Subway Riders Enjoying Cell & Wi-Fi Service

Over the last few years, Transit Wireless has made the news as the company’s main goal was to make cell phone service available at all NYC Subway stations. The company rolled out a pilot last September which saw it bring service to 6 subway stations in Manhattan. More recently the company also bring Wi-Fi to those same stations which has made many riders happy.

NBC New York via an Associated Press article has more:

Emily Langmead was hesitant when she first heard of free Wi-Fi in the subway. Like many New Yorkers, she wondered what the catch was.

But now, she says, she uses it all the time.

One month in to wireless service being provided in six New York City subway stations, commuters like Langmead are happy to have chances to connect when their trains head underground and pull into one of the stations with Wi-Fi.

“Are you kidding? Being able to check my email when the train is in the subway is an amazing thing,” she said. “I love it.”

The new service is part of a $200 million plan to connect the subway to the outside world. Transit Wireless, the company in charge of building and designing the network, is working with many carriers to provide cellphone and data connectivity services to all 277 underground stations in New York by 2017.

The service, sponsored by Google Offers, is available on train platforms at five stations, all in the Chelsea neighborhood. Customers of T-Mobile and AT&T can also use cellphones in the six stations. Negotiations continue for telecom giants like Verizon and Sprint to join.

While some other cities have had data and cellphone connectivity in their subways for years, some New Yorkers were not thrilled with the idea because it can be disruptive. Others, though, see a benefit.

“It helps if you are in an emergency and you need to communicate with somebody and you don’t have email or anything else functioning, I think it can be very useful,” said subway rider Melissa Cardona-Bodhert.

While there have been concerns about noise pollution, the benefits of staying connected outweighed the concerns, said William Bayne Jr., the CEO of Transit Wireless.

Click here for the complete article.

I for one have been extremely pleased with the service being available in those stations. I have found myself in each of those stations a lot over the past few months, especially the 14th St station on the 6th Ave lines. I have spent many minutes there late at a night waiting for a train to the Lower East Side and killing time by using my IPhone.

From what I have seen, it has not been an issue as far as people not paying attention or being in the way of others while using their phone. True it is a small sample considering most stations don’t have it. However we can hope that the trend continues whenever we get service throughout the system.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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