Transportation Provider Turns to Aspire to Make Long-Haul Bus Service Wi-Fi Enabled

Industry: Transportation

Practice Area: Mobility

The client is one of the largest transportation companies in North America, operating more than 2,400 motorcoaches and employing 5,000 people. The company operates commuter and local bus services, express shuttle services, scheduled bus routes, motor coach tours, charters, and city sightseeing tours. They serve the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania markets as well as several Midwestern states and the Northern region of Canada. As a leader and innovator in the fast-growing public transportation services industry, the client knows riders make their transportation choices based on convenience, comfort, dependability, and amenities.

Challenge: Competing for ridership in a tech-savvy market

The client’s goal was to increase passenger satisfaction with their services in the highly competitive bus market. They wanted to offer the amenities people have come to expect in planes and trains on their buses, while controlling the bandwidth and how riders use it. They needed a controllable, predictable, and reliable wireless solution for its ridership, particularly commuters across its long-haul fleet. Additionally, the client wanted a partner to streamline the operations process for them and manage the technical side of the solution.

Solution: Mobile hotspots as part of a managed service

Aspire designed a customized wireless hotspot solution for the clients’ motorcoaches that any WiFi-enabled device can connect to – including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Each hotspot consisted of a Cisco router to connect to the Internet via 3G/4G mobile broadband networks and a Cisco wireless access point providing wireless connectivity to riders. The result was reliable web and email access for passengers anywhere…anytime.

The client continues to expand the Wi-Fi initiative to additional bus lines and routes. As part of an on-going managed services agreement, engineers leverage Aspire’s Staging & Logistics Center to pre-build, configure, and test the hotspot kits prior to sending them out to be mounted in buses. This reduces the client’s workload and frees them from the responsibility of managing and fixing the technology. When a wireless outage or device failure occurs, Aspire’s Network & Security Operations Center (NSOC) has visibility into the client’s wireless environment to identify and resolve the issue.

Outcomes: Wi-Fi services enhance the customer experience

Ultimately, Aspire has become a resource-rich partner that streamlines the operational process involved in installing and managing wireless access for the client’s fleet, and delivers operational support for any problems the client encounters.

  • Initially, Aspire installed the wireless access mounts in 300 buses. Now Aspire builds 100-200 new kits each year as part of the initiative’s broader expansion.
  • Aspire will be responsible for refreshing one-seventh of the fleet every year, to ensure capabilities are current and reliable.
  • Once the fleet is fully outfitted, over 250,000 long-haul riders will have free access to wireless services each year.
  • Customer surveys indicate riders appreciate the wireless access and show overall satisfaction with the quality of the service

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