Transit Wireless’ Chelsea subway cell pilot ahead of schedule


A long delayed plan to bring cell service to six stations in Chelsea — and eventually the entire city — is currently ahead of schedule, DNA Info reported yesterday. Transit Wireless, the MTA contractor tasked with bringing cell signals underground, will soon begin installing fiberoptics near the various 14th St. stations on the West Side that service the L, A/C/E and 1/2/3 trains as well as the local stop at 23rd St. and 8th Ave. This six-station pilot will be the first step in a long-awaited effort to bring the 21st Century to the early 20th Century system.

These stations have been on the proverbial map for nearly three and a half years. In September of 2007, the MTA signed a deal with Transit Wireless to wire these six stations, it became clear that the company didn’t have the resources to fulfill its terms. The deal languished for nearly three years until Jay Walder vowed to get it back on track. Last July, Transit Wireless found an investor and signed up some carriers with a 2012 debut in mind.

Now, things are moving forward, and straphangers may be able to anticipate subway cell service within the next year. Of course, the millions of riders who use aboveground stations already enjoy cellular signals in the subway, but that won’t stop people from bemoaning rude callers. Will it be a a panacea or a prison?

9 Responses to “Transit Wireless’ Chelsea subway cell pilot ahead of schedule”

  1. E. Aron says:

    I used to be opposed to cell service underground, but experience has changed my mind. Anecdotally, people talking on phones generally don’t really bother anyone around them, as far as I’ve seen on bus rides and on aboveground tracks. It’d also be nice to have internet access on smart phones (not that I have one) while underground to, ya know, increase productivity, of course.

    Now if we could just do something about 2 or more high school kids being near each other on mass transit…

  2. Donald says:

    How many people are going to be texting, not paying attention to where they are walking, and end up in the tracks? This is not going to end too well if you ask me…

  3. Brian says:

    The last time I was in Berlin I discovered that the whole system had cell phone service. Everything seemed normal to me. No texting zombies falling off platforms. Most people talking on their phones in a reasonably courteous way.

  4. fred blimbesto says:

    so its ahead of schedule, but 3.5 years behind schedule? great journalism…

    • VLM says:

      Transit Wireless is ahead of the schedule they set last July. Does this really need to be explained to you or are you just being a nasty Internet troll?


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