Wi-Fi Coming Subways Chelsea-Hells Kitchen Wi-Fi Coming to Chelsea and Hell¶s Kitchen Subway Platforms by End of Year, Report

Says Wi-Fi expected to come to subway platforms at three stations in Lower Manhattan by the end of the year. By Kareem Johnson DNAinfo Reporter/Producer CHELSEA ² Straphangers eager to stay in touch with the outside world while traveling underground will be able to at three Lower Manhattan stations soon. The L trains stops at 14th Street Station at 8th and 6th Avenue, the 14th Street A/C/E and 1/2/3 stops, and the 23rd Street C/E stations will be wirelessly enabled first, WNYC reported on Tuesday. Riders at those stations will be able to connect wirelessly on the stairs, platforms, and mezzanines by the end of the year. The rest of the subway system will take a bit longer, and could up take four years to enable the subway system's 271 remaining platforms. Construction would involve laying fiber optic cabling under the street at each station, and would take about 10 to 14 days, DNAinfo reported in February. Transit Wireless, the company behind the project, will charge telecom companies for the use of the wireless signal, and share the proceeds with the MTA. The authority is expected to make $30 million over 10 years. The MTA board gave the company the green light in 2007, but project had been on hold until Transit Wireless received financial backing. The project got back on track last July after the company got support from Broadcast Australia. The MTA plans to also deploy Wi-Fi and cell service on the Metro North railroad between 97th Street and the Grand Central Terminal. A timetable has not been set for that project, WNYC said. MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan told WNYC that wireless connectivity would translate into improved platform safety. He said that the agency sends out e-mails, text messages, and Twitter alerts to customers for emergencies and service disruptions. ³Having cell service in our underground platforms expands the reach and usefulness of those alerts,´ Donovan said.

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