TransLink is bringing free Wi-Fi to its entire transit system, but riders shouldn't expect it any time soon.

Transit riders will be able to use the internet service provided by Shaw – even if they aren't Shaw customers – but it won't be fully deployed for more than six years. The transit service claims it is the first in Canada to offer free Wi-Fi and that it comes as a response to demands from riders.

"We’ve been working on this for several years," said Kevin Desmond. "This is going to have a huge impact on our customers’ experience."

TransLink says the changes will come at no cost to the transit authority, with Shaw responsible for installing and operating the system.

Desmond says the program will generate revenue for the transit authority.

The Wi-Fi system is being rolled out slowly, with trials running through 2019 and deployment on SkyTrains and buses in 2020.

"Over the next 12 or so months, we’ll be working out a lot of implementation details – including where we start," said Desmond.

The entire system is expected to be completed by 2025.