New York City’s subway, the world’s largest in terms of the number of stations, is slated to get cellular and Wi-Fi service.
The move comes five-and-a-half years after similar service became available at all subway stations, although implementing the service may take up to ten years.
The rapid transit system is one of the world’s oldest, having opened in 1904, and also one of the world’s most used, offering 24-hour service for most lines.
The $600 million project was awarded to Transit Wireless, the company that already provides similar service at subway stations.
The close proximity of subway stations on some lines already provides a semblance of mobile service from trains but riders typically lose the connection shortly after leaving a station.
The chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Janno Lieber, which operates the city’s buses and trains, called it “a major step forward in enhancing transit riders’ experience.”
No prior registration will be required to utilize the mobile connectivity and Wi-Fi suers merely have to accept terms and conditions to for access.
A 2010 study by the New Cities Foundation, a Swiss non-profit institution, found that 60% of subway or metro systems offered Internet access. The first known subway system to offer Wi-Fi was the Seoul Metro in 2009. Free Wi-Fi was introduced in the Moscow Metro in 2013 and the fastest known subway Wi-Fi system is available on the St. Petersburg Metro. It offers users speeds of up to 500 Mbps and went into service in 2017.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)