Wi-Fi Installed in 30 Subway Stations in New York City
The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has installed wireless voice and data communication capability in 30 additional subway stations in the city, bringing the total of wireless-enabled stations to 36.
Passengers of the New York City subway can now make and receive calls and text messages on their cell phone, and access wireless internet underground. Each of the 36 stations included in this project have an average annual ridership of 7 million people (MTA’s total number of customers is 8.5 million).
The pilot programme which brought the first six stations online was launched in 2011.
Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of New York, said, “This brings our customers a new level of security – the ability to dial 911 in an emergency. With all the major carriers on board, the vast majority of MTA customers will have the ability to do so.” USA’s emergency 911 system will also have the capability to know when a call is being placed underground and the caller’s location.
Major telecom providers in the US, including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile USA are participating in the project.
The total cost of the project is estimated at up to US$200 million, borne by MTA’s project partner, Transit Wireless, and the participating carriers. Wi-fi internet will be provided to customers for free through sponsorship by HTC One.
241 underground subway stations remain offline. This service is expected to be extended to them within four years – work on the next 40 stations (including the well-known Grand Central Station) has already begun, and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014.