TELUS expands wireless service to downtown Expo Line SkyTrain tunnel

Feb 26 2020, 1:22 pm

TELUS announced today it has brought wireless service to the underground Dunsmuir SkyTrain tunnel between Stadium-Chinatown and Waterfront Station, including the Granville and Burrard station platforms.

This means TELUS, Koodo, and Public Mobile customers can stay connected on the entirety of the Expo SkyTrain line, even underground.

“Any SkyTrain user can attest to the fact that almost everyone is using a wireless device during their commute,” said Eros Spadotto, TELUS Executive Vice President of Technology Strategy and Business Transformation. “Now, TELUS, Koodo, and Public Mobile users will enjoy a seamless connection between Stadium-Chinatown and Waterfront stations.”

The news was welcomed by TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond.

“We live in an era where many of us rely on uninterrupted connectivity,” he said. “Whether you’re getting a head-start to your day or winding down on your way home – our customers who rely on the TELUS network can now stay connected, productive, and informed while travelling through our downtown stations.”

TransLink provides more than one million journeys across its integrated transit network each day, and the 1.4 kilometre route through the underground Dunsmuir Tunnel is one of the busiest stretches along the SkyTrain network.

In 2016, Rogers was the first provider to bring wireless service to the underground sections of the SkyTrain.

Wireless service is already found on the Canada Line’s 9.1-kilometre-long tunnel span stretching from Waterfront to Marine Drive stations, which takes about 17 minutes to travel through each way. However, the infrastructure was provided by Telus, with Bell, Rogers, and Wind later working with Telus to provide their customers with access.

TransLink said at the time that wireless access was pursued instead of WiFi, as a WiFi router has a limited range of only about 50 to 100 feet, whereas a wireless network has a much larger range.