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Cellphone and Wi-Fi Service Launches in 30 More Subway Stations

By Christine Show | April 25, 2013 2:44pm

MANHATTAN — Subway riders at 36 stations across Manhattan can now make cellphone calls and use Wi-Fi while waiting for their trains, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said. 

The technology launched Thursday at 30 popular stops including Times Square, Lincoln Center, Columbus Circle and Rockefeller Center, which joined the six stops along 14th Street and in Chelsea that already received cell service last year.

“It’s a big deal for the millions of MTA customers who pass through these stations every single day,” said Thomas Prendergast, the MTA’s interim executive director, at a press conference at the Times Square-42nd Street station. “It means you can check your email, surf the Web or do just about anything you do upstairs while you’re waiting for a train.”

Verizon and Sprint are the latest carriers to join the project, which already included Transit Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile. The companies paid about $200 million to install and run the technology, working with Boingo Wireless to manage the Wi-Fi.

The transit authority expects to bring cell and Wi-Fi service to all 277 stations citywide within the next four years. The latest stations to get the technology were chosen based on the level of ridership, leaders said.

“We’ve come a long way,” said MTA Chairman Fernando Ferrer. “It’s just the latest step forward in our march to bring our transit network up to speed with modern technology.”

Officials touted the updated system as a way to improve security during an emergency on a platform.

“Help is just a 911 call away,” Prendergast said. “Today, in one bold stroke, we just made our subways significantly safer and more secure.”

Manhattan resident Carlo Chan said he was pleased with the updated technology, but he worried the new services will make stations even noisier.

“I think it’s a good idea,” he said as he checked his phone while waiting for a 1 train at the Times Square station. “The only downside is that we’ll get a lot of people talking on their phone.”

Here is a full list of all the subway stations with cell and Wi-Fi capabilities:

23rd Street – 8th Avenue (C and E lines)

14th Street – 8th Avenue (A, C and E lines)

14th Street – 7th Avenue (1, 2 and 3 lines)

14th Street – 6th Avenue (F and M lines)

14th Street – 8th Avenue (L line)

14th Street – 6th Avenue (L line)

96th Street (B and C lines)

86th Street (B and  C lines)

28th Street (1 line)

18th Street (1 line)

81st Street – Museum of Natural History (B and C lines)

72nd Street (B and C lines)

79th Street (1 line)

23rd Street (1 line)

96th Street (1,2 and 3 lines)

66th Street – Lincoln Center (1 line)

72nd Street (1, 2 and 3 lines)

57th Street (F line)

47-50th Streets – Rockefeller Center (B, D, F and M lines)

57th Street – 7th Avenue (N, Q and R lines)

28th Street (N and R lines)

50th Street (1 line)

50th Street (C and E line)

23rd Street (N and R line)

49th Street (N and R line)

5th Avenue – 53th Street (E and M lines)

59th Street – Columbus Circle (A, B, C and D lines)

59th Street – Columbus Circle (A,B, C and D lines)

7th Avenue (B, D and E lines)

Times Square – 42th Street (1, 2 and 3 lines)

Times Square – 42th Street (N, Q and R lines)

Times Square – 42th Street (7 line)

Times Square – 42th Street (A, C and E lines)

Times Square – 42th Street (S line)

5th Avenue – 59th Street (N and R lines)

86th Street (1 line)