More Subway Stations To Get Cell, Wi-Fi Service

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Cell phone and Wi-Fi service is headed to more subway stations in New York City.

Six stations are already wired for service and 30 more stations will come online in groups of five, including Times Square, Herald Square and Columbus Circle, by this summer.

“I think it’s excellent, especially when you’re down here. You’re cut off, you have nothing,” Cindy Aspden of London told CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider.

Among those stations already wired for service is the 23rd Street Station at Eighth Avenue in Chelsea.

Zeynep Memcan said it’s helped to keep her connected to her family in Turkey. She said she turns the long wait for the “C” train into a chance to chat.

“I usually wait for the subway for 10 minutes, so I pull out my phone and make phone calls,” she said. “It’s pretty fast. You don’t even notice that you’re in the subway station.”

AT&T and T-Mobile signed 10-year contracts to provide cell and Wi-Fi service through a network being built by Transit Wireless. So at this point, only customers with those two mobile carriers will actually get service in these stations, but Wireless said it is working to contract with other carriers.

Some people think it’s a waste of $200 million, even though Transit Wireless — and not the Metropolitan Transportation Authority — is footing the bill.

“I think people use their cell phones too much as it is,” said Rich Barga of Chelsea.

The expanded service is coming at a time when the MTA is reporting growing cell phone theft. The transit agency is warning people to keep their phones and electronics out of sight.

“It could be disruptive to people who are doing stuff on their way to meetings or on the train reading. It’s a little quiet time for people when they’re going home,” said John Ciavolino of Astoria.

The MTA will cash in, too, getting a portion of the proceeds from contracts with wireless carriers projected to amount to $3.3 million.

All underground stations are expected to be wired by 2016, but trains are not expected to have service between stations.

WATCH: CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reports

Please share your thoughts below…

  • No More Political Correctness

    Whats the probem ???

    Just keep a very close eye on Ni–gg-eerz since they are the 99% who will steal the stuff…

  • Americas Mayor Not

    I can’t wait till someone is killed attempting to hush
    a loudmouth cursing on his/her cellphone in the subway and
    hmmmm let’s add in a foreign tongue & not stopping for 10 minutes and…..
    and it’s in hot July and………..

  • Michele Cormier

    I saw this as a disaster from the start. Watch the crime rates skyrocket. It already has. No one pays attention while they are playing with their toys, screaming on their phones etc., ad nausea. Like I want to hear about your baby momma or baby daddy doin’ you wrong as the thugs all around scope out your tricked out Ipad, Iphone, android tablet or whatever it is your flashing. The train is for commuting, not showing off your stupidity and ignorance, but hey if you want to get your stuff stolen, be my guest. I won’t be calling 911 for you, because I refuse to take my phone out.

  • Things I have seen on the subway

    Not making any of this up
    -Man changing his pants on platform (and wearing NO underwear)

    -Rat cut into 2 pieces by train

    -Man cut into 3 pieces by train

    -Man defecating on crowded rush hour platform

    -Man throwing empty 6 pack of glass beer bottles down to tracks from between cars on moving train after he finishes last one

    -Numerous men urinating between train cars

    -WOMAN urinating between cars

    -Workers slowing down trains for seemingly no reason (from what I could see)

    -Myself getting tapped pretty hard then middle finger in the face by well dressed old lady at 1AM for no reason (not what some of you perverts may think)

    -Numerous turnstile jumpers

    -N train going unannounced onto D line after 36st in Brooklyn

    -Cops holding train doors open a few extra seconds so they can get some AC relief from hot summer platform

    -Woman wearing headphones almost clipped by moving train while peering over platform and looking in WRONG DIRECTION

    -Numerous people smoking aboard trains (some even marijuana)

    Oh, and I don’t care if it is a bit off-topic.

    Regards from your fellow rude NYer

  • Lenny A.

    This is ridiculous – not what we need for many, many reasons. More crime will be on the way since no one pays any attention to what is going on around them while in conversation.

    But if they are going to do it anyway, and seeing that the MTA crooks will be getting lots of money for this, they should lower their fares.

  • beeeep

    This is a great idea.. but not in NYC, with all the people whose conversations you can hear from a block away talking all ghetto fabulous

    • Geedavy

      Whilst having cell phone service in the subway is ridiculous, being able to travel most anywhere in the city for a few bucks is a steel. After 40 years of riding the subways in NY, I tell everyone who complains about them to shut up and get a car. After a week or so, you’ll be thanking the MTA for being reasonable. Even with delays and other issues I beg anyone to find a better way to get around a city 24 hours a day.

  • Bullett

    Oh wow, more stations for us commuters to transit through and listen to nonsense conversation and someone’s exploits………how charming…….please leave the garbage cans so I can vomit!

    • the clarkster

      Hey Bullett, instead of vomiting in a garbage can, why not jus do it on tra?

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