Six subway platforms will be wired for cell phone service within two years as part of a pilot program that could lead to all subway platforms becoming cell phone accessible by 2013.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) board approved a plan on Wednesday, September 26 where Transit Wireless, a consortium of technology and wireless companies, will pay the MTA $48 million to install the technology on the platforms.
In turn, cell phone carriers would pay Transit Wireless in order to carry their signals, and the MTA will receive half of the revenue it receives over the $148 million threshold during the 10-year contract, according to MTA spokesperson Jeremy Soffin.
If the pilot program succeeds, Transit Wireless would have up to four years to finish wiring all 277 underground platforms.
Although all of the underground platforms would have cell phone access, riders would not have signals on the trains themselves, which pleased some riders.
“I don’t like cell phones anyway,” said Long Island City resident Greg Mozian while riding the No. 7 train. “I think they should keep them out of our subways. People don’t need to get in touch 24 hours a day.”
- With Kristin Edwards