Waiting for the train, do you wonder when cell service and WiFi will arrive at all our underground subway stations?
At the end of March 2015, Transit Wireless announced the 100th underground station was connected and online. The company, working with cell phone carriers AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint, are building the underground network at no cost to the MTA.
According to a contract with the MTA, service will be available at 279 underground stations by 2018. There are a total of 468 stations in the system (some are above ground where cell service is available).
Transit Wireless CEO Bill Bayne says the project is ahead of schedule. Queens and central Manhattan is connected and Transit Wireless crews are working in the Bronx and Upper Manhattan.
They will move to Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, for the final stages. Brooklyn presents a challenge, Bayne explains, due to the location of all the stations across the borough.
He offered a tour of the Queens base station to PIX11 News Reporter Greg Mocker. Wires and fiber optics connect the base station with all the subway stations.
Eventually, the fiber network could tie into the turnstiles and help provide for the next generation MetroCard.
Transit Wireless has sponsored competitions to raise the awareness of the service and the possibilities. On Instagram and Twitter, the hashtag #subwayselfie has encouraged riders to take a picture of themselves underground to be entered in a contest for a monthly MetroCard.
Voting continues until April 10, 2015.
The annual 3rd annual App Development contest awarded thousands of dollars to developers with ideas for transit apps.