I can understand why free wi-fi services may be useful on trains and coaches used for longer-distance journeys, but I never felt it would be useful for passengers making shorter local journeys by bus.

Somebody thought it was a ‘great idea’, but I still think it was just a ‘gimmick’.

Hopefully now, bus operators are learning that passengers are not really interested in such ‘gimmicks’ – they are more concerned with the bus actually turning up on time and being able to get a seat.

That’s my opinion, but what do you think? Did you use the free wi-fi and if so will you miss it? Let us know in the comments below!


About WMBU

Stu is the founder of this West Midlands Bus Users website.
He is not a bus enthusiast, but as a regular passenger takes an interest in public transport related matters, having relied on buses to get around for over twenty-five years now.

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