Under a new plan approved by authorities this past week, the New York City Subway system will be fully-equipped with cellphone and wi-fi services for travelers.
To be executed over the coming decade, the mega $600 million project will be built by Transit Wireless, the telecommunications company that already provides cellphone service in the city’s 281 underground subway stations.
Once functional, riders will be able to use their phones throughout the 418 miles of subway tunnels under the plan approved by Metropolitan Transportation Authority board members.
“Bringing cell connectivity to the tunnels between stations and Wi-Fi to above-ground stations is a major step forward in enhancing transit riders’ experience,” MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said in a statement.
Right now, straphangers only have access to cellphone connectivity when they’re at underground stations, but usually lose service once the train starts moving.
To improve this loss of connectivity, Transit Wireless plans to expand service to trains in the tunnels and also to the system’s 191 aboveground stations and to 21 Staten Island Railway stations.
Subway passengers will be able to use their mobile devices as each section of the tunnel system is completed, although project leaders haven’t decided yet which train lines will be worked on first.