Transit Wireless’ Chelsea subway cell pilot ahead of scheduleBy
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?