Free wi-fi while you wait at Walsall’s St Paul’s bus station

Passengers using Walsall’s recently refurbished St Paul’s bus station can now use free wi-fi while they wait.

It means that commuters will be able to check their travel arrangements, catch up on news headlines or update their Facebook and Instagram accounts without using their valuable data allowance.

The free service is provided in partnership between Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and transport technology company Journeo as part of a trial and, if successful, could be rolled out at other bus stations in the West Midlands.

It follows the completion last year of a £680,000 refurbishment of the bus station with new, energy-efficient LED lighting, refurbished toilets, an improved cycle storage area, driver rest facilities, CCTV upgrade and new public information displays.

The station is run by TfWM, part of the West Midlands Combined Authority, and before lockdown saw footfall peak at eight million passengers accessing nearly half a million bus departures a year.

The free wi-fi will be available for 20 minutes per visit for customers with no data limits initially and is just one of the ways TfWM is working with its technology partners to encourage the use of public transport. 

A fully interactive information kiosk is also available at the station, allowing those without smartphones to plan their journeys.

TfWM managing director Laura Shoaf said: “Our bus stations are gateways to our towns and cities and that is why we have been investing in them.

 “Free wi-fi is just one way we can improve the passenger experience and make bus travel more attractive for those visiting the town centre.

 “If this trial proves popular with passengers, we will look at offering free wi-fi at more of our bus stations.”