DC’s Metro moves toward a fully wired system


In Sept. 2007, the MTA announced plans to wire all underground subway stations for cell service. Nearly two years later, nothing has come from the ten-year contract the MTA inked with a less-than-secure company. Meanwhile, a few hundred miles to the south, the District of Columbia’s WMATA is continuing their slow and steady march to a fully equipped underground cell network, and the transit authority’s plans to wire their tunnels within three years is still on target.

According to a report last week on DCist, the WMATA is set to unveil the first phase of its plan in October. Shortly after Columbus Day, cell service for all four major carriers will be available in the 20 busiest Metro stations. By the end of 2010, the rest of the system’s underground stations will have cell service, and by October 2012, the tunnels will be cell-equipped as well. I know New York’s system is far older and more expansive than DC’s Metro. I know the challenges are greater in the city, but DC has been working to implement service since 2000. New York’s own MTA continues to fall further and further behind its technologically-advanced competitors.

3 Responses to “DC’s Metro moves toward a fully wired system”

  1. DK says:

    I was just in Cairo for several weeks. If a system that can’t afford cars with AC, in a country where 50% live under the poverty line, can manage to provide cell service underground, there’s no reason the MTA can’t.

  2. rhywun says:

    If there’s a list of MTA priorities somewhere, I would put this at the very bottom. If the carriers want to pay the full cost and install it with zero interruption to service (two conditions I doubt will hold true), then go for it. Otherwise, there are more important things to work on.

  3. Alon Levy says:

    In Shanghai, cell phones work both in the stations and in the tunnels. And unlike in New York, in Shanghai the subway is deep-level rather than subsurface.

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