Interview with Gerhard Kräutler from Verkehrsverbund Vorarlberg


Why do you want to offer WiFi to your passengers?
The regional government in Vorarlberg decided to offer passengers on Vorarlberg public transport comprehensive WiFi in buses and trains. This service should allow passengers to, for example, check their e-mails or read the news on their journeys. This means the journey passes more quickly, makes the public transport system more attractive and offers an advantage over using the car.


What is the feedback from the customers like and how much is the WiFi used?
We carried out a customer survey, which revealed that the passengers very much appreciate the service, especially the commuters who have to travel long distances. In a perfect world, we would also be able to offer this service on a cross-border basis, as we also operate routes into Switzerland and Liechtenstein. But this is not possible because of the high provider fees in our neighbouring countries. The use of the WiFi here, however, is increasing month on month and we will continue to advertise this free service.


What have been the greatest challenges and milestones?
We put the contract out to tender across Europe in accordance with the tender specifications. WLAN-Partner put in the best offer and represented a supplier with the relevant know-how which could provide the best possible support through the implementation process. The biggest challenge was finding a provider who would offer us unlimited data volumes for a reasonable price. The service was also put out to tender, which led to a good price in the end.


Do you analyse the resulting data? If so, how?
We do not currently analyse any of the system data.


What happens next, what are the plans for the future?
We are switching over to new on-board technology (ticket printer, ticket machine) which means we will also be using routers as a means of communication for data processing and disposal in future. This means the benefit will not only be for our passengers, but also for the VVV as the routers will be taking on a dual role. This will save costs and the passenger WiFi will pay for itself.


Many Thanks to Gerhard Kräutler, Head of Technology and Infrastructure Department from VVV.