By Alex Robinson
Need to check your e-mail while on the subway? No problem.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has installed free Wi-Fi and wireless service to 29 Queens subway stations, expanding a service that started in Manhattan 18 months ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week.
“Adding and improving wireless service at more subway stations provides a much-anticipated boost to riders’ experience in one of the world’s busiest and oldest subway systems, while offering an added level of security,” Cuomo said. “A more stable network below ground ensures that riders and first responders can seamlessly communicate in events of emergency, which is essential in a system that carries millions of passengers every day.”
The expansion, which was the second phase of the plan and included 11 additional Manhattan stations, will provide roughly 47 million commuters with Wi-Fi access monthly, the MTA said.
The new service offers access to both cell-phone service and complimentary Wi-Fi, for those who do not want to use their data plans to get online.
AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon Wireless subscribers will all be able to receive service in the underground stations.
“Bringing wireless service into our subway system is the latest milestone in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s effort to use technology to improve the service we provide for our customers,” MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast said. “Whether you’re checking your e-mail, calling your kids or looking for emergency assistance, wireless service will bring the conveniences we’re used to above ground into the subway system.”
Some of the Queens stations included in the expansion are the Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Avenue and Court Square stations, which are both on the No. 7 line, as well as the Jamaica Center station, which serves the E, J and Z trains.
The third phase of the project, which will bring another 39 stations online by next spring, will include the Flushing Main Street station.
The MTA hopes to bring all of the city’s 277 underground subway stations online by 2017.
Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.