Commuter data could be made available for marketing
CIE is considering making the internet history of its massive customer base available for marketing purposes as part of a bid to increase revenue.
CIE, which owns Iarnrod Eireann (Irish Rail), Bus Eireann and Dublin Bus, plans to commercialise the on-board wireless internet that is used by hundreds of thousands of Irish commuters.
The group has one of the largest customer bases in the country.
Irish Rail facilitated 39.7 million passenger journeys in 2015 while Bus Eireann carried 37.8 million journeys and Dublin Bus facilitated 122 million passenger journeys in the year.
Each of these companies currently provides access to free wifi to passengers who bring their own internet-connected devices.
The companies have "invested significant capital" in rolling this out, CIE said.
In a document issued by the group last week, CIE said it wants to "generate revenue directly from the provision of on-board wifi".
It is seeking assistance from companies with a demonstrated track record of commercialising access to wifi, including by way of advertising.
It intends to award a two-year contract with an option to extend by up to 12 months.
Irish Rail, Bus Eireann and Dublin Bus must retain ownership and access to any user data collected, the tender document specifies.
Subject to compliance with applicable law and agreement by the companies, however, "this data however could potentially be used by the successful tenderer for marketing purposes."
The companies are "risk averse in terms of large seasonal swings in revenue based on advertising activity", the document adds, "so the preference is for a consistent revenue stream built on a stable model."
Sunday Indo Business