BROOKLYN — As the new year begins, the big news from the city’s subway system is the opening of the long-awaited Second Avenue subway, of course.
But as the clock strikes midnight on 2016, another huge underground project will wrap up: connecting all 278 underground subway stations to public Wi-Fi.
Earlier this month, the MTA said it was on track to roll out Wi-Fi in the entire subterranean subway system by the end of the year — and it appears the agency is keeping its word.
On Friday, a day before the deadline, the MTA told DNAinfo the agency “is on track to deliver Wi-Fi service in every station by the end of the year,” according to spokeswoman Amanda Kwan. The MTA says riders can track which stations are outfitted with Wi-Fi capability so far through the Transit Wireless website.
Riders have already been noticing the new connections, from East Flatbush to Chinatown.
In Brooklyn, the public Wi-Fi — provided by Transit Wireless, the company hired by the MTA to build out the connections in the subway — has appeared just this week on the 2, 3, 4 and 5 lines in Flatbush, Crown Heights, Prospect Heights and downtown.
Residents of the area are, predictably, pretty stoked.
I'M TWEETING FROM INSIDE THE FRANKLIN 2/3/4/5 IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE— Amanda Mull (@amandamull) December 29, 2016
I thought I was buggin yesterday but there's now LTE cell service underground at Crown Heights/Utica Ave.— Barry Barz (@Barry_Barz) December 29, 2016
I love that there's wifi at my subway stop now #thelittlethings— cassandra (@cassandrahBK) December 23, 2016
Around the city, others are more lukewarm on the improvement:
Finally delayed in a subway station long enough to use the new wifi. Yay, I guess?— Market Urbanism (@MarketUrbanism) December 23, 2016
They put wifi in the grand street subway station which is pretty much the only thing separating this place from purgatory #nycproblems— Karen Gilbert (@GilbertKaren) December 28, 2016
And some are downright furious:
NYC really made underground cell service a thing after I left. pic.twitter.com/gkfe9JUVKW— legendary and humble (@Black_Oleander_) December 28, 2016
Transit Wireless has been outfitting subway stations with Wi-Fi since 2014, building the service out first in Queens and Midtown, then the Upper East Side and the Bronx.