Almost 3 years ago, one of the biggest news involving the NYC Subway was the MTA’s intention to try & bring cell & wi-fi service to hundreds of subway stations. The agency had announced a deal with consortium Transit Wireless to wire 6 stations in 2 years. If the initial agreement worked out, they would have outfitted the remaining 271 underground stations within 4 years.
A few weeks later, Transit Wireless even talked about setting up the service initially with the opportunity to wire subway tunnels down the line if the MTA desired to do so. Unfortunately the skeptics were right in thinking that the deal which clearly benefited the MTA was a pipe dream, as the company was full of hot air & no financial backing.
Fast forward to now & it seems the MTA is once again engaging in a courtship with Transit Wireless. Pete Donohue of the New York Daily News has more:
Subway riders, can you hear me now?
A stalled plan to provide cellular and Wi-Fi service in all 277 underground subway stations is back on track, sources said.
Transit Wireless will soon start work on wiring stations so riders can make calls and send texts during everyday travels – and during emergencies.
Under the original agreement, Transit Wireless was to rig the first batch of Manhattan stations within two years of getting the construction go-ahead. The company would then have four years to wire all other stations.
The MTA board approved the project in September 2007. It didn’t give the “notice to proceed” until last week because the MTA doubted Transit Wireless had solid financing, sources said.
MTA brass finally gave the outfit an ultimatum to lock in funding or lose the contract, one source said. Transit Wireless has since brought another company on board, Broadcast Australia, the source said.
Click here for the complete report.
I will believe stations being cell & wi-fi capable when it actually happens. We have gone through this song & dance before so I am not holding my breath on this project being completed or even started. Quite honestly in 2007, I was more excited about the prospects of this happening.
At this point, I find there are bigger & better things to worry about. I guess I could look at it as a positive sign that they are catching up with the times, but honestly I have my doubts this will ever get done.
xoxo Transit Blogger