If you remember when you used to be able to go out and about as and when you felt like it, one of the things on public transport, in shops, cinemas and practically anywhere else you care to think of was that you would be able to access free wi-fi so you could continue to surf the net or update your social media until your heart was content. But now as Transport for Greater Manchester look to make savings they have warned free wi-fi may be permanently axed from the Metrolink network.
Not widely reported at the time was that the free wi-fi was suspended in March as part of the campaign to try and discourage non-essential travel on the Metrolink network and Transport for Greater Manchester have confirmed that despite additional passengers now being carried on the trams it will remain switched off pending further review.
A TfGM spokesman said: “In light of the significant loss of revenue and financial constraints put on us by the coronavirus pandemic, the service will remain suspended pending a review. Our initial work has indicated that we could make savings of around £300k a year in addition to avoiding the required cost of upgrading our infrastructure – which could be in excess of £1 million.”
Free wi-fi has been available on the trams since 2015, with a service provided by Vodafone, who also sponsored four, later rising to five, trams at the height of the introduction of the system.