NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Wireless provider AT&T has launched wireless device charging stations at more than two dozen parks, beaches and other outdoor spaces across the five boroughs.

The 25 solar-powered street charging stations are part of a pilot program between the wireless company and the city. The city will not bear any cost for the project.

Each station can accommodate up to six mobile devices or tablets at a time and work regardless of wireless carrier. The 12-foot-tall charging stations feature three petal-shaped solar panels at the top and each have dedicated ports for Androids, BlackBerrys, iPhones and standard USB cables.

The charging stations are set up this week in Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier I, Governor’s Island, Pier 1 at Riverside Park and Union Square Park, according to a release from AT&T.

“Thanks to AT&T, more New Yorkers will have improved connectivity and access to the wireless technology that has become such an important part of our daily lives,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a statement. “After Hurricane Sandy, I asked our private sector partners to step up and help improve the resiliency of New York City. AT&T is doing just that, and we’re grateful for their efforts.”

The idea for these solar-powered street charging stations came about after superstorm Sandy left downtown Manhattan and other parts of the city without power for several days. The company set up mobile charging stations in areas without power.

“The response from New Yorkers was overwhelming and it got us thinking,”  AT&T’s New York President Marissa Shorenstein said. “We are always looking for new and meaningful ways to improve the daily lives of New Yorkers through greater accessibility to mobile technology.”

City officials joined AT&T representatives to announce the launch of the charging stations in Fort Greene on Tuesday.

“This grew out of a tragedy and this grew out of a crisis,” City Parks Commissioner Veronica White said. “People had no electricity and they had nowhere to go and they wanted to get those phones charged up.”

AT&T solar-powered charging station. (credit: Handout)

AT&T solar-powered charging station. (credit: Handout)

As part of the pilot program, the stations will remain posted in spots like Union Square Park, Metrotech Plaza and Rockaway Beach for up to a month at a time until October, the New York Times reported.

The stations will provide a full charge in about two hours and have backup power so they keep running for days without sun.

The pilot program is estimated to cost between $300,000 and $500,000 and could be expanded to other cities if successful.

The street charge stations were designed by the DUMBO-based firm Pensa and the solar technology was built by GoalZero, the Times reported.

The charging stations will be set up in the following locations across the five boroughs throughout the summer:


  • Riverside Park, Pier I (launches 6/18)
  • Union Square Park, North Plaza  (launches 6/19)
  • Rumsey Playfield, Central Park Summerstage
  • Hudson River Park Pier 59
  • Randall’s Island


  • Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier I (launches 6/18)
  • Fort Greene Park (launches 6/18)
  • Coney Island
  • Metrotech Plaza
  • The Dumbo Arts Festival
  • The Brooklyn Book Festival


  • Rockaway Beach
  • Clearview Golf Course
  • Socrates Sculpture Park


  • Orchard Beach

Staten Island:

  • Governor’s Island (launches 6/18)
  • La Tourette Golf Course
  • Staten Island Zoo

Also Tuesday, AT&T announced two more park sites are Wi-Fi enabled. Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 5 and Foley Square join 26 other city parks locations across the five boroughs that have free AT&T Wi-Fi.

For a full list of dates and locations, click here.

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