July 8, 2019 12:47 pm
Updated: July 8, 2019 3:31 pm

City buses to soon live-stream emergency situations back to Winnipeg Transit Control Centre

A Winnipeg Transit bus with free wifi.

Randall Paull/Global News
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Emergency issues on board transit buses will soon be live-streamed back to transit headquarters.

A security camera live-stream and real-time bus locations were two benefits City of Winnipeg officials found while testing out a pilot project with on-board WiFi over the past year that will now move forward.

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Twelve buses got WiFi as part of the program that started April 5, 2018. A report presented to the city’s Innovation committee meeting Monday found about 700 people used it on any given day and up to 12,000 in a month.

The city had budgeted $300,000 for the pilot WiFi project but ended up only spending $57,888.  However, The annual data subscription to outfit the entire fleet would cost $1.4 million to $1.9 million.

READ MORE: Free Wi-Fi coming to select Winnipeg buses

The report found the program was too cost prohibitive to move forward with outfitting the entire fleet of 640 buses.

But the city will be moving forward with a closed LTE network that will enable on board security cameras to live-stream back to Transit headquarters.

In case of an emergency, headquarters would immediately be able to tap into the system and see what’s happening.

A safety camera on a Winnipeg Transit bus.

Randall Paull/Global News

Afterwards, the video could be used to investigate incidents on buses.

The internet connection also allows real-time location information to be sent to riders and back to headquarters. The report found the project led to a “measurable improvement” in schedule predictions.

Buses will go online in 2019 and 2020 to move those projects forward and the city has already budgeted $2.28 million for the upgrades.

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