The New York Metropolitan Transit Authority is rolling out Wi-Fi and cellular service to 30 stations across the city, including stations in mid-town Manhattan, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Lincoln Center and Columbus Circle.
The infrastructure was rolled out by Transit Wireless, which has a reseller agreement with Boingo Wireless, who provides the Wi-Fi connectivity. Transit Wireless also has agreements with AT&T, T-Mobile, with agreements with Sprint and Verizon in the works. Currently, subterranean cell service is limited to those on AT&T and T-Mobile, but service to Sprint and Verizon customers will be popping up soon.
“This goes beyond providing cell service underground, it brings our customers a new level of security – with the ability to dial 911 in an emergency,” said Acting MTA Chairman Fernando Ferrer. “Customers now know that when they see something, they can now say something using their device to call 911.”
Wi-Fi had been available for a few stations in Chelsea, and the new rollout is just part of MTA’s master plan to rollout Wi-Fi and cellular service to its stations. In phase two of the rollout, Wi-Fi and cellular service will be coming to queens and midtown by 2014, followed by the Bronx and the East Side. The MTA expects all stations to be connected by 2016.