Home Subway Cell Service WiFi, cell services comes to 30 more stations as Verizon, Sprint hop aboard

WiFi, cell services comes to 30 more stations as Verizon, Sprint hop aboard

by Benjamin Kabak

These 36 stations are now fully equipped with cell and WiFi service. (Photo via Second Ave. Sagas on Instagram)

Services from all four major cell phone carriers will soon be available underground, and 30 new stations are now cell and WiFi equipped, Transit Wireless and the MTA announced today. With this unveiling, a total of 36 underground subway stations are now wired, and another 40 will join them by the end of the first quarter in 2014.

During a press conference this morning at Times Square — one of the newly equipped stations — and in a subsequent press release, agency and cell provider officials stressed how this wireless access can be a boost to subway safety and help New Yorkers remain plugged in while on the go. “This goes beyond providing cell service underground. It brings our customers a new level of security –with the ability to dial 911 in an emergency,” said Governor Cuomo. “Customers now know that when they see something, they can now say something using their device to call 911. And now with all the major carriers on board, the vast majority of MTA customers will have the ability to do so.”

Echoing an AT&T official who noted “tremendous demand for wireless services underground,” the CEO of Transit Wireless touted the technological advances as well. “The New York City subway system is one of the most heavily trafficked systems in the world and now riders have wireless service,” William A. Bayne Jr. said. “This network benefits not only riders, but city workers and first responders, and it will be the backbone for future technology and safety improvements to the city’s subway stations.”

For a few years now, AT&T and T-Mobile had been available at the Phase 1 stations, but today, Verizon and Sprint announced that they too would be offering cellular LTE service underground at all 36 stations currently equipped. Furthermore, Boingo, a public WiFi provider, revealed its free, ad-supporter network as well. HTC is the current sponsor, and WiFi Internet access is now free following a 15-second video ad. For smartphone and tablet users waiting for a train, the digital connection is a welcome distraction.

For now, the full list of stations — shown above — all focus around Midtown, but that will change over the next year. The Phase 3 rollout, which will wrap by the end of the first quarter of 2014, will include Grand Central, Bryant Park, Herald Square, Flushing-Main St. and numerous other Queens stations. MTA Executive Director Tom Prendergast explained that the roll-out had been chosen based on both passenger volume and ease of installation, and the 36 stations currently with service see an average of 7 million riders per year.

During the press conference, Transit Wireless and MTA officials stressed the costs as well. Transit Wireless is picking up the full cost of installation, estimated between $200-$250 million, and the MTA is paying nothing. In fact, the agency will realize increased revenue through a split of the occupancy fees paid by the wireless carriers and sublicense fees. The MTA estimates around $3.3 million annually once all 277 underground stations are wired.

After the jump, a full list of all stations currently with cellular and wireless Internet service.

  1. 23 Street – 8 Ave. CE
  2. 14 Street – 8 Ave. ACE
  3. 14 Street – 7 Ave. 123
  4. 14 Street – 6 Ave. FM
  5. 14 Street – 8 Ave. L
  6. 14 Street – 6 Ave. L
  7. 96 Street BC
  8. 86 Street BC
  9. 28 Street 1
  10. 18 Street 1
  11. 81 Street-Museum of Natural History BC
  12. 72 Street BC
  13. 79 Street 1
  14. 23 Street 1
  15. 96 Street 123
  16. 66 Street-Lincoln Center 1
  17. 72 Street 123
  18. 57 Street F
  19. 47-50 Streets-Rockefeller Center BDFM
  20. 57 Street-7 Ave. NQR
  21. 28 Street NR
  22. 50 Street 1
  23. 50 Street CE
  24. 23 Street NR
  25. 49 Street NR
  26. 5 Ave.-53 Street EM
  27. 59 Street-Columbus Circle 1
  28. 59 St-Columbus Circle ABCD
  29. 7 Ave. BDE
  30. Times Square-42 Street 123
  31. Times Square-42 Street NQR
  32. Times Square-42 Street 7
  33. Times Square-42 Street ACE
  34. Times Square-42 Street S
  35. 5 Ave.-59 Street NR
  36. 86 Street 1

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alen April 25, 2013 - 1:23 pm

anyone know if you have to accept the terms every time you log on to the wireless?

BrooklynBus April 28, 2013 - 12:01 pm

Also will it be free for everyone or only if you are FIOS or Sprint customers? And is it only cell service or internet also?

Patrick April 25, 2013 - 2:02 pm

A first? Queens gets tech improvements before Brooklyn?
-Patrick W/O A Blog

asar April 25, 2013 - 4:28 pm

I agree with what u r saying patrick. Since when does
Queens get mta upgrades before bklyn? But this is prob. Because some stations in brooklyn like barclays center and the next stop, nevins st have cell service , and i have verizon!best cell and tv company ever!not 2 brag.

Demetria April 25, 2013 - 10:46 pm

Patrick isn’t saying anything other than Queens usually gets stuff after Brooklyn does (two cases spring to mind recently – Ebay NOW, and the new citibikes), and that it is surprising that this is not the case now.

I imagine Queens is getting it first because of how relatively well trafficked the Queens Boulevard stations east of Roosevelt Avenue are compared with virtually any Brooklyn Station. In addition three stations; Flushing Main Street,74th/Roosevelt, Jamaica Center are each busier (in terms of entering passengers)than any Brooklyn station.

Patrick April 26, 2013 - 3:22 am

Thank You. I don’t know what train of thought asar was on
-Patrick W/O A Blog

Cos April 25, 2013 - 3:39 pm

Nice! Now more people get to bump into me while they’re surfing on their phones.

SEAN April 25, 2013 - 9:08 pm

Ironic that the MTA is installing cell service underground on the one hand & at the same time they are wornning passengers via public adress anouncements NOT TO DISPLAY ELECTRONIC DEVICES to prevent theft. Hmmm, makes one wonder.

ipaclansite April 25, 2013 - 9:27 pm

Prevents the MTA from getting sued should someone who gets their phone stolen on the subway just so happens to lose it and decides it was the MTA’s fault. The announcement is played so they can say that people were warned and it was the persons fault for not heeding the warning.

SEAN April 28, 2013 - 4:14 pm

I get it, just pointing it outt. Ironic when I made that observation, one of WPIX’s resident headcases Greg Mocker made the exact same comment.


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