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How On-Board Internet Access Can Encourage Passengers to Use Public Transport

Internet access on-board can truly have a big impact on encouraging passengers to travel via rail. Widely speaking, there are many reasons a passenger may choose to travel by train:

  • Typically, greener than flying or travelling by car
  • Mixture of short, long and easy interconnecting journeys
  • Social aspects of travelling (tables of four etc)
  • Food and beverage services
  • Rail schemes to lower ticket prices (railcards etc)
  • On-board connectivity

In this article, we will be focusing on the latter point “On-board connectivity” such as high-speed passenger WiFi. As a society we have evolved over the last decade, connectivity is becoming an integral part of our daily lives and can penultimately be the deciding factor for the passenger’s preference of transportation.

Provides entertainment

Whether you are travelling on a short or long rail journey, railway Wi-Fi connectivity provides an array of entertainment to ensure you pass the time effectively. By having internet access on-board, passengers can decrease travel perception time. A common Key Performance Indicator for rail operators is to improve  passenger experience, this can lead to an increase in customer satisfaction and ridership. By implementing on-board connectivity to your fleet, operators can then consider further technology to enhance rail entertainment such as a portal system, which provides:

  • Newspapers
  • Movies
  • Catch up TV
  • E-books
  • Games
  • Journey information
  • Moving maps

As a passenger, engaging with a  portal, will bring you a wide selection of content, updated as required by the operator, all with digital rights. Furthermore, the operator can benefit from Nomad’s ability to host the platform using our onboard systems, rather than using valuable WiFi bandwidth. This ensures they can provide the best possible connectivity to passengers throughout their journey.

Favours productivity

The rail operator should further consider implementing on-board internet access as it allows passengers to be productive on their journey. A variety of hardware can be connected to the passenger WiFi services including your smartphone and your laptop. This gives the worker the freedom to choose what device to use for their work task. For example, the passenger may connect their smartphone to the WiFi to send work-related emails. Students can similarly benefit by attending a digital seminar, researching literature or using online study programmes. With an effective on-board connectivity platform, the rail operator can expect to boost ridership levels by adhering to passengers’ working lifestyles. Now passengers can maintain productivity whilst travel for work-related duties.

Offers live updates

When driving your car, it is illegal to use your mobile phone even for travelling information and using a sat nav can at times be distracting for the driver. Passengers can eliminate this problem by simply travelling by train, however, a pain point for the passenger can be obtaining live journey updates. Being aware of arrival details and possible setbacks along the way gives passengers the chance to shape their plans accordingly.

Nomad’s intuitive OBIS/PIS platform was built to enhance onboard connectivity and relieve passenger stress. We offer services such as:

  • The next station and connection information
  • Timetables
  • Live news
  • On-board entertainment
  • Moving maps
  • Voice-to-text / text-to-voice announcements.

Passengers can reduce the stress of travelling, sit back, and enjoy the journey confidently knowing they have access to any live updates of their journey. Unfortunately, delays are common within travelling yet passengers can take advantage of on-board connectivity and make any necessary changes (online) to their travel plans or even let colleagues, friends or family know they will be late.


The ever-growing number of transport passengers identify on-board connectivity as a reason for choosing a particular operator.

So, as passengers continue to demand seamless connectivity and the other value-adding services that come with it, rail operators must stay ahead of the game.

Click here to understand more about Nomad Digitals world leading connectivity solutions

interactive portal system passengers onboard