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WiFi and Cellular Service in NYC Subway

Hold the Phone: NYC Subways to Get WiFi and Cell Service

Now that even airplanes have WiFi access, there are very few "dead zones" when it comes to cell and wireless service. But until now, there's been one place with very limited reception — and it may surprise you! The New York City subway system has always been without WiFi or cell service in its subway tunnels and stations. Occasionally riders could find a signal in certain areas, but access underground was the exception — not the rule. For many New Yorkers, a wireless-free commute was a nice excuse to not check their smartphone every five minutes.

Now, that's set to change as subway stations and tunnels are set to be wired for WiFi and cellular service. For more details on the city's plans, keep reading.

Four different corporations are working together to wire all 227 of NYC's underground subway stations and tunnels, keeping riders connected not only in the stations but also between them as cars travel underground. Cell phones have worked on Washington DC's Metro for years, and they work fairly well on the San Francisco bay area's BART system as well. Transit officials in New York say that the project could take as long as four years to complete system-wide, with the best reception in the wider, heavily-traveled tunnels in Manhattan.

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
bengalspice bengalspice 6 years
I guess having WiFi will help in instances of emergencies [you are stuck on a train because someone is sick]. I find it strange that MTA is introducing new stuff instead of dealing with the issues that we already have. The platforms are smoldering in the summer, freezing in the winter, and for the millionth time they want to jack up the prices of metrocards. I swear I'm going to have an aneurysm if they limit the "unlimited card".
franciepants franciepants 6 years
Generally Im for this, particularly cellular access on the trains and in the tunnels. But as a subway rider who has to continuously endure fair hikes, urine smelling train stations, re-routing for track work, less train car maintenance, etc...almost always related to budget cuts....I wish the MTA system would prioritize the necessary over the desire. Wifi is not a necessity, at least not on the trains. Even the electronic voice prompts encourages subway riders to not display their electronic devices (to prevent theft), what do you think WiFi availability is going to do?
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